More on the women’s worlds selection…
It’s unfortunate that Samantha Shapiro and Mattie Larson couldn’t get healthy in time to be considered for this world team. Both were recovering from ankle problems, and I could understand why that would hinder Larson because floor and vault are really her two best events, followed by beam. But Shapiro could have just done bars and been a serious contender for the team, so I didn’t quite understand that one. Surely she could have at least done her routine without the dismount, and by worlds next month she could be ready to land on it. That didn’t make much sense to me, but then again the decisions made in women’s gymnastics rarely do!
Wouldn’t it have been so neat to finally see this on the world stage?:
Mattie Larson Floor 2009 USA vs. France
Mattie Larson Beam 2009 USA vs. France
They always seem to train and train and train and train…and when the opportunity to actually compete comes, they run for the hills. Then the next thing you know they’re heading off to college and all the elite opportunities they thought they were going to have are gone. I know Mattie Larson’s ankles were both injured in July, but this is just an observation I’ve made about the elite girls and coaches in general. Sometimes I wish everyone would stop constantly training for NEXT YEAR and learn to train for THIS YEAR, because most of the time, next year never comes.
I still think Kayla Williams should make this team. You may not have seen her floor routine from Day 2 of nationals because they only televised her routine on Day 1. Take a look at this incredible routine that was RIDICULOUSLY underscored:
Kayla Williams Floor 2009 Visa USA Championships Day 2
Believe it or not, this awesome jam packed routine, which included a perfectly stuck double layout, triple full, and piked full in dismount, received an E-score of 8.65! You’ve gotta be kidding me! Finally a girl steps up and nails her landings the way they’re asking them to now, and she gets absolutely no reward for it! Her final score here was a 14.25, and in my opinion those judges were either flat out cheating or have no idea what good gymnastics is.
Here’s a look at the floor routine from the same night from her biggest rival for this world team:
Kytra Hunter Floor 2009 Visa USA Championships Day 2
She has unbelievable power and I do really like this routine, but she doesn’t have NEARLY the control on her landings as we saw from Kayla. Despite all of those huge hops, this routine received the SAME E-score of 8.65! They also had the same overall score of 14.25. Her leaps are higher than Kayla’s, but there’s no way there were the same amount of deductions in those two routines. That has me a little worried that judges may be favoring Hunter over Williams.
Kayla Williams Vault 2009 Visa USA Championships
There’s a look at the other reason why I think Kayla should make this team. Both vaults are extremely clean and look very easy for her. She’s training a handspring rudi for that second vault, and it certainly looks like she could do it. If she is landing that rudi on her feet by the second selection camp, then I don’t see how she couldn’t make this team.
Don’t get me wrong, Kytra’s vault is huge as well:
Kytra Hunter Vault 2009 Visa USA Championships
She had a small form break, but that looked incredibly easy for her. There’s no question she could make a 2 ½ out of that. But what is her second vault…anyone know??? Until I know she has a strong second vault, I’m going to have to stick with Kayla Williams as my pick for this team.
Finally, let’s take a look at Cassie Whitcomb and see if she really seems to have what it takes to challenge for this team:
Cassie Whitcomb Floor 2009 Visa USA Championships
Believe it or not, despite having far less difficulty, this routine actually OUTSCORED both Kayla and Kytra by .25! She received an E-score of 9.2 and a final score of 14.5, compared with the 14.25’s for Kayla and Kytra. She was very clean, but something about that just doesn’t make sense. She did have a really nice 2 ½ layout, and although I hate 1 ½ to front fulls, hers did look better than most. If she’s in the process of upgrading, perhaps she may have more of a shot than most of us realized…
Cassie Whitcomb Beam 2009 Visa USA Championships
Definitely not worlds worthy! This obviously wasn’t her best set and she does have potential here, but she would have to be MUCH better than this at the camps to be considered for beam. Most of you probably saw her bars from USA’s, and although it was clean, she would have needed to be upgrading that as well…my guess is that she is!
This will be a very interesting selection process! We should know around the conclusion of the camp on October 4th which women will be joining our six men to represent the USA in London.