Sunday, September 29, 2013

Team USA- Worlds Ready

Podium training for the 2013 World Championships has finally wrapped up and the competition is ready to begin. Team USA has looked the best in training by far and appears to be well prepared for what this week has in store. If these girls compete like they did in podium training, let's just say team USA will go home VERY happy. Here are our thoughts and hopes for team USA at this World Championships.

Brenna Dowell
Photo Credit: John Cheng
It's very unfortunate that Brenna Dowell won't get the chance to compete this time around but I think being in Antwerp with the team and having the chance to practice on the podium was great experience for her. Brenna, who was originally set to compete on bars and beam, was moved to the alternate spot when it was decided that Mckayla Maroney would be doing the all around in qualifications. (Only three gymnasts can compete on each event, so having three all around gymnasts leaves no room for Brenna to compete.) Brenna had two skills submitted to be added to the code of points (straddle back to half turn on bars and a piked double front on floor) but unfortunately will not get them named after her since she won't be competing. On a positive note, Brenna has been much improved this year and has a lot to be proud of.

                         

Kyla Ross
Photo Credit: John Cheng
Kyla is coming into these World Championships as sort of the veteran and seems ready to go. She looked super good in podium training, nailing all four events in typical Kyla fashion. (Check out her yurchenko double stuck cold!) One thing I did notice from podium training was that she looked a little bit sloppier with the legs then usual, so I'm hoping she can clean that up before the competition actually begins. Kyla will be a strong contender in the all around competition and will hopefully find herself on the podium. Kyla can also make the bar final and hopefully medal on beam too. (She has increased her start value by 3 tenths since Nationals.)

                         

Simone Biles
Photo Credit: John Cheng
Competing in your first World Championships is no cake walk but after podium training today Simone has really made a statement...she is ready to win this World Championships. Simone nailed all four routines during podium training and proved she will be tough to beat if she hits. It has been said that her biggest competition will be the 2010 World Champion Aliya Mustafina, but after podium training, it appears Simone is coming into this competition much more prepared and confident. Since winning the National Championships, Simone has increased her difficulty on beam and floor by 3 tenths. She also has two skills submitted to be in the code of points that she hopes will become the "Biles" if she competes them successfully. (Weiler full on bars and double layout with half turn on floor) If all goes well, Simone will be looking to take the all around and floor gold and hopefully medal on vault.




Mckayla Maroney
Photo Credit: John Cheng
After the training sessions leading up to Worlds, Mckayla has apparently done enough to prove her case as an all around gymnast. It was decided by national team coordinator, Martha Karoyli yesterday afternoon that Mckayla would be the third all around gymnast for the USA. Although Mckayla most likely won't advance to the all around finals due to two per country rule (and not quite being on the same level of Biles and Ross in terms of the all around) she has made vast improvements as an all around gymnast. During podium training, Mckayla did a replica of her vault from the team final in London and hit bars and floor. Despite a fall on beam, she looked great there too. Mckayla will be looking to defend her vault title against some tough competition (Biles and Hong Un Jong) and possibly medal on floor too.

                     

Big thanks to USA Gymnastics for providing us with live feeds. 

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