Thoughts from the 2014 World Championships. Part 1


Larisa Iordache and her 6.3 start value Uneven Bar routine. Not only is this routine pretty good for a gymnast not known for her Uneven bar prowess but it helped her nearly take the All Around gold medal from a guaranteed outcome.

Everyone knew Simone would take the title but we all thought she had over a fall buffer to win but Larissa came along with improved routines like this and only lost the gold medal by a little over 5 tenths. Maybe the person who put this bar routine together for Larisa should put together a similar one for Kyla and Simone.

Daria Spiridonova (first routine in this video) ended up winning a bronze medal during the UB final but she was a positive surprise to me during qualifying. Russian giants aside she hit every handstand and only had a slight form issue in the routine and I thought her score deserved to be higher than Mustafina during qualifying. She had a 6.4 start value.


What happened to?????

Mai Murakami : Mai made the event finals last year at worlds and just about everyone thought she got the royal screwing from the judges when it came to scoring (an artistry deduction, really?) She was at Worlds this year competing vault, bars and Floor during prelims and fell on her first past. Here is her prelims Floor routine She competed the same 3 routines in team finals where Japan finished 8th ( Vault 14.566 (5.8) Bars 13.400 (4.9) and Floor 13.700 (5.4) You can watch her team final floor routine here

Anna Pavlova: When Anna moved to Azerbaijan to compete everyone thought it was a great move for her. Russia refused to add her to their National team even when she out performed gymnasts they did add but it looks like Russia was right because Anna had a very forgettable qualifying performance finishing 50th and scoring 12.933 on her best event and doing just as bad on the remaining 3.(12.833 (bars)12.166 (beam) 13.166 (floor) Here is her qualifying Floor routine where she started with a double pike.

Lauren Mitchell: The former Floor world champion injured herself before qualifying and withdrew from the competition.


44 Responses to “Thoughts from the 2014 World Championships. Part 1”

  1. JAS4 Says:

    I was hoping for Lauren to do well and maybe make beam/floor finals this year. I hope she continues training for Rio.

  2. sanitynmotion Says:

    I really like Larissa. Glad she had a great championship meet and will look forward to her lighting a flame under the US gals in the next 2 years… Her bar routine shocked me actually but in a good way. Does she have an amanar? Haven’t watched the meet yet.

    • Gymbee Says:

      I love Larisa! It’s great to see the US girls got some competition.

    • Uglyfatkid Says:

      @Sanity – No, she doesn’t have the Amanar yet. She still doing the DTY.

      I was also VERY happy with her AA finish. I think she deserved the win for sure. However she choked again in beam finals…which makes me crazy. I love Biles, but was rooting for for Larissa to do well too. When she fell I was yelling at the screen. She seems to buckle under the pressure sometimes…but hopefully with this AA silver it will help boost her confidence more.

      Speaking of beam finals, what happened to Yao? Universal Sports didn’t show her in their broadcast. I assume she fell with her score that low?

      • H Says:

        She fell on her first acrobatic serie.
        Anyone think Larissa`s coach are doing not useful spotting during her bar routine? I feel he is more nervous than her, literally.

        And I also hope Larissa will keep challenging the Us gymnasts.

      • Gymbee Says:

        H, I thought the same thing. He’s not going to help anything sticking his arms in everywhere like that!

    • katecoursey Says:

      Didn’t Larisa used to have an amanar? I thought she competed one back in 2011-ish. At any rate, I was hugely surprised by how good she’s looking. I hope she can keep this upward trend. If she gets her amanar back, she’ll have the potential to challenge Biles. Always nice to have more stiff competition!

  3. Gymbee Says:

    Btw, the other day I asked about the old-ish lady always on the floor with the girls, just sitting on a chair.
    Someone said it was Kathy Kelly, but I just re-watched the beam final from London, and Kathy Kelly is up with Bela and Marta screaming down to Mihai to file an inquiry, so it can’t be her!

    You see her at 00:06 (right before Gabbys mother appears with her smug face), sitting next to the chinese girls.

    Who is the mystery woman?

  4. gymbot Says:

    Modelling a bars routine for Biles off of Iordache’s routine is spot on – and honestly – I think it would be easy for Biles to do it. She has something similar in the works, but using her weiler 1/2 has her different grips requirements instead of the jaeger.

    Ross, I don’t believe she has much more by the way of a skill set on bars to emulate Iordache’s routine. She was working stalders out of her pak salto for while, but a stalder pirouette never materialized. I also do not believe she can can catch counter hecht release over the high bar, which is too bad since it really limits her ability to make 0.1 connections only from pirouettes and transition elements. The best thing for her D score would be to gain the in-bar stalder work – but if it is not possible she’ll have to pick up new skills on the bars or be creative with her routine.

    Ross stated her goals are some individual success in Rio, presumably in the all-around, so not having top routines this far out is not a nail in her gymnastics coffin. She could keep this bar set the same, build on vault, beam and floor to stay competitive in the AA. I bet she would make team for her consistent beam alone – especially if had higher scoring potential (dreaming of the bhs+arabian). Vault and floor upgrades may be more reasonable for her, considering her back issues and growth – she may never get her lovely in-bar work back again.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Are there any release moves she could add to help? I noticed watching bars all the big release moves do not exist anymore. I just find it hard to believe that there isn’t something she could try. What about the release moves svetlana khorkina. Invented? Isn’t there something she could code white from that? I always found svetlana’s bars quite unique for her but how do I say this……. Over valued and overrated were her skills. Are they still overrated in the code? O.m.g I hate this damn spell check.

      • gymbot Says:

        I’ve never seen Ross compete a reverse hecht (tkatchev or markelov family of release elements). I think she would keep the jaeger as it is worth 1.4 points on her D score currently (it satisfies release on HB to HB +0.5, different grips +0.5 and is a D skill +0.4 – markelov’s would also fulfill this category, but the takatchev family unless caught in mixed grip like the tweddle would not get different grips).

        She could learn more of the transition elements – but I have only seen her straddle circle – nothing with a pirouette or hecht yet. Nor have I have I ever seen her do a clear hip circle, making a whole other family of elements out of reach (including some Khorkina elements which actually are quite difficult), at least in the near future. She has a lot of work ahead of her if she wants to upgrade her bars because she would have to learn a lot of basics to get back up to D and E elements.

        If she gets the in-bar elements back, she is back to 6.4. This is most ideal, since they are seemingly smaller changes, keep her routine very short (less places to lose E deductions) and would be the quickest to get consistent. However, these elements require so much flexibility and strain on the back, I’m not sure if she can get them back.

        If she learns to straddle circle and can add in pirouettes, she can get up to 6.2 by connecting a stalder full out of her pak and before her Van Leeuwen (C replaced by D element, two 0.1 CV connections – both very very difficult connections). However, this would also just be adding an element to her routine increases places for deductions and the length of the routine, which could mean less consistent dismounts (sounds overly negative, but the best bar routines are short so the gymnast doesn’t struggle near the end).

        If she can’t get her in-bar 1/2 pirouette+jaeger back, she could attempt 3/2 pirouettes (toe-on 3/2 E, fwd swing 3/2 D are probably the easiest for her to learn) and get connection bonus back for her jaeger. This would increase her score 0.3 for the E skill and 0.2 for the D skill (if she still needs to replace the C skill she currently counts). So learning the stalder and a 1 + 1/2 pirouette with the basics she already has can get her back to 6.3/6.4 potentially. The Romanians used to train a lot of 3/2 pirouettes but I can’t think of a US gymnast/gym where Ross could get those skills.

        There are plenty of different transition connections she could make – it is difficult to work them into current skills and going back and forth with extra kips would be very tiring, but it is possible.

        Obviously a lot of speculation. I think upgrading/changing her bars would be quite hard to improve. She has two years though, so if she is really going for broke, I would hope to see a lot of new skills by next year’s classic so they would be ready for Rio. Fingers crossed

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Thank you for that. Sounds like a lot of work.

    • H Says:

      Do you know how much Mustafina raised her difficulties with the whips” etc in floor final?
      Kyla should be able to upgrade leaps and turns floor/beam.
      And maybe add a twist in her bar dismount? I don’t know how much it will raise her d-score though. Anyone knows?

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Last I read she had a 6.2 start value in event finals

      • H Says:


      • gymbot Says:

        whip+whip double arabian is worth 0.2 in CV. Ross’s direct whip+double arabian is also worth 0.2 CV. Once she has the timing down, I suspect her opening pass will be whip+double arabian stag (0.3 CV). It would be worth the same as a double double tucked (E+ 0.3CV = H)

        Ross doesn’t have good spins, she used to have double turn with leg held at horizontal. Turns are discouraged by Marta, all of the girls compete elements they wont lose more than they could gain on.

      • H Says:

        Thanks gymbot:-)

    • sainabou nyang Says:

      Has Kyla ever done a Tkatchev on bars? I just realized that Ive never seen do this.

      • gymbot Says:

        No reverse hechts at all. She went from like a something like a 4.9 bars to 6.4 in one year (2011-2012), playing the code straight baller style. This is why I don’t think she’ll be a major bars player in the future, I don’t think she has the basics to do other skills other than toe-on/in-bar elements. She also has only one skill shown in different grips (the straddled jaeger) which is also her only release move. Contrast to Dowell who learned a tkatchev, then a ray (toe-on tkatchev), then a church (toe-on piked tkatchev) then a tweddle (toe-on tkatchev 1/2 turn catch in mixed grip) over 2011 to 2014. It takes years to build such a routine as hers. If Ross doesn’t have the flexibility for the stoop stalders, she has to return to the basics on bars to build a new routine. Still, I’m hoping she sticks around, what she does she does very well.

        To be honest, I think she can continue to threat for the AA podium if she keeps bars as is and works on the other three pieces – her coaches seem really smart (getting those bars up to scratch pre-London was amazing) and her pacing has worked out so far, I don’t think she’s going anywhere.

  5. Gymbee Says:

    Mykayla re-tweeted “I think Mykayla should have won floor bronze”.

    I have a hard time liking her that much still.

    • katecoursey Says:

      Oh God. Just stop. Every time I decide to give her another chance because she’s just a kid, she retweets something like “Mykayla is the best vaulter in the world” or “should have won bronze” or whatever. Someone needs to give that girl PR training stat.

      • Gymbee Says:

        Yep, this Worlds I decided I was going to look at her with new eyes, and think “just a kid…. Just a kid”, but then you have Simone talking about herself and how she needs to work on her landings, and Kyla saying she needs to up her D-score, ie, finding criticism in themselves. Not saying it’s everyone else’s fault. And they’re kids too!

        Skinner needs some PR training stat.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        There is no denying Skinner thinks highly of herself and I personally don’t feel like there is anything wrong with thinking you deserved something and retweeting that comment but I can see why it rubs other people the wrong way.

        Its kind of a double standard I guess. There are times when I think someone was robbed that I wish someone would make a big deal out of it. Like in 92 the AA or 2008 when Jiang Yuyuan was robbed on floor I would have loved for the US and China to stick up in favor of their gymnasts who were clearly cheated.

        I don’t know I guess it depends on the gymnast. Someone with a known soar loser history is going to be called out for sour grapes but when Biles coach complained about people complaining that she didn’t deserve the beam medal last year is was a non issue.

        I guess I see both sides of it.

    • G Says:

      Mykayla has always rubbed me the wrong way. She seems very full of herself and doesn’t have much reason to be. I’m so happy that Aliya got the bronze, she deserved it.

    • gymbot Says:

      I’m against Skinner’s behavior, but I think she should have had the Bronze. I think their form deductions are equal (Mustafina’s twists versus Skinner’s body line), their dance element deductions should be quite similar (Skinner’s leaps versus Mustafina’s overcooked turns), landings were pretty good by both gymnasts, but Skinner had four landings to count while Mustafina only counts three passes. Since Skinner had more difficulty, I think she should have come out on top. At least the scoring was tight.

      Ferrari on the other hand, as great as she is, should be lower. Her bent knees and flexed feet on floor are quite ignored. Also the fact that she basically ignores all of the FIG floor pass directives – as stupid as they are, the other gymnasts met the requirements. Ferrari starts immediately with a tumble (-0.1), tumbles back to back x2 (-0.2), stands in 6th position more than once (-0.1 each time), makes adjustments backing into corners (-0.1 each time). However, her E score is very high. Her E score should be starting out of 9.3/9.5 but no one docks her.

      • Gymbee Says:

        Ferrari said to Italian media that “she knew she wouldn’t win when they were all lined up before floor” or something like that. Just came off as very blaming.

      • Gymbee Says:

        Interesting, I didn’t know this. What’s the 6th position?

      • gymbot Says:

        Standing with both feet flat on the ground (not the flamingo stand/step the FIG wants). She steps into the corner and after standing with both feet she raises one leg. Other gymnasts are hammered for this, but not her.

  6. sainabou nyang Says:

    I forget how long Worlds can be lol

    I like Simone as a gymnast , but I wish she had competition nipping at her her heels. I dont even think Bailey Key can catch her. Speaking of Bailey any thoughts on Kim/Chris plans for her senior debut? Do yoy think the Amanar is ready for her to compete?

  7. Exgymgurl Says:

    I think key and nia will compete scam

    • sainabou nyang Says:

      That would be great. Let Simone and Kyla rest. They honestly dont even need to go to Jesolo either.

  8. Ilanchik20 Says:

    I just love Simone. She comes off as so unaware in the interviews. Divest her watch this than Mckayla’s re-tweets.

    • Ilanchik20 Says:

      Stupid auto text. I meant to say: I’d rather watch…..

    • Tortuga Says:

      I wonder if Gabby is insanely jealous of Simone right now. Taking the role of most successful black gymnast and owning it. You can clearly see that Simone has that media darling personality that Gabby just didn’t have. I think Gabby is going to try to latch on to Simone like “Yes we’re best friends!” to get into the spotlight again.

      However I am interested to see what she will be like in competition without Chow. She’s so lucky to have her body type as a gymnast and it will be a shame if she doesn’t take full advantage of it. I just don’t see how anyone could choose not to train with Chow anymore, especially after he got you an Olympic AA gold. I know it had more to do with not being the star and getting to come and go as she pleases. But I just can’t imagine her doing as well with anyone else.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        I seriously don’t see Gabby making the full comeback she claims she is. She’s been way too full of herself in interviews and I feel like it’s over compensating for lack of something else.
        On another note USAG seems to treat Olympic AA gold medalists as if they are on a much higher level from everyone else. You see MLR, Carly, Nastia, and Gabby promoting their events and such but you never see the likes of Shannon or Shawn even though it could be easily argued they are just as successful if not more so. What I’m saying is that I doubt Simone will be labeled as “most successful black gymnast” without a that Olympic AA gold.

      • Dee Says:

        Agreed, Sanity, I think gabby just said she was coming back to keep herself relevant. She fell off the map faster than Patterson.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Gabby is training so I wouldn’t count on that happening. I am hoping she tanks because Chow really made her

  9. Ilanchik20 Says:

    Also, does anyone know when the October camp is? I want some inside info on whether Aly goes and how she looks? Lol

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