Inside Scoop: Our Take On Women's Qual, Day 1

Saturday, October 16, 2010
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Each day during competition at the 2010 World Championships, we’ll post some of our highlights, lowlights and standouts from the competition.

Women’s Qualification, Day 1

Highlight of The Day

The Russian women delivering upon the promise and potential they’ve shown in training in Rotterdam. Although they have had their struggles, they’ve shown moments of greatness all week and it was nice to see the team come through with a relatively strong performance. They suffered several falls on the day, but in a five-up, four-count format, they were still good enough for first and have something to improve upon in finals!

Gripe of The Day

*The Chinese women have such incredible presentation and artistry and one of the hallmarks of their performances over the last several years has been the variety they showcase in their choreography and skill selection. On beam today, however, three of their four competing gymnasts began the exercise with the exact same mount – a jump to the beam with an arabesque pose after the mount. Each gymnastics routine is an opportunity to showcase your individual style and artistic personality and it was a shame to see carbon-copy beginnings to the Chinese beam routines, especially given their incredible talent and ability.

Frustration of The Day

Ukraine! …. They hit some gorgeous sets in training, but when they get to the competition floor, it just all seems to fall apart. Why does this happen time and time again? So many falls and errors today…. Ugh.

Favorite Routines / Skills of The Day

*Aliya Mustafina, RUS (Vault) Big Amanar vault (Yurchenko 2 ½) with nearly-stuck landing! Plus, second vault: Yurchenko half-on, nearly laidout-out front full off

*Mustafina, (Uneven Bars) – Uneven bars set – such unique composition, intricate combinations and incredible skills… D Score = 6.8 … Stalder full to toe-on Shaposhnkova ½ to high bar; 1 ½ twisting double tuck dismount

*Yana Demyanchuk, UKR (Balance Beam) – backhandspring to tuck full on beam – she has no set-up, no hesitation, and looks like she’s tumbling on the floor!

*Ksenia Afanasyeva, RUS (Floor Exercise) – two whips through to beautiful triple full; nice form and expression throughout routine

*Beth Tweddle, GBR (Uneven Bars, pictured) Ono to Markelov to immediate Gienger; toe-on Tkatchev half; Khorkina II, Full twisting double back dismount… WOW! Probably our favorite set of the day!

Favorite Performances of The Day

*The entire Chinese team on uneven bars – breathtaking.

*China’s Jiang Yuyuan. On beam, she soars on her switch ring leap and for a second, looks like something from a postcard. On floor, she has a style that some love and some dislike, but regardless of your take, she shows personality and has a style there all her own and she lights up the arena. Off the competition floor, she smiles often and cheers her teammates on throughout…

*Aliya Mustafina – It would seem an easy pick because she’s leading the All-around, but regardless of where she ended up, we loved the performance of Aliya Mustafina. The talented young Russian has such a self-assuredness about her gymnastics and a style that pulls you in to her performances. She ended the day on floor where she drilled all of her passes and had an enchanting presentation. The audience fell in love with her over the course of the day and gave her a rousing ovation at the end of the day… Ah, we think the battle for the All-Around title has heated up!

You Decide…

There are some specific songs (and cuts to those songs) that have been used sooo many times, perhaps they should just be retired. Romania’s Raluca Haidu performed to Zorba’s Dance from Zorba The Greek, which has been used over and over again…. Yes, the in-arena audience got into the music and the routine, but there are thousands and thousands of choices of song and music choices out there… originality, anyone?

On The Fashion / Style Front..

Speaking of the Romanians (pictured right), in years past, their leotards and hairstyles have not been the most, uh, up-to-date or stylish for competition. This year, however, we give a thumbs up to their updated look and effort on this front. It’s the World Championships – style it up! Just sayin…

Best leo of the day… Russia, with bright, sparkling, classy, Worlds-worthy magenta-pinkish leos

Finally, Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

Chelsea Davis of the U.S. dislocated her knee in training Friday, two days before competition. She was apparently slated to perform bars and floor for the team. Hours after her injury, the U.S. announced its official team, which did not include the injured Davis. On the line-up, Bridget Sloan is slated for bars and floor only. Does that mean the defending World Champ could have originally been slated as just the alternate for the U.S. team before Davis was injured?

The Worlds Issue!

Subscribe or Renew Now for our Nov/Dec “Worlds Issue” of Inside Gymnastics magazine that will include: A Stunning Photo Gallery / Photo Essay from the event; our picks for Most Stylish, Best Skills, Best Choreography (Women), Best Routine Composition (Men), Best Use of Music and Best Dressed on the Blue Carpet; and the inside scoop on the storylines, headliners, and what goes on behind-the-scenes! Plus, the issue will feature a center-spread mini-poster photos by Grace Chiu for Inside Gymnastics Magazine

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