How Will the US Women Fare in London
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By Elizabeth Grimsley
As the 2012 Olympics draw closer and closer with each passing day, the competition for team gold gets tighter by the minute.
Romania is coming off of their first European team title in four years, and Russia is still battling the injury bug while China is starting to slip farther behind the rest of the pack. For the United States, the depth is so great that they shouldn’t have a problem not only holding their own against these other nations but possibly coming out on top in London.
If you compare team scores from past competitions, the Romanian’s European team total of 176.288 would have earned them the silver medal at last year’s World Championships. However, the total is still just over three points off from USA’s 2011 Worlds score of 179.411 or their total of 179.500 in Jesolo earlier this year. The format in Jesolo was such that they counted the top four scores on each event, so for comparisons sake, the score was derived by taking the top three scores on each event.
Although it appears as though the U.S. has no immediate threats in the team competition, the individual all around is another story. Larissa Iordache of Romania is much improved from the gymnast who competed at the American Cup in early March and stands a good chance of giving Jordyn Wieber a run for her money. During European qualifications, Iordache posted a very good all around score of 60.132.
Other all around threats include first-year senior Anastasia Grishina of Russia who scored a 58.898 during team finals at the European Championships, as well as a healthy Aliya Mustafina or Victoria Komova. America’s Aly Raisman and Gabrielle Douglas also pose as threats for an all around medal. However, because of the two per country rule, there will be competition within teams to see who gets the two all around finals spots as well.
With so many talented gymnasts and competition among many different countries in London, all around contenders will likely aim to post at least a score of 60 to contend for the gold. We hope it will come down to the very last routine on the last event to determine who will be crowned Olympic All Around Champion.
With only a little over two months left until London, the pressure continues to mount for everyone. Multiple factors can come into play during the last stretch before the Olympics. One injury can take anyone out in an instant, and gymnasts who look like front runners could legitimately not make their respective teams. But with the big show fast approaching, only the truly strong will prevail.