Visa Championships- Daily 5
June 07, 2012
Don’t miss an issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine!
Subscribe or renew for 3 years and receive a FREE poster
autographed by Shawn Johnson! Subscribe Today!
The Inside Gymnastics Daily 5
By- Chris Korotky & Team
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Each day during the 2012
VISA Championships, the team at Inside
Gymnastics magazine will be selecting our Top 5 highlights of the day. Be
sure and join the conversation on our Facebook page and let us know if you
agree or disagree! Then, post your
top highlight of the day!
Olympic Fever – It’s On!
Competition is underway at the 2012 VISA National Championships
and the incredible magnitude of the moment is nearly tangible. These athletes
have worked their entire lives for an opportunity to earn a spot on the Olympic
team, and every routine and score now makes a difference as the selection of
the 2012 Olympic team nears. Four competitions – two at Nationals and two at
Trials – will seal the fate of these athletes. Some will be eliminated from the
process following this event before the Olympic Trials in San Jose in late
June. Only five athletes will ultimately earn a spot on the Olympic team and a
place in the history books forever. Intense!
Note of Mikulak
After breaking both ankles at the 2011 Puerto
Rico Cup competition, Sam Mikulak of the University of Michigan has been on a
steady comeback path and may be peaking at just the right time to make his case
for a spot on the 2012 Olympic team. With unique sets marked by great
difficulty, unique combinations and great execution, Mikulak scores well on
paper and also with fans as evidenced by the large crowd response to his
high-flying sets. And perhaps a key for him is pommel horse, where he earned
the fourth highest score of the night (14.650). Keep an eye on Mikulak!
Competing in the all around for the first time on his surgically
repaired foot (that still contains a titanium screw), two-time National Champ
Jonathan Horton showed he’s ready for London 2012 with his signature fighting
spirit and crowd-pleasing sets. Always competing with the heart of a champion,
Horton was in the zone and brought the crowd to its feet with his stunning high
bar set (Cassina, Kolman, full twisting double layout). He’s the leader of this
U.S. squad and it’s great to see the progress he’s made in his recovery.
Out For Leyva
Defending U.S. Champ Danell Leyva edged John Orozco for the lead
following prelims 91.850 to 91.800 and handled the pressure of the spotlight
with ease. During podium training, Leyva said that he’s got the sets conquered
and has been training great. He also mentioned the key for him at this point is
keeping the nerves in check. He not only kept the nerves in check, but really
performed his sets with calm confidence. He really seemed to be enjoying the
experience, as well, pumping his fist to the crowd at times, waving to fans and
really soaking in the experience. Nice to see!
Fighters Will Fight
With the pressure of the Olympic year drawing closer to an
intense climax, several athletes showed true grit as they fought to maintain
their stability up on the apparatus. Alex Naddour had an off-kilter full Kehr
on pommels tonight. Most athletes would have no shot at spinning completely
around on one hand crookedly. However, Naddour’s pommel prowess proved too
great as he fought and got his rhythm back. Similarly, Sam Mikulak caught his
Yamawaki release a bit close for comfort on high bar. This is actually a rather
common occurrence for athletes, and most have to bent-arm giant swing out of
the botched element. Mikulak, however, committed to the skill and swung with
fully extended arms, pressing down on the bar continuously. Great work, guys!
Join in the
conversation! Remember to visit www.facebook.com/insidegymnastics and let us
know if you agree with today’s Daily 5! Then, share your top moment for all to
see! Great observations always stand a good chance of ending up in the pages of
Inside Gymnastics magazine—subscribe
Photo Credit- Lloyd Smith