By Anna Rose Johnson
We’re getting excited for 2018 Worlds—just days away! The anticipation is building in the gymnastics world as we inch closer and closer. The world’s finest gymnasts are about to gather to compete in the most nerve-wracking of competitions. Check out a few of the top storylines for the women’s competition…
Feature Photo by Grace Chiu
1. A Surprise Team Medal?
Prior to 2015, it was extremely rare to see a team outside of the Big Four (the United States, Russia, Romania and China) crack onto the team podium at Worlds. Could we see another upset in the Doha team final? With the Japanese and French teams on the rise, it’s a strong possibility!
2. The Return of Mustafina:
Ever since Aliya Mustafina took a break from gymnastics after Rio, fans have been eagerly awaiting her comeback at a major meet, but a nagging knee injury forced her to withdraw from two competitions following her successful performances at Russian Championships in April. Currently, she’s set to compete balance beam and her signature uneven bars, but she’s also been training floor exercise. Will she snag a medal on uneven bars? While she’s won back-to-back Olympic uneven bars gold medals, she’s never won World gold. Could that change in Doha?
3. All-Around Aspirations:
We know Simone Biles is virtually guaranteed to qualify to the all-around in Doha, but who will be the other U.S. woman to join her in the prestigious final? With an immensely talented group of athletes who also have the potential to win all-around medals—including reigning World All-Around champion Morgan Hurd and the balletic Riley McCusker—it will be exciting to see who will make the finals and compete alongside Biles to potentially garner the U.S. two all-around medals!
4. Battle of the Beam:
Shaping up to be one of the most thrilling aspects of Doha, the balance beam final should be an epic battle. With execution scores judged harshly under this Code of Points, it’s difficult to receive a high score—which makes beam a highly competitive apparatus. 2017 World Balance Beam Champion Pauline Schäfer is injured and unable to defend her title. Could we see another intricate and innovative triumph from 2016 Olympic Balance Beam Champion Sanne Wevers? Will Simone Biles regain her 2015 title? Or could we see a newcomer step up and claim the gold?
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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com