2017 Stuttgart World Cup Recap
German Olympian and birthday girl Tabea Alt won the gold medal, followed by Russian Angelina Melnikova, and first year senior American Morgan Hurd. Thankfully the meet was no where near as much of a mess as the American Cup.
Tabea competed a strong double twisting Yurchenko vault, as did Angelina and Morgan. Pauline Schaefer from Germany, who earned fourth place, performed a front handspring layout with a half twist. Dutch gymnast Eythora Thorsdottir also performed a double twisting Yurchenko but landed with her chest on her knees and seemed to have hit the vault at a weird angle during the back handspring part of her Yurchenko. Zhang Jin from China competed a Tsuk with a full twist and Great Britain’s Alice Kinsella, who competed in her first senior international meet in Stuttgart, performed a good Yurchenko full.
Angelina Melnikova earned the highest score on uneven bars despite a weird error where she almost got stuck in a handstand after an in bar and before a full pirouette. She competed Komova II, Pak, Van Leeuewen, etc etc etc. Bars is the least fun to recap because there are only so many combinations of high value skills. Melnikova ended her routine with a full in. Morgan Hurd earned the second highest score on uneven bars and has impressive height on her release skills. Eythora had a good routine featuring a Chow, Pak, Maloney, bail, Jaegar, and full twisting double back dismount. Tabea had a good double layout dismount and Pauline did non flyaway style dismount with a toe on layout half. Zhang Jin had a rough routine. She messed up a handstand after a Pak salto and attempted to continue her routine but went over on another handstand and came off the bar. Jin then had to do a few more kip cast handstands without skills attached before dismounting with a full in. Alice Kinsella missed the bar on her Ricna and fell but finished her routine nicely.
Tabea hit her beam routine which began with a round off layout mount followed by a side aerial to layout step out layout step out. She also performed a switch leap to switch leap with a half turn, leap to side somi, front aerial and a round off double pike dismount. Schaefer earned the second highest score on balance beam and performed her signature skill which no one else in the world has competed yet and I’m eager to see more attempts at it because Pauline makes it look extremely easy. Zhang Jin has a good beam routine following a less than ideal uneven bar set. She competed confidently and nailed her back handspring back handspring layout. She also performed a side somi, front aerial, and standing back tuck before dismounting with a back handspring back handspring double pike. Melnikova fell on a back handspring back handspring layout step out and wobbled on an L turn but performed a front aerial to split jump to straddle pretty well and capped her routine off with a really, really nice round off double pike dismount. Alice performs the scariest and coolest mount ever with a back handspring to chest support on the beam. She unfortunately fell on a side aerial to layout step out layout step out but the mount is the really important part of her routine which she nailed. Eythora began her routine with a fall and seemed off for the remainder of the routine with many balance checks and wobbles. She performed a double stag ring jump, side aerial to Korbut, illusion turn (heart eye emoji) and a triple twist dismount. Morgan Hurd had two falls on balance beam and at first I blamed the meet organizers for playing the music during the saddest scene in Love Actually while she competed but then upon closer listening I determined it was from the Leonardo DiCaprio Romeo + Juliet, which Catherine Lyons used as her floor music all the way back in 2014. Turns out Craig Armstrong composed the score for both Love Actually and Leo + Claire Danes + Iambic Pentameter. You’re welcome. Without the music to blame, I can only guess nerves first meet as a senior nerves caused Morgan to fall. She fell on a standing full despite a big fight to stay on the beam. She then fell again on a back handspring layout step out but successfully performed a punch front, front aerial, side aerial with a wobble, and a really great full twisting double back dismount.
Tabea Alt also earned the highest score on floor where she sealed her win. She competed simple but clean tumbling. She opened with a full in, followed up with a front tuck through to double tuck, and finished with a double pike. Tabea also performed a double L turn to full turn and really nice switch ring, among other nice leaps. Pauline Schaefer earned only .034 less than Tabea on floor with a routine featuring a double layout, front handspring to front double twist, double pike, a very nice double turn in attitude, and a triple turn. Morgan upgraded her first tumbling pass from a piked full in to a massive double twisting double tuck and competed the piked full in as her second pass. She also competed a front layout to front double full and a double pike with a small step but she performed the entire routine extremely well considering she had had two falls on beam. Zhang Jin performed a whip to triple twist, double twist to front pikey layout, and finished her routine with but low valued a clean double twist. Angelina Melnikova competed a routine with impressive tumbling but went out of bounds on both her double Arabian and piked full in. Melnikova also performed a triple L turn, double Y turn, double layout and double pike. Eythora started her routine with a triple twist to punch front which is an impressive pass but she landed the punch front completely out of bounds. She successfully performed her dizzying and amazing L turn to double turn to Y turn to illusion turn combination. Eythora also competed a double tuck and two and a half twist. Even when she makes mistakes, Eythora performs the hell out of her routine and she should give master classes at every competition she attends. Alice Kinsella had a rough routine where she fell on her opening double Arabian and went out of bounds on her double pike. She hit her one and a half through to two and a half twist.