Highlights from 2016 Olympics Qualifications: Individuals
All the gymnasts who independent, throw your hands up at me. A look back at the gymnasts who competed at the 2016 Olympic qualifications as individuals. .
Alexa Moreno from Mexico competed in the 2015 World Championships vault final but she lost three tenths of a point on her handspring front layout one and a half twist for stepping out of bounds. Alexa would have qualified into the final without the large step and hopefully she will attempt to qualify into the vault final at next year’s Worlds. Alexa also competed a piked Deltchev which very few gymnasts compete and therefore it awoke GymMapStics from the stupor she sometimes slips into while watching hours and hours of what sometimes feels like compulsory gymnastics. Alexa also competed a difficult floor routine consisting of a double double, a double layout, a two and a half twist and a double pike. Alexa also hit her beam routine and although she had a solid overall performance, she did not qualify into the all around final or any event finals.
Houry Gebeshian was a bright little ray of sunshine throughout qualifications who gave each apparatus a big old smooch after she finished her routines. Rather than think about how possibly unsanitary it might have been to kiss the floor where a million feet have been, let’s discuss her gymnastics! Houry competed a full twisting Yurchenko vault, her fancy new mount on uneven bars, side aerial, back handspring layout step out, switch leap back tuck and round off double tuck on beam, and double pike, double tuck, and front handspring front layout full on floor. Houry’s obvious excitement for the opportunity to compete made her an absolute joy to watch and it is a real pity she does not have more opportunities to do so.
Zsofia Kovacs from Hungary qualified in thirty third place in the all around during prelims, which made her the third reserve athlete. Zsofia competed a double twisting Yurchenko and a Tsuk full in an attempt to qualify into the vault final; however, she placed thirteenth behind Alexa Moreno from Mexico. The first year senior gets great height on her Yurchenko vault and finishes twisting far before she land and it will be interesting to see if she upgrades this to an Amanar. Zsofia competed a good routine on uneven bars with a Maloney, Pak, Van Leeuwen, and a full in dismount. She unfortunately had a fall on her roundoff layout on beam and fell onto her knees following her double tuck on floor. Zsofia would have qualified into the all around finals without either of these falls which makes the future of this young gymnast very exciting.
Ana Perez, the sole representative from Spain, performed a Yurchenko full with a step. She missed many of her handstands on uneven bars but hit her switch leap switch half back tuck series on beam as well has her back handspring layout step out combination. Ana completed her beam routine with a double tuck dismount. If the choreographers and coordinators of the Kelloggs Super Tour of Kinda Gymnastics and Some Dance and Mostly Other Things have been paying attention to anything over the past few years, they would have realized that whip backs blow people’s mind, as demonstrated by Ana’s whip whip back handspring back handspring full in tumbling pass that made the audience in Rio lose their collective sh*t. Seriously, all gala’s and gymnastics entertainment events should only be people doing whip backs into various skills, even layouts, and the crowd will definitely feel as though they’ve got their money’s worth.
Venezuelan gymnast Jessica Lopez has been a fixture at World Championships and World Cup events for roughly a million years. We’d be praising her longevity and old age if it were not for resident septuagenarian Oksana Chusovitina. Thirty year old Jessica has had event final worthy bar routines for the past few years yet she failed to qualify into the uneven bars final due to always seeming to fall on her straddle Tkatchev but she saved her best routine for the most important qualification round of the quad. Jessica qualified into the uneven bars final but also competed a strong double twisting Yurchenko and good beam and floor sets.
Turkey’s Tutya Yilmaz competed an absolutely beautiful and unique beam routine but unfortunately she did not qualify into the beam final. Tutya served as the third reserve for the final which was extremely disappointing because it would have been great to see a gymnast from far outside the top countries to compete in a final. Miss Yilmaz’s routine consists of a back handspring layout full, which she nailed, a switch leap with a half twist to a layout step out, front aerial to split jump to wolf jump, leap to side aerial, and a double tuck dismount. Tutya’s routine features creative composition and connections and she performs with excellent toe point and extension which makes her routine all the more enjoyable. Tutya hopefully will continue competing on the international level and could qualify into the balance beam final at World Championships next year.
Toni-Ann Williams, who represents Jamaica while concurrently competing in NCAA for the University of California, Berkley, competed a super difficult double front dismount on beam. Toni also struggled on bars with a handstand that looked more like a cartwheel (yes, on the uneven bars) but managed to remain on the bars and finished with a great full in dismount.
Katarzyna Jurowska-Kowalska from Poland did not have the greatest meet, which included a fall on an attempt at an eponymous skill. Katarzyna tried a Gainer off the end of the beam with two twists but she did not get enough height or twist quickly enough to land the skill. She performed the skill better, but not by much, at European Championships and hopefully KJK will attempt it again and land it upright at the next World Championships. Katarzyna hit the rest of the skills in her beam routine, including a front toss to back handspring, side aerial, switch ring, front aerial to sheep jump, and Sissone to side somi. The Polish gymnast had a strange fall on bars during a hop element that appeared more of a mental error than a physical mistake. Katarzyna had a successful floor routine featuring a front handspring double front, a double twist, a front handspring layout full and a ring jump full, her existing eponymous skill.
Australia’s Larrissa Miller chose to compete only on uneven bars and floor exercise but failed to advance to either event final. She performed a strong uneven bars set including an excellent Ricna to Gienger combination as well as a huge full in dismount. Although she did not have any major errors, the extremely deep field of competitors prevented Larrissa from competing in the final. Larrissa opened her floor routine with a front layout to double front and followed up with a front full to front one and a half to beat jump, the latter of which allows her to avoid any potential landing deductions. She then performed a very well executed Arabian double front and unfortunately ended her routine with a two and a half twist to front butt bounce when she did not get enough height on her punch front to land on her feet.
Kylie Dickson, who hopefully has not come to hate gymnastics nor suffered irreparable emotional damage for the amount of crap hurled her way regarding the actions of the adults around her, seems to have suffered from an injury recently. She competed watered down routines including a layout in a combination tumbling pass… in the Olympics.You only compete a layout in the Olympics if you are literally Emily Kmetko and learned gymnastics on a playground or if you are injured. As it has been mentioned a thousand times, Kylie did not advance to the US Nationals in 2015 after competing at the US Classic but she would not have even qualified to the US Classic with these routines, making any arguments about why by examining these routines alone Kylie should not have competed in the Olympics completely null and void.
Slovenian gymnast Teja Belak only competed on vault and performed a Yurchenko one and a half and a handspring front full which she sat down. Teja competes in almost every World Challenge Cup event so there is a strong change the gymnastics world will see her compete again in Szombathely in October.
Emma Larsson from Sweden performed an excellent back handspring back handspring layout combination, an Onodi, and a back handspring back handspring double tuck dismount.
Guatemala’s Ana Sofia Gomez excelled on beam with a back handspring back tuck with a full twist, a switch leap to switch leap with a half turn, side aerial to split jump, and front aerial to wolf jump. She performed a back handspring back handspring double tuck combination dismount but put her hands down the dismount which incurs a huge deduction.
Greek gymnast Vasiliki Millousi competed only on balance beam and fell from the apparatus on a side aerial. She also competed a switch ring, back handspring back handspring layout stepout combination, and front aerial to sheep jump.