Highlights from Qualifications: Outside the Top 8 Teams
Twelve teams competed in the qualification round of the 2016 Olympics and only eight teams qualified into the team final. Continue reading for a breakdown of the teams that only competed in prelims.
Canada finished in fifth place during the team competition at the 2012 Olympic Games and missed qualifying into the team final by .168 points. The team consisted of two veterans from 2012, Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers, and three newcomers, including two first year seniors, Rose Woo and Shallon Olsen. The team representing the great white north began their qualification day on beam where two falls immediately put them in a snowy hole out of which they would have a tough time trying to climb. Isabela Onyshko hit her back handspring full twist and qualified into the balance beam finals. The Canadians also had a fall on a double layout on uneven bars and aside from the fall had a successful rotation. Ellie Black performed a straddle Hindorff as well as the pike variation named for her competitor, Shang Chunsong. Ellie also performed her unique sole circle dismount that always initially appears as a mistake and induces heart attacks in audience members. Ellie also competed unique tumbling on floor with her two and a half through to double tuck tumbling pass and one and a half twisting layout through to double pike. Rose Woo, Isabela Onyshko, and Shallon Olsen also competed for Canada on floor, with Shallon Olsen competing an extremely difficult double twisting double back tuck. Shallon also competed an Amanar on vault as well as a round off half on one and a half twist off in the tuck position and her qualifications score earned a spot in the vault event final. Brittany Rogers who recently finished her NCAA career at the University of Georgia competed a double twisting Yurchenko. Ellie Black performed a front handspring front full and a Kas that is different from a Tsuk but no one knows how with one and a half twists. Despite solid performances with the exception of the beam falls, Canada did not qualify into the team final, which is disappointing considering how well they did in 2012. The country seemed to have been on the upswing and building a great deal of depth but other countries have also been improving throughout the quad, specifically the Netherlands with their Sky Dancer strategy and Brazil with their we can’t embarrass ourselves at a home Olympics improvement plan.
France missed out on qualifying into the team final event but performed very well during qualifications. Louise Vanhille competed abeautiful bar set with a Chow transition to immediate uprise to Hindorff, a huge Ricna, a beautiful Jaegar, and double layout dismount. Laon His competed solely on uneven bars and her routine included a Seitz transition to mix grip and a strong Jaegar but she unfortunately fell on her Church release move. Loan also did not reach a complete handstand position on multiple occasions throughout the routine, which is probably not something one looks for in one’s uneven bars specialist. Oreane Lechenault fell from the apparatus on her first skill which can be attributed to Olympic nerves seeing as Oreane entered the senior division this year. She remounted the bars and competed a great routine. Oreane has good skills and with a few more years and polish could become a major contributor on future French teams. Marine Brevet, or navy patent as Twitter translate calls her, performed a solid uneven bar routine that includes an uncommon double Arabian front dismount. The French gymnasts did not have any falls on balance beam but they did have each gymnast perform a switch leap to switch leap half twist which adds one tenth bonus onto the gymnast’s difficulty value. Marine Boyer, or navy boyer as Twitter translate knows her, hit a solid routine with a round off layout, requisite switch leap switch half, Sissone to front aerial, leap to side somi, and double pike dismount and qualified into the balance beam final. France does not have a great deal of difficulty on floor but they do have very interesting routines. Marine Brevet performs to a Pink Floyd song and competes a huge double layout but then her difficulty dwindles and she performs a one and a half twist to stag jump. Oreane Lecheault performs to creepy haunted house music and dances as if she were a possessed music box doll that has come to life and it is awesome. Marine Boyer and Louise Vanhille also competed on floor and each performed a double tuck, a double pike, and a twisting layout. The four core gymnasts of the French team each competed a full twisting Yurchenko and the low level of difficulty could not compete with teams with multiple Amanars and double twisting Yurchenkos. The team had a good meet overall, despite the two falls on bars, and qualified a gymnast into an event final, which is a huge accomplishment.
Belgium had a good qualification round overall but simply does not have the collective difficulty that could put them in a team final. The team competed three full twisting Yurchenkos on vault and a one and a half Yurchenko; however, Rune Hermans put her hands down on her 1.5 Yurchenko, which resulted in a very large deduction. Belgium also had a solid rotation on uneven bars with an exceptionally good second half of the lineup. Rune Hermans and Senna Deriks opened the rotation with good routines without any major errors yet the two gymnasts can improve upon hitting their handstands at 90 degrees and overall form. Nina Derwael and Laura Waem closed out the lineup with very strong routines. Nina performed a 6.6 difficulty routine that included many impressive and connected skills, such as a Ricna to Pak, Maloney, Van Leeuwen, and a gorgeous Bhardwaj. Laura also performed a strong set with less difficulty than Nina but she hit all of her handstands and showed good form throughout her routine. Belgium had a fall free beam rotation with Nina Derwael opening the rotation with a solid routine with on a small wobble on her back handspring back handspring layout step out combination. She completed her routine with a Steingruber dismount, which is a full twisting gainer layout off the end of the beam. Rune Hermans followed Derwael and performed a solid back handspring layout step out layout step out combination. Laura Waem competed a side aerial back tuck combination which stands out in a field of extremely similar acro combinations. Gaelle Mys anchored beam and competed a beautiful routine with an Onodi, Sissone front aerial, back handspring layout step out, and a double pike dismount. The team also competed four strong routines on floor with Nina Derwael performing beautiful leaps and crazy vocals in her routine and Mys performing a front handspring double twist punch front. For more on the gymnast from Belgium, visit the Belgian gymnastics blog.
Italy competed well during qualifications if we pretend the balance beam does not exist. They put up three double twisting Yurchenkos and a one and a half Yurchenko on vault. Although the form on many of these skills leaves much to be desired, the gymnasts demonstrated strong difficulty in these vaults that should have put them in the team final. The Italians also put up four competitive floor routines, although every gymnast opted to perform a double salto in every tumbling pass, which would incur a deduction for lack of composition variation in the GymMapStics Code of Points. Vanessa Ferrari and Erika Fasana both performed a double twisting double tuck, double layout, and a double pike. The team also put up four solid routines on uneven bars with only a small error from Fasana on her double layout dismount. Martina Rizzelli performed a packed routine with a Church, Ricna, Pak, Maloney, and a full in dismount. Ferrari performs a number of turning elements on the high bar, reminiscent of the 2005-2008 CoP and also performs many of her skills in L grip, including a Jaegar release move from L grip. Despite Italy’s strong showing on vault, bars, and floor, they failed to qualify into the team final mainly due to a balance beam meltdown. The team suffered from falls on three out of four routines with only anchor Elisa Meneghina anchor hitting all of her skills. Vanessa Ferrari had a wince inducing landed-on-her-thigh-before-actually-falling fall on a full twisting back tuck, Carlotta Ferlito fell on a back handspring back handspring layout step out, and Erika Fasana fell on a back handspring layout. The skills on which these gymnasts fell were not simple or easy skills and these are not inexperienced gymnasts. These gymnasts each represented Italy at the 2012 Olympics and Ferrari has competed internationally for at least ten years. These gymnasts did not fall victim to Olympic nerves but fell on difficult skills and all seemed to suffer from an off day on the same day. Despite their struggles, Ferrari managed to qualify into the all around and floor final and Erika Fasana also qualified into the floor final.