That competition was a little more exciting than I had expected.
Let me try to remember everything that happened, which might be a task because the amount of champagne I had throughout the competition.
So before the competition even started, Lauren from TheGymternet broke the news that Gabby Douglas fired her coach today. NBC reports during it’s coverage that she’s only allowed one coach on the floor during competition and that she chose Buckeye assistant coach Christian Gallardo instead of Buckeye head coach Kittia Carpenter. From what I’ve gathered, both of these accounts are a little bit exaggerated. Gabby and Kittia have not been working together much since Nationals, and Gabby has struggled to put in time to fully train in preparation for this competition. So the report that Kittia was fired today is false, however it wasn’t a decision made just because of a one coach on the floor rule – which by the way doesn’t apply to Trials and only the Olympics.
This really must have messed with Gabby’s focus for this competition, and it really showed. She missed connections and got several dance skills downgraded on floor, missed a few handstands on bars, and then fell off of beam on her single L turn. And ends up in seventh place.
I was expecting Gabby to still place behind Aly and Laurie, possibly Madison, but I wasn’t expecting her to place behind Mykayla and Ragan too.
Now Marta has said after this competition that her primary team hasn’t changed due to this competition, and it begs to wonder. Did she ever have Gabby on it? Is she not wanting to scare the press by saying Gabby is off of it now? Or will she take Gabby even though her last three all-around competitions have all had a miss in them?
Her Worst Is Still The Best
This competition for Simone was really not good, and she seemed shaky on nearly all of her events. Making the same mistake on bars that she did at Nationals, nearly falling on her wolf turn on beam (which I NEVER imagined would happen to her) and taking huge hops on all of her tumbling passes and her vault really shows that she’s a tiny bit unsure of herself. Simone is so unreal though, the 61.850 that she scored today is her lowest all-around score all year, but it was still good enough to a point ahead of second place.
In my opinion, Simone should have been named to the team in St. Louis. There is no reason to put her through this. Though it might be good to get her used to the high pressure. As we saw in 2015’s all-around finals, she has started to let her nerves show more than they did earlier in her career.
Laurie & Aly Show Why They Are Locks
If there was any doubt going into this competition, both Laurie and Aly really solidified their case for being on the Olympic team. As I predicted in the all-around review thread earlier today, Laurie ended up second with Aly going down to third here. These two gymnasts along with Simone really deserve to do all-around in prelims at the Olympics. I’m afraid that some bafoonery will prevent Aly from doing bars, which really will kill any reason for her comeback as she’s stated her goal this comeback was to get an all-around medal. But I honestly don’t think Marta will do that to her.
This is all pretty useless though, because it seems at the moment that Laurie will be the second all-arounder in Rio. She made a major error on the uneven bars and was still able to score a 14.90 there. And on her other three events, she really shined.
Well did she not have the competition of her life? I bet she’s lowkey pissed that NBC didn’t air her 14.85 beam routine (which placed her fourth on the event, behind Simone, Laurie, and Ragan) after her disaster at Nationals. She really put herself back into the conversation for the Rio team, especially if Gabby has another disaster on day 2. Some might not like her form or her opinion on matters outside of gymnastics, but she really does have a great attitude in the sport and the fact that she’s fighting this hard after all her competitions this year really shows that she deserves to be in that conversation.
Bar Specialists Being Decided on Beam
What a strange thing. After today it seems that the bar specialist has been decided, but not because of bars. Both Ashton Locklear and Madison Kocian scored a 15.75 on bars today, however Ashton Locklear got an abysmal 13.20 on beam which happened to be the third lowest score of the entire competition. And while neither Madison or Ashton are likely to compete beam in Rio at this point, any little thing helps the selection committee make their decision.
Ashton’s only hope at this point is that Marta wants to take both her and Madison to Rio, in place of Gabby. Which is another possibility that makes sense.
Unfortunately, Maggie Nichols’s comeback to the all-around ended when she fell on beam, so much that NBC didn’t even bother to show her floor routine. She was able to score a 14.90 there though, but at the moment Mykayla Skinner would bring more to the team in a vault & floor situation so it seems her hopes would be for an alternate at best right now.
Ragan Smith did better than I was expecting, and hopefully NBC decides to show all four of her routines on Sunday. I don’t see any situations where she really fits into the team, but she is definitely gunning for the first alternate spot I think.
Amelia Hundley hit four for four again, and so did surprisingly Brenna Dowell. I wish both of these girls would have gotten more rewards for their hard work throughout the quad, but it doesn’t look like they’ll get anything past Sunday.