Skip to main content

WAG Team Final Preview

Tomorrow is the women's team final.
Team GB is hella excited for team finals tomorrow.

This is perhaps the Superbowl of gymnastics (since this event more or less happens every year). 8 teams have moved on to the team finals and will compete for a shot at glory. This team final is a little bittersweet since this will be the first worlds final without Romania in 45 years. However, there is a bright spot.

The Netherlands, who have been slowly staking out a claim in the gymnastics world, with gymnasts like Lieke and Sanne Wevers and Eythora Thorsdottier qualified to the team final for the first time in... I'm not sure. Not only that, they get the relief of knowing they qualified a full team to the Rio Olympics.

Just a refresher - the teams that are competing are:

  • USA
  • Russia
  • Great Britain
  • China
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Netherlands
Here are some standouts to look for:

As the current reigning team World champion, the US is favored to win. They have Simone Biles, the current two time world champion, and Gabby Douglas, the current Olympic Champion and Olympic beam champion Aly Raisman, who is looking to prove herself after a crap-tastic day in qualifications.They come into the final over five points ahead of their competition. At this point, it's assumed that they're untouchable.

USA's biggest competition at the moment comes from Russia. Who are here competing without their stalwart, Aliya Mustafina. However, they have a not so secret weapon in returing Olympians, Viktoria Komova, Ksenia Afanasyeva and Maria Paseka, as well as new favorites such as Daria Spiridonova and Seda Tutkhalyan. The Russia of last year looked like a young skittish team of scared kittens. This team are confident, calm individuals who look ready to go in for the battle ahead of them.

Canada is another big team to watch. They're not part of the big 4, but they're making a case, along with Great Britain and the US to become the next dominate force in gymnastics. In London, they had their highest finish ever at an Olympic Games, finishing 6th overall in the team final.  This year, with the help of their stalwart, Ellie Downie and Brittany Rogers (who is returning to Canada after a successful NCAA career competing for Georgia), a fellow 2012 Olympian along with Ellie. 

Great Britain - Beth Tweddle left behind a legacy of innovative bar routines and this team is carrying on her legacy and blazing a path in the gymnastics world. Standouts to look for - Ruby Harrold who throws a Bhardwaj (full twisting Pak Salto) and an old school Zuchold into her routine. Becky Downie - who throws a million Tkatchev variations in her routine, along with her own eponymous skill.

Japan - biggest favorites on this team for me would be Asuka Teramoto and Mai Murakami.  Asuka placed fourth in the beam final last year behind 2013 beam champion, Aliya Mustafina, who controversially gained the bronze medal even with leaving a requirement out of her routine. Asuka, on the other hand, did a beautiful, clean elegant routine, but was killed in her E-score. Little Mai is a floor phenom whom many on the gymternet believed should have received the bronze medal on floor in 2013.

The Netherlands - I already mentioned Sanne and Lieke Wevers earlier in this post. They're the Serena and Venus Williams of gymnastics (except they're Dutch and their both blond and blue eyed as opposed to the dark-haired and eyed Williams sisters). Sanne is particularly know for her beam.  Specifically, she's managed to compose a routine that is heralded for it's beauty and difficultly, particularly, her spins, which are her specialty. 

Italy - the outspoken Carlotta Ferlito is one to watch, particularly on beam. Italy also is bringing with them Vanessa Ferrari, who won the world championship in 2006 and is still competing to this day at the age 25, an age where most commentators would say is "washed up" but now, older gymnasts, in their late teens and early twenties are becoming more of the norm, perhaps a result of Ferrari's (and others) continued legacy in the sport. Even though she's been dealing with injuries, she's improved every year, and has refined her gymnastics and still picks up medals, beating out some of her younger competition.

The competition will start at 2:45 eastern time.

Start lists are available here.

Popular posts from this blog

Maddie Desch Retires From Elite

Yesterday, US gymnast Maddie Desch announced her retirement from elite gymnastics via her Instagram account.

Maddie, who trains at Great American Gymnastics Express, aka "GAGE" explained she came to the decision to retire due to a nagging injury that prevented her from training at the elite level.

Maddie Gardiner's Glorious Beam Series

I love NCAA gymnastics.

A Unique Beam Mount from Olivia Cimpian

Olivia Cimpian of Romania showed off a unique beam mount series at Elite Massalia in France.

Romania is historically a team that is proficient on beam and Olivia, a junior is no exception.