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French International Finals Preview

March 19, 2011

Now that the prelims are over, here are some predictions of who may medal in finals. With the weird 4 gymnasts per final format, 3/4 of the event finalists will be bringing home medals.

Vault

Tatiana Nabieva (RUS)
Qualified with: 14.483 (5.8/8.866, 5.2/9.1)

Aliya Mustafina (RUS)
Qualified with: 14.433 (5.8/9.233, 4.8/9.033)

Diana Chelaru (ROU)
Qualified with: 13.9 (5.8/9.0, 4.6/8.4)

Jennifer Khwela (RSA)
Qualified with: 13.733 (5.3/8.366, 5.0/8.8)

Unless Diana Chelaru upgrades her second vault for the finals, it looks like one of the Russians will win. Although Nabieva qualified first, I would be shocked if Mustafina did not win the finals. She sat down a 1/2 on front “layout” full in podium training, but I don’t see why she wouldn’t be capable of doing a layout or piked podkopayeva to her feet (although I’ve never seen either from her). Khwela will likely not be able to win a medal with her simpler vaults if the other finalists do not make any major mistakes.

Bars

Aliya Mustafina (RUS)
Qualified with: 15.833 (6.8/9.033)

Huang Qiushuang (CHN)
Qualified with: 15.466 (6.7/8.766)

Elisabeth Seitz (GER)
Qualified with: 14.866 (6.6/8.266)

Tatiana Nabieva (RUS)
Qualified with: 14.833 (6.1/8.733)

This event is undeniably Mustafina’s to lose. The big question is if she will attempt her new combination. Huang, barring any disasters, should be second. Assuming she did her normal routine here, it seems like the judges may have downgraded some pirouettes for being past handstand. Seitz and Nabieva should be battling for the bronze. The def seems to be killing Seitz’s execution score. If Nabieva connects her release to her pak salto as she did in training, she will probably be able to pass her.

Beam

Aliya Mustafina (RUS)
Qualified with: 15.333 (6.5/8.833)

Ana Porgras (ROU)
Qualified with: 14.733 (6.5/8.233)

Anna Dementyeva (RUS)
Qualified with: 14.7 (6.4/8.3)

Lauren Mitchell (AUS)
Qualified with: 14.433 (6.4/8.033)

I would like to see Ana Porgras win this title. It seems as though she was quite hesitant in prelims, with wobbles on some skills and missed connections, but she is still my favorite beam worker of the bunch. I’d also love Dementyeva and Mitchell to hit their routines and win medals, although it seems somewhat unlikely. Mustafina has a gigantic set if she can put it together.

Floor

Sandra Izbasa (ROU)
Qualified with: 14.933 (5.9/9.033)

Diana Chelaru (ROU)
Qualified with: 14.733 (5.9/8.833)

Vanessa Ferrari (ITA)
Qualified with: 14.3 (5.4/8.9)

Anna Dementyeva (RUS)
Qualified with: 13.9 (5.6/8.4-.01)

It seems like Izbasa’s new routine is working for her. She has gotten rid of her second pass that she could rarely keep in bounds and added two new passes to replace it- with the same difficulty. I’d love to see her win tomorrow. Chelaru will be a strong challenger with the same difficulty. She has also changed around her tumbling a bit; she is no longer performing a double layout and has added jumps out of two tumbling passes, which seems to be working for her. Ferrari will likely get the bronze with her typically clean routine. Dementyeva is a beautiful dancer, but her tumbling is usually landed low.

Full Results: VAULT BARS BEAM FLOOR

Click here for quick hits from gymnastics examiner.

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