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Who is going to make it? – Vault Finals

July 16, 2012

Credit: Grace Chiu/ for

Continuing with our pre-Olympic coverage, we are going to take a look at the gymnasts that might have a shot on each event final. Let`s start with vault!

1)    Mckayla Maroney: She is the ultimate favorite to win the gold medal. Current world champion on this event, Maroney has probably the best execution scores out of any vaulter nowadays and with her upgraded second vault, it should be hard not to have her on top of the podium for USA. Difficulty: 6,5+6,1

2)    Oksana Chusovitina: The 37-year-old from Germany can also be considered a shoe-in for vault finals. She definitely has the experience on her side, which can be a big help against younger gymnasts who just might not perform as well under pressure. This year, she took the silver medal at the European Championships. Difficulty: 6,3+5,5

3)    Janine Berger: Talking about the Germans, we should also pay attention to Berger who, although is a first-year-senior, performs two very difficult vaults and has beaten Chusovitina at the German National Championships. Difficulty: 6,3+6,0

4)    Sandra Izbasa: The current European vault champion should also be in the battle for medals. She debuted a Mustafina vault this year and is rumored to have already upgraded that to a Cheng! Romania is on fire this year and Izbasa is no different. Difficulty: 6,1+5,8 (6,5+5,8 if she competes the Cheng)

5)    Yamilet Peña: We all hold our breaths whenever she attempts the infamous Produnova vault. Although it has not worked well at all so far, if the Dominican Republic gymnast actually pulls that off, she could challenge for a spot at the podium. She has the highest level of difficulty out of the girls. Difficulty: 7,1+5,8

6)    Giulia Steingruber: The Swiss star has a lot of international experience and world cup medals under her belt. She is also the bronze medalist at Euros this year. Maybe she is not one of the favorites to make the top three at the Olympics, but I will be surprised if she doesn`t make the finals. Difficulty: 6,3+5,2

7)    Valeria Maksyuta: She had to prove to the Israel Olympic Committee that she was worth the group of athletes going to London (they publicly stated that she had to do well at Euros to secure her spot at the Olympics) and a big part of that was due to her vault skills. She took fourth place at Euros this year. Difficulty: 5,8+5,9

8)    Ellie Black: This Canadian talent has earned her sport on her country`s team and should give her all to make the vault finals. She has made a great impression on some world cup events this year, so we shouldn`t count her out. Difficulty: 6,5+5,2

9)    Other girls that could sneak into vault finals:

Phan Thi Ha Thanh – Although she has been quite this year and supposedly has gone through some personal issues, the Vietnamese star that surprised everyone and took the bronze medal at last year`s Worlds should not be forgotten. Difficulty: 5,9+5,8

Maria Paseka – If she pulls off the Amanar, the fifth member of the Russian team could actually make vault finals as well. Difficulty: 6,5+5,2

Brittany Rogers – Canada: 5,8+5,2

Anastasia Grishina – Russia: 5,8+5,2

Anne Khum – France: 5,8+5,2

These three girls all compete two vaults with the same difficulty and although they are not among the top girls, they could do the unexpected and make it to event finals.

Who do you think are going to be the top 8 gymnasts to make the vault finals? What is your dream podium? Leave your comments below!

Thanks to The All Around, that provided information about the difficulty scores:

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2012 12:24 PM

    Hi! So has aliya officially given up throwing two vaults? I’m surprised (if she was just practising one vault) that she didn’t train the mustafina instead of a DDTY because it has a higher start value and it’s her own! 🙂

    • July 16, 2012 12:38 PM

      I think that in order to save her knee, competing two vaults was just not an option anymore. And the DTY is supposed to become an Amanar, which has a higher start than the Mustafina. I am so scared of this, though! I wish she would just stick to the nice DTYs she has been throwing.

  2. July 16, 2012 12:38 PM

    Yes it was said a while ago she will only do one vault. Gaining back floor and beam more important I suppose. It has been confirmed she will throw an amanar in TF, we’ll all hold out breath for that!

    My list is much the same though there are a lot fighting for the bottom few spots, depending on whether Pena stands up her vault, and how well Ti Phan does, she has been struggling.
    McKayla (definite)
    Oksana (def)
    Sandra (def)
    Giulia (probably)
    Ti Phan (probably)
    Yamilet (50/50!)

    The other two are more up for grabs- do you think it’s definite Paseka will be allowed throw the amanar in prelims to qualify? Or save for TF? It seems unstable. Ellie Black and Paseka with an amanar. Maksyuta has a good chance too.

    • July 16, 2012 12:57 PM

      Regarding Paseka, i think it is all going to depend on her consistency with the Amanar. If she is doing it well on training, I would think she could compete on Prelims, putting Russia in one more event finals. Otherwise, they will probably have her do the DTY on prelims and pray that she gets the Amanar right on TF!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    July 16, 2012 1:02 PM

    Jade Barbosa should have been on the list … it’s a big shame she won’t be in London.

    The best attempt of Peña at the Produnova was this year at ZiBo, scored 15.700, if she can repeat that it would win a medal but that would be a big if. I would love it if she could pull of a great vault in the event.

    The only woman you missed out is Aliya Mustafina. She scored 15.166 at the European Championships at Vault. I don’t know why so many have written her off this year.

    By the way your vocabulary and grammar is perfect! Amazing for your second language.

    • July 16, 2012 1:45 PM

      Yeah, the whole Jade situation is really a shame. She was the only real chance of medal for Brazil, so I am personally very upset (although there is probably more to the story than what everyone is talking about).
      I didn’t include Mustafina because she is not competing a second vault anymore, so she cannot qualify for vault finals, even though she has been throwing some very nice DTYs, as you pointed out.

      And thanks about the vocab/grammar comment! It means a lot!

  4. July 16, 2012 1:13 PM

    Great post! I think a lot of people are hoping that with Maroney’s form, other people’s Amanars will get the scores they deserve. Aliya was never the best in the form department and I definitely agree with you – it’s not worth the risk for a VT EF medal. I’m curious where Paseka and Grishina fall with their 2 vaults. Grishina was never consistent and, again, it isn’t worth the risk when she may have just recovered (is recovering?) from an injury and has the other 3 events to worry about.

    I do hope Maroney medals but Izbasa can come dangerously close. Janine Berger was a pleasant surprise! If one of the main 3 doesn’t medal (Maroney, Izbasa, Chuso), I hope that Steingruber does. She’s been a force in the vaulting world for the past few years now and has really good form! It would be exciting if Pena landed the Produnova too but that’s a big if. Than is a pleasant addition to the vault final, especially since she has clean form, but I don’t think she can medal again unless there are major errors for others.

    VT finals are going to be very exciting!

    • July 16, 2012 1:54 PM

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked it.
      About the Russians, I don’t think Grishina is going for two vaults this time either. It is a long shot and she should probably focus on her AA chances (I think she and Mustafina will be battling for the second spot).
      I also think the main 3 are the most sure bets, but anything can happen! I would love to see Pena do a good job 🙂

  5. July 16, 2012 3:14 PM

    Mustafina will get the second AA spot…her d-score including amanar and recent upgrades could be as high as 26.1. Grishina I think will be more of a contributor to TF than anything- her max difficulty is 24.8. (Vika 26). I personally think nobody stands a chance against Maroney. Pena’s vault is sooo low if not crashed, and Sandra isn’t as clean as Maroney- if she throws her Cheng there’s a pile of deductions. Now if Maroney crashes it would get very interesting but that’s extremely unlikely..and I think she deserves the gold anyway.

    • July 16, 2012 7:33 PM

      I worry about Mustafina’s execution actually. If she does compete the Amanar, preliminaries will be the first time she tries it in more than a year, so it could not go as well as expected, making her total score drop and leaving the door open to Grishina. Both girls have a record of inconsistencies though, so we are gonna have to wait and see 🙂 Personally, I am rooting for Musty on this one!

  6. Cecile permalink
    July 16, 2012 5:17 PM

    Here is what I think:
    Maroney (I mean… come on. She would need to start running and crash onto the vault…. like Kramarenko in 2007)
    Chuso (Eum… duh!)
    Izbasa (she is not a 2 time european vault champion for nothing!)
    Steingruber (Ariella Kaeslin #2)
    Mustafina (World silver medalist… what can I say)
    Phan Thi Ha Thanh (Surprise bronze medalist!)
    Berger (great vaulter, beaten Chuso before)
    Pena (only if she hits her double front orelse it’s Rogers)

    Podium: Maroney, Chuso, Izbasa (I wish, but I think it will be Maroney, Musty, Chuso)

    • July 16, 2012 7:35 PM

      Mustafina is not competing two vaults anymore (as far as we know it), that’s why I didn’t count her on this post! 🙂

  7. July 16, 2012 9:03 PM

    I really want Maroney to win. Frankly, I was ready to ban the Amanar until I saw her compete it.

    • July 17, 2012 9:54 AM

      There are two other very safe ones that we know of- Ebee’s and Simone Biles, who is a junior. Larisa Iordache’s and Vika’s look fine, but very hard to tell. Huang’s is a bit dodgy looking. Kyla’s is unsafe, Aly’s is a disaster waiting to happen, Jordyn’s is low at the final twist and can land with legs locked and Gabby’s is flat and low. Hopefully next quad will see this amanaring tamed down…though an 0.2 deduction in its value isn’t a huge deal!

      • July 17, 2012 9:02 PM

        Indeed, I wish it could be downgraded to a 6.2 or a 6.1. I don’t understand how they come up with the values for the vaults, but I would like a great DTY to beat a sloppy Amanar. I want to make sure that Kyla Ross’ DTY always beats Aly Raisman’s Amanar.

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