Who is going to make it? – Vault Finals
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: http://the-all-around.com/2012/07/09/wag-best-scores-9-july/