UPDATE: Ha! Literally right after I finished writing this post International Gymnast Magazine had posted an article about the Chinese Nationals.
Gold: Cheng Fei (nice Yurchenko double, solid Cheng 15.812 Average Score)
Silver: Deng Shaojie (never heard of this girl, vaulted a handspring Rudi and Tsuk Double! Poor form and somewhat shaky landings, however)
Bronze: Deng Linlin (Yurchenko double and handspring pike-front 1/2, clean landings but lacks height and second vault is too weak to qualify for an Olympic vault final)
Gold: He Kexin (Duh she won. However, she over arched her low bar handstand a little bit, shock horror, but otherwise very solid 17.325)
Silver: Yang Yilin (I believe a 7.7 A-score! A couple missed handstands but very good-16.725)
Bronze: Pang Panpan (A couple form breaks and "only" a 7.1 A-score but beating Yuyuan in bars finals improves Panpan's Olympic chances ever so slightly-16.475)
Note: Sui Lu fell twice in her bar routine during event finals
Gold: Sui Lu (7.0 A-score, two wobbles and a sizable step on the dismount. A 16.575?! These Chinese judges put even the Scam Cup judges to shame when it comes to the outrageous over scoring of home gymnasts.)
Silver: Guo Wei 16.500/6.9 A-score
Bronze: Zhang Nan 16.300/6.8 A-score (Good for her! However, her scoring potential is lower than that of Shanshan and Sha, and thus she still likely won't be on the team)
Other Notes: Li Shanshan hit everything in her beam routine except the godforsaken 180 degree leg-up full turn, which she fell on AGAIN. Xiao Sha fell on her two-foot layout acro series and finished 8th.
Gold: Cheng Fei (Cheng competed her tucked double-double with a bit of a low landing. Everything else was fine, adding a 2.5 twist in place of her usual double to bump up her A-mark to a 6.5. Adding a piked full-in to the end of the routine should take place at the Olympic FX event final, adding her A-score to perhaps a record-high 6.6. Cheng needs to watch out, though, because the added difficulty is known to backfire, as it did at the 2007 Worlds FX event final. Got a 16.2 with a 9.7 execution score; don't worry this score was very generous as well.
Gold: Sui Lu (I don't know why the Chinese judges like this girl so much. Her difficulty is good, yes, but she lacks elegance and her salutes at the end of her tumbling passes do not suggest any grandness or artistry like the other Chinese girls. I also noticed some crossed legs on her twists and flexed feet on her Barani on beam, though all in all she still has excellent form like all the Chinese. She takes full-advantage of combination passes on floor to rack up points. On the other hand, her triple turn on floor was excellent and could probably do a quadruple. Outrageous 9.8 execution score.
Bronze: Yang Yilin (15.675-6.2 A-score. Yang has improved greatly on the power events and can be a potential back-up on this event during team finals.)
Other Notes: Jiang Yuyuan had several issues, including an OOB on her last pass. Her expression is beautiful but she should switch her music immediately; it's far too childish.
Rumors from the Karolyi Ranch Meet
Difficulty plus Execution reports that Ivana Hong won the AA at the Karolyi Friendly Meet, ahead of Ashley Priess and Chellsie Memmel. No word on who hit what, but Northernriver reported that Priess is rumored to have a 7.0 A-score on UB. Gymnastics and Stuff also reported another rumored 7.0 A-score from Memmel on UB. Two 7.0 A-scores will help the U.S. narrow its UB deficit on China, with bars being China's strongest event. If Hong won, this hopefully means that her UB work has improved to the point where the U.S. could really use her score at Beijing. I'd much rather send Chellsie, or even Ashley, ahead of Ivana because of Ivana's inconsistency and inexperience. With Bridget being rumored to have a 6.7 A-score on UB, it is beginning to look more and more like Shayla Worley will be left off the team. Shayla brings on potentially great scores on UB and BB, but her inconsistency is something to be desired. Shayla looked injured and lacked her usual spark and confidence at the 2008 American Cup, which was probably severed when Sam P. came out of nowhere to get 3rd ahead of her. Addicted2Gym reports that Shayla left the camp because she is still battling with injuries. While much of these A-scores and points I am making are still rumors, Martha K. may end up feeling that Shayla is not needed for the team in favor of a perhaps better UB specialist, like Ashley. However, if Shayla recovers strong for Nats and Oly Trials she should still be on the team, so I won't change my prediction there.
Which Brings Me To..............
I am officially changing my Chinese Olympic Team Outlook by replacing Deng Linlin with Sui Lu. I think Sui Lu is somewhat of a trickster, but it is no doubt the Chinese judges and coaches love her and will put her on the team regardless of her alarming lack of experience. Deng is a good all-arounder, but her inconsistency and not being absolutely strong on one event look to do the trick to keep her off the Olympic team. Sui's high A-scores are just what China needs, but I suspect Sui's lack of experience and elegance will hurt her somewhat in the scoring at the Olympics. Pang Panpan is closing in on Xiao Sha/Li Shanshan's battle for the specialist spot with Shanshan and Sha counting falls in event finals. However Sha still looks to have a spot on the team in my book because of her being sent to the Tianjin World Cup along with Fei, Kexin, and Yilin. The Chinese coaches are giving her this spot to the world cup meet because of them somewhat believing in her and also because she has one last chance to prove to the coaches that she belongs on the Olympic team.
Next Post: Olympic Vault Final Outlook
That is all.