World Championship Predictions 2015: August Edition

5:59 PM Arabian Punch Front 28 Comments

Prior to the US domestic season, I tried to come up with my Worlds team and see how it would change through the season and comparing it with the final result. I've decided to do it for a few more teams as well. I tried my best to put the team finalists as the first three listed followed by a semicolon but for some countries it just didn't work.

Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Bailie Key, Maggie Nichols, Alyssa Baumann
VT: Aly, Maggie, Simone; Bailie/Gabby
UB: Bailie, Gabby, Simone; Aly, Maggie
BB: Bailie, Maggie, Gabby, Aly, Simone
FX: Gabby, Maggie, Bailie, Aly, Simone
Alt: Mykayla Skinner, Madison Kocian/Ashton Locklear, Kyla Ross

Why Alyssa and why not Kocian? Why isn't Alyssa even competing? I'm gonna be honest. I think the USA can just send 5 and make the 6th person an alternate. Pre-Classics, I had Kyla in the spot. I now realize that she's a bit redundant as an UB/BB worker. The spot can better be optimized with a specialist with EF/medal potential routines. The issue with bringing a specialist is that one of these top 5 girls will miss out on the AA. Do you take Aly out of bars despite her being one of the top 4 consistently? Would you take Gabby off of VT to allow Skinner to attempt to qualify for event finals? It's very difficult so in this moment, I say 5 members + a faux alternate. As the other countries start their competitions, we'll get a better idea of the other team makeups. I picked Alyssa over Madison Kocian because Kocian is pretty breakable and Alyssa can substitute anywhere really.

Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, Daria Spiridonova, Maria Paseka, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Maria Kharenkova
VT: Aliya, Ksenia, Maria P; Viktoria, Maria K
UB: Viktoria, Aliya, Daria; Maria P, Maria K
BB: Maria K, Vika, Aliya; Ksenia, Daria
FX: Ksenia, Vika, Aliya; Daria, Maria K
Alt: Seda Tutkhalyan

With Sosnitskaya out, the Russian picture became a littler clearer. Hopefully Ksenia can manage to stay healthy. She has been dealing with some dental issues but no gymnastics injuries from what I've seen. The final spot really comes down to Seda Tutkhalyan and Maria Kharenkova. Unfortunately, I feel like the Rodionenko's favor Kharenkova to Seda. Seda would offer an additional vault score and EF potential so if Afan or anyone else is out, Seda is surely my first choice alternate. Russian Cup is coming up and we'll have a better idea of Kharenkova vs Tutkhalyan. Could they both go and leave Spiridonova out? I think it's possible but they'd be sacrificing a possible EF medal... Granted, if it's not Daria, I'm sure we can find a second Russian to make EF.

Catalina Ponor, Larisa Iordache, Andreea Iridon, Andreea Munteanu, Silvia Zarzu, Laura Jurca
VT: Silvia, Laura, Larisa; Catalina
UB: Laura, Andreea I, Larisa; #sendhelp
BB: Andreea M, Catalina, Larisa; Andreea I, Laura
FX: Laura, Silvia, Catalina, Larisa
Alt: Stefania Stanila

I posted this on twitter and the number one comment was no Diana. I'd love to send Bulimar but if it's just for uneven bars, I don't think it's worth the risk. I made Jurca the 2nd AAer with Larisa. Other than beam and floor, Romania actually struggles to get 4 competitive athletes on vault and uneven bars. You could take out Zarzu or Larisa to make room for Diana but then you use one floor and vault athlete. Not sure Romania can afford that risk. If Did has another event, that would change things for me. Stanila can do UB so she's my number one choice for alternate.

Team GB and Team Italy together at 2014 Euros

Vanessa Ferrari, Erika Fasana, Carlotta Ferlito, Martina Rizzelli, Tea Ugrin, Elisa Meneghini/Enus Mariani
VT: Martina, Vanessa, Erika; Carlotta, Tea
UB: Elisa/Enus, Carlotta, Martina; Vanessa, Erika
BB: Carlotta, Vanessa, Erika; Tea, Martina
FX: Carlotta, Vanessa, Erika; Tea, Martina
Alt: Giorgia Campana

Vanessa, Erika, and Carlotta are pretty much locks. Italy struggles on UB so Martina is crucial there. Elisa Meneghini and Enus Mariani have been injured but their prowess on UB could be utilized here. Enus is a better UB worker than Elisa based on previous performances BUT Elisa can be used in other events as well so I predict the last spot being decided between them. Giorgia Campana is also a strong UB worker but she has struggled on bars and excelled on beam. If she can get her bars back to where it's been, she'll have a shot at this team. Otherwise, Elisa and Enus are ranking above her. Italy will have 2 meets before Worlds so we'll get a better picture of Elisa and Enus' comeback status.

Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler, Rebecca Tunney, Kelly Simm
VT: Kelly, Ellie, Claudia; Amy
UB: Ellie, Rebecca T, Becky D; Amy, Claudia
BB: Claudia, Ellie, Becky D; Kelly, Amy
FX: Amy, Ellie, Claudia; Kelly
Alt: Tyesha Mattis, Charlie Fellows, Georgina Hockenhull

This one was really tricky for me because the status of two very important members is unknown - Rebecca Tunney and Ruby Harrold. Then, Tyesha Mattis is also a hopeful breakout star but we haven't seen her compete more than UB yet this year. Claudia and Ellie are the clear AAers at the moment. Tinkler could be one of them. Tunney could be one of them but I just have no clue what her status is right now so this was a shot in the dark.

Ellie Black, Isabela Onyshko, Maegan Chant, Victoria Woo, Madison Copiak, Brittany Rogers
VT: Maegan, Brittany, Ellie; Isabela, Madison
UB: Brittany, Victoria, Isabela; Ellie, Madison
BB: Maegan, Isabela, Ellie; Madison, Victoria
FX: Maegan, Isabela, Ellie; Madison, Victoria
Alt: Jordyn Pedersen

And I didn't put Brittany just because I love her (because I don't!). I think this team has an UB deficit that Brittany could solve and can also improve the VT standings.  Ellie and Isabela are the 2 AA gymnasts. Madison and Victoria will likely battle it out in trainings for VT/UB prelims spots which could affect if one of them does AA.

Lieke and Sanne Wevers, Eythora Thorsdottir, Noel van Klaveren, Celine van Gerner, Lisa Top
VT: Lisa, Noel, Eythora/Lieke/Celine
UB: Noel, Lieke, Sanne; Eythora, Celine
BB: Eythora, Lieke, Sanne; Lisa, Celine
FX: Eythora, Lieke, Lisa; Noel, Celine
Alt: Vera van Pol

Praying to the gym gods to keep Noel safe (well everyone!). The biggest issue with the Netherlands is their consistency. I'm hoping it's improved since the athletes have seen so much success this year. The difficulty is there, the execution just needs to match it.

What do you think?


  1. For GB there is also Lisa Mason who could be be in the team. Through her Instagram videos she showed that she can still be consistent with a double twisting yurchenko or in bars with a tkatchev connected to a gienger !
    Concerning the US team the choice for the last spot is going to be tough because all the other girls has the potential to make an event final and to help the team to reach the podium !

    1. Yep. I don't know where Lisa fits because I think the "locks" are Becky and Ellie, and Claudia. Then Amy and now Kelly are kinda my nearly locks so that only leaves one spot. VT is covered with Ellie, Claudia, and Kelly. As is floor. Beam is so-so, so Lisa could help there but I think it'll be tough. We'll see. And hope her ankle heals!

  2. Alyssa is a very competent beam worker and placed second at Nationals; placing over everyone else in the beam line-up excl. Simone. I would definitely be considering having her on my beam line-up! :) x

    1. Ha. I'm glad one person agrees! It seems unlikely but hey. I like that she's good backup everywhere.

  3. You didn't mention GB's Catherine Lyons! She will be old enough to compete in Rio as she was born 2000 and we have taken youngsters in the past - Whelan, Downie, Tunney Lisa Mason has made extraordinary strides but is she even in the GB squad?

    1. Whelan has retired and Catherine Lyons doesn't turn senior till next year. She mentioned Downie and Tunney in the article, Downie going and Tunney status unknown

    2. Yep thanks. This is for Worlds this year so no Lyons. I definitely think she has a shot at Rio and she is on the GB Rio squad. I think Lisa was added to the squad for Worlds. Not sure if she's on the Rio squad just yet.

  4. Replies
    1. China isn't listed. Neither is GER, BRA, AUS, FRA to name a few. Do you have suggestions?

  5. China: Wang Yan, Shang Chunsong, Huang Huidan, Tan Jiaxin, Chen Siyi, Fan Yilin

    Vt: Yan, Jiaxin, Siyi; Chunsong, Yilin
    Ub: Huidan, Yilin, Chunsong; Jiaxin, Yan
    Bb: Chungsong, Yan, Yilin; Huidan, Siyi
    Fx: Yan, Chungsong, Jiaxin; Siyi, Yilin

    For UB, Jiaxin could go in for Chungsong in the TF depending on scoring in qualifications and consistency in training, same with Huidan and Yilin on beam. Remember last year Huidan was first on beam after a terrible UB rotation and did a great job. She's proven to be very consistent on that event over the past couple of years and that might be more valuable than a potential couple tenths higher score from Yilin. Also Siyi could go instead of Jiaxin on FX in team finals depending on qualifications, they are pretty even. Mao Yi would be my alternate along with Zhu Xiaofang. Mao Yi is good on all four events but extremely inconsistent. Xiaofang is a good gymnast but with not much difficulty aside from bars, but even there she isn't in the top three or four. Deng Yalan was also in contention for a spot because of her abilities on vault and floor but she is injured, thus Chen Siyi has taken her place because she has a DTY and that is needed because everybody aside from Wang Yan and Tan Jiaxin do easy vaults. Hope this helps!

  6. For Brazil I got:

    Hypolito, Saraiva, Barbosa, Lorrane Oliveira, Leticia Costa and Julie Kim.

    It's not clear whether Barbosa is 100% routines ready (she will compete at the next challenger world cup) so i'll count her out of the all around.

    VT: Saraiva, Hypolito, Oliveira, Costa and Barbosa (Except for Saraiva, all of the others girls are performing DTY's in camps)
    UB: Julie Kim, Barbosa, Oliveira, Saraiva and Hypolito
    BB:Saraiva, Hypolito, Julie Kim, Oliveira and Barbosa
    FX: Saraiva, Hypolito, Costa, Oliveira and Julie Kim