Marine Boyer

Play-by-Play: Women's qualifications at the 2019 European Championships, Subdivision 1

Marine Boyer of France.

Marine Boyer of France.

Rotation 1: French gymnasts Marine Boyer and Lorette Charpy, as well as Russia’s Anastasia Ilyankova and Maria Paseka and Ukraine’s Anastasia Bachynska, grace subdivision 1.

Anny Wu (SUI), VT: FTY, small hop. Bit of a lack of amplitude.

Lorette Charpy (FRA), UB: Stalder Shaposh half. Toe blind to pike Jaager. Ricna to Pak. Toe Shasposh half. Toe full to giants to full twisting double tuck, small hop forward.

Anina Wildi (SUI), VT: Nice handspring front pike half. FTY second vault.

Anastasia Ilyankova (RUS), UB: Shang. Toe Tkatchev half to Ezhova. Stalder Maloney to Pak. Toe Shaposh half. Toe full to full twisting double tuck with a step. 14.133.

Anastasia Bachynska (UKR), FX: Full in. Double pike. Big step on front 1/1. Lovely presentation and expression. Easy looking double tuck to end with a small hop. 12.4.

Valeriia Osipova (UKR), FX: Full in pike with a step back. Full in tuck, again a little stutter on the landing, maybe 0.1. Double tuck, small hop back. Where the Ukrainian are magical is in the selection of music and the choreo they do.

Alba Petisco (ESP), BB: Bhs, bhs, layout and dances around on the beam to save it (she does). Double tuck dismount with a step back.

Rotation 2:

Anastasia Bachynska (UKR), VT: Yurchenko 1.5, wonderful in the air but a fairly big step forward. 14.0, 9.0 E. The step was really the only thing wrong with it.

Lorette Charpy (FRA), BB: Roundoff, layout stepout mount. Bhs, layout. Humphrey turn to wolf turn double. Switch to jump to Korbut, a tad offline. Split half. Looking very clam, purposeful. Double pike with a step forward.

Alba Petisco (ESP), FX: Double pike to hands and knees opening pass.

Christina Zwicker (CRO), BB: Bhs, layout. Front layout dismount. 10.333.

Sanna Veerman (NED), FX: Good Arabian double front to open, small hop. Nice folksy piece of music that the crowd can clap along to. Double tuck, bounces back a bit. 1.5 to front 1/1. Tourjete half to Popa. Double full to end, a little stutter on the landing.

Jade Vansteenkiste (BEL), VT: Excellent high FTY, just a hop/step back.

Marine Boyer (FRA), BB: Front aerial, small check. Split to tuck half. Nearly comes off on roundoff, layout, has to grab the beam. Switch to switch half, nice. Wobble on full turn with leg up. Side aerial. Split leap to sides somie. Split half. Double pike with a hop back. Likely no final.

Rotation 3:

Alba Petisco (ESP), VT: FTY, stpepb back. 13.333.

Valeriia Osipova (UKR), UB: Lovely exercise, full of stalders. Tkatchev. Double pike dismount.

Demet Mutlu (TUR), BB: Comes off halfway through, didn’t see on what.

Sanna Veerman (NED), VT: Yurchenko 1.5, nice! Just a hop forward. Little bit of leg form in the air as well.

Jade Vansteenkiste (BEL), UB: Hit routine. Double pike dismount, small hop. 12.733.

Lorette Charpy (FRA), FX: James Bond — fast at the beginning, a violin'-y “Skyfall” at the end. Full turn with leg up. Double front with a hop forward. Double tuck, small bounce back. Tourjete half. Front 1/1. Double pike.

Anastasia Bachnyska (UKR), UB: STalder to Maloney to Pak, great. Toe shoot Shaposh. Toe full — lovely 00 to Tkatchve. Blind to pike Jaeger. Just a double tuck (she went for it with the half in podium training and fell) but stuck cold. Smart play.

Marine Boyer (FRA), FX: Jazzy routine, fun to watch. 2.5 to punch front. Switch half. Double turn with leg up. Double tuck, a bit awkward on the landing. Double pike.

Rotation 4:

Maria Paseka (RUS), VT: Cheng to her hands and knees. That one was not even close. She didn’t have the block she needed off the table, bent her legs to try to get the twist around, and just came down on all fours. She’s all right though, but no vault final for her, likely. She looks deflated standing there at the end of the runway. 13.5 for that. Vault no. 2: Amanar, and it’s great. Man.

Jade Vansteenkiste (BEL), BB: Punch front mount.

Lorette Charpy (FRA), VT: Excellent, well-controlled FTY, small hop. Controlled is one word for Charpy’s gymnastics — she’s very almost careful in many of the things she does, even flying through the air.

Anny Wu (SUI), FX: 2.5, overcooks it and has to put her hands down. Double pike, steps back.

Valeriia Osipova (UKR), BB: Off on roundoff, layout mount. Bhs, layout, step back. Side somie. Side aerial. Switch to split leap. sneaks around a Tourjete half. Lovely lines, very classic Ukrainian presentation. Front aerial. Switch half. Falls again on double tuck dismount. 10.266.

Christina Zwickjer (CRO), VT: Yurchenko layout. 10.9.

Anina Wildi (SUI), FX: Pretty piece of music. Full in tuck, step back. Punch front to layout full. Double tuck, low landing but stands up. Double turn with leg up.

Doha World Cup: Derwael leads two after qualification

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Belgium’s Nina Derwael was the top scorer on uneven bars and balance beam in the qualification rounds at the Doha World Cup Wednesday and Thursday in the Qatari capital.

Back in the Aspire Dome where she won her world title on uneven bars last October, Derwael used her standby 6.5 difficulty value routine (Nabieva, Ricna half to Ezhova to stalder Shaposh, Bhardwaj, toe Shaposh half, toe 1/1 to full twisting double tuck) to top qualifications ahead of two-time world bars champion Fan Yilin of China, 15.033-14.9. Russia’s Anastasia Ilyankova, who like fan is hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games through the world cup series, was third with 14.633 for her 6.3 D value routine.

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Derwael was equally efficient on beam, where she scored 13.566 for a clean 5.3 set. France’s Marine Boyer, the silver medalist on beam from last week’s Baku World Cup, and China’s Li Qi each showed routines with a 5.7 start value, though neither could match Derwael in execution. Newcomer Soyoka Hanawa of Japan, seventh, had the highest difficulty of any finalist with 5.9.

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A recharged Maria Paseka of Russia showed her Olympic-level vaults -- a much-improved Cheng and Amanar -- to lead qualifications on vault (14.85), just ahead of American Jade Carey, who is searching for her second win on the world cup circuit after winning both vault and floor in Baku. Carey was first on floor for a difficulty-packed routine valued at 5.9, more than half a point higher than any other finalist on the event.

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Preview: Big talents in Baku for Gymnastics World Cup

The National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. Photo: Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.

The National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. Photo: Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.

Buckle up, Baku -- things are about to get interesting.

The Azerbaijani capital has hosted world cups in artistic gymnastics for the past several years, but it’s never seen one like this. As the individual apparatus Olympic qualification race heats up, an enormously talented group of specialists (and a few solid all-arounders) are descending en masse for the AGF Trophy (otherwise known as the Baku World Cup), which begins tomorrow and promises to be the most competitive meet Azerbaijan has ever seen. The level is so high that there’s a delicious unpredictability in it all, which is not always the case at world cup meets. That said, here’s a breakdown some of the likeliest possible scenarios for gold and those all-important World Cup ranking points.

Women’s Vault: A colossus of talent

Vault is normally the most neglected event at individual apparatus World Cups, but not this time. Here you get the reigning Olympic silver medalist Maria Paseka, fresh off winning vault at the Russian Championships last week in Penza, where her Amanar second vault was the biggest “ta-da!” moment of the meet. There’s also reigning World bronze medalist Alexa Moreno and her ever trusty Rudi, 2017 European vault champion Coline Devillard and her ever trusty Rudi, Oksana Chusovitina and her arsenal of power, and Jade Carey, who may be the only finalist to actually throw a double twisting Yurchenko. Carey is in some circles regarded as a shoo-in for the World Cup title on vault, but in this field she’ll need to be near her best to win. Barring falls, all should make finals.

Indian sensation Dipa Karmarkar will be making her 2019 “no pressure” debut at this meet after a less-than-spectacular return last year following an ACL tear in 2017. Karmakar has abandoned her Produnova and now relies on a less risky Tsuk double full to get her into finals. She’s a wildcard category because her form often hinders her, and without the D-score power of the Produnova she’s less likely to challenge for the podium. On the home front, Azerbaijan’s best hope of a final lies with Marina Nekrasova, a former World Cup medalist on this event.

Uneven Bars: A mini-Euros, with China too

Bars is never an event you can count on a gymnast to hit, especially at a World Cup, but this field is too stacked not to produce some memorable routines. Between 2013 European bars medalist Jonna Adlerteg, Ukraine’s Diana Varinska, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sophie Scheder and Russian specialist Anastasiya Ilyankova, we’re really spoiled for style. Lyu Jiaqi, whom China has been sending to do bars at world cups likely in the hope of getting her an Olympic spot, should be a medal contender here as well.

Balance Beam: Narrow margins

China has sent two extremely talented competitors in Li Qi and 2018 World team member Chen Yile, but both could have stiff competition from Russia’s Varvara Zubova and Youth Olympian Anastasiya Bachynska, who will be making her senior international debut in Baku. As a junior, Bachynaska proved to be a quintessential Ukrainian competitor -- elegant, poised and completely unpredictable. She does have a wonderful front handspring, front tuck combination at the top of her routine, however.

After a successful comeback on floor at the Melbourne World Cup at the end of February, Vanessa Ferrari is back on the beam here too. France’s Marine Boyer, a solid all-arounder who is quite good on beam, might have an opportunity here too.

Floor Exercise: It’s anyone’s game

Ferrari won floor in Melbourne in an extremely shallow field, and Baku is likely to be a little (but just a little) more indicative of where she stands internationally. Floor still feels like the most up-for-grabs title in the women’s competition. Carey will have far and away the hardest tumbling of the bunch, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee her anything. She had the hardest tumbling in Cottbus last November as well, but multiple passes landed out of bounds and some form mistakes left her in fifth place.

Bachynska, meanwhile, has wonderful form, excellent precision, and was quite overlooked in 2018 as a potential floor contender. Boyer could make noise here too, as might Australian floor specialist Alex Eade.