With many gymnasts still coming back from holiday breaks and not ready to present competitive routines the field at the first World Cup of the year was small but impressive. The standouts were the home team, Australia with Emily Little present in three finals and taking medals in all of them; powerhouse China with Liu Tingting and Luo Huan who showed performances that make them contenders for this year’s World Championships, particularly Liu Tingting on beam. And Sanne Wevers who we were delighted to see so soon after her Olympic victory and we were happy to see her take a silver in Melbourne
Jump to our Cool Facts about the competition or continue reading for the performances in detail.
For the vault final it was almost certain the title would be Wang Yan’s since she is a World and Olympic Vault finalist. Emily Little did her best however the start values of her vaults were low in comparison to Wang and she had to settle for silver. As for third place Australian Naomi Lee did two well executed, although simple, vaults to earn her place in the podium.
As for the bars final the tall and elegant Georgia Rose Brown graced the bars with a toe-on full into a Maloney connected to a Pak. She also included a Jeager release and almost stuck her double front dismount however her difficulty of 5.2 was not enough to get her into the podium and she finished fourth overall.
Rianna Mizzen impressed on bars, she opened with a small hesitation in her Weiler kips sequence but she followed with an impressive combination of skills: Maloney to immediate Hindorff to immediate Pak. She scored a 13.433 for bronze.
Luo Huan, who had qualified in first place, showed high difficulty with a Maloney, Van Leeuween, piked Jeager and Healy turns but unfortunately was forced to take an extra swing during her pirouetting skills incurring in a heavy deduction. Her score of 13.866 was enough to top Mizzen but not enough for gold.
Liu Tingting was the last up on the uneven bars with a routine quite similar to her teammate’s Luo Han: Maloney, Pak, Van Leeuwen, Healy turns, piked Jeager and double layout dismount. Her routine was clean and smooth for a 14.300 that easily gave her the gold medal.
For the beam final Luo Huan, who had qualified second into final, had a very good routine that included a roundoff layout. Her only major error was 2 big wobbles while trying to connect a front aerial into a split jump into an Onodi. Despite the lost tenths in difficulty value, since the connection was not done, her routine was worthy of a podium finish if she had not fallen on her dismount.
Emily Little who had a very bad day during the qualification round on beam, delivered a solid routine that even though did not have the difficulty of the Chinese gymnasts was clean enough to top Luo Han’s and take the bronze medal
Sanne Wevers the turn queen of the beam, delivered a routine worthy of an Olympic champion. Particularly flawless was her triple turn on beam that was executed like if she was competing on Floor. Her routine which had a 6.0 difficulty was perfect with the exception of one big wobble that might have cost her the gold medal however she was a happy silver medalist after scoring a 14.500.
As for Liu Tingting she was simply magnificent from her punch front mount till her stuck double tuck dismount. Her 6.0 difficulty routine earned the gold medal and turned her into one to watch for this year’s World Championships. She’s a strong contender for the beam title. In Melbourne, she won gold with a 14.766
Sadly Liu Tingting’s beam consistency did not accompany her to the floor final where she sat down her second pass, a two and a half twist. However, since her teammate and top qualifier for the Floor final, Wang Yan, withdrew from the competition even with her fall Liu Tingting managed to win the bronze medal.
Australia’s Georgia Godwin had the most difficulty of all the competitors with a 5.3. Her routine included a double layout, double tuck and double pike (a bit of a low landing) however the standout of her routine was her triple wolf turn. While she had the highest difficulty her execution was not perfect and she settled for silver.
Emily Little had the best execution of the day, including a stuck double layout, that earned her the gold medal with a 14.300. Australia was the most decorated country of the competition.