Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 American Cup Lineups (Partially) Released

For those of you who may not have seen the announcement by USA Gymnastics today, the partial lineups for the 2013 American Cup were released. This year's American Cup will be in Worchester, MA, and will feature multiple big names.

6 of the 8 women who will compete were announced, with the announcement that the final 2 will be decided later. Those 6 are:

Kyla Ross (USA) - the only member of the "Fierce Five" to continue fully training, will finally get her chance to shine after being a team player in London. Kyla turned in solid performances all around in London, with key hit sets on bars and beam in the team final. Her more famous teammates usually outshone her, both results and personality-wise, but with Jordyn, Gabby, and Aly doing the Teen Choice Tour, and Mckayla not fully training/pursuing acting opportunities, Kyla will get a golden chance to step out from living in the shadows of her teammates, and shine internationally while competing individually.

Elizabeth Price (USA) - one of the rising Americans who rivals Raisman for the award of fugliest American gymnast, won two World Cup titles at the end of 2012 in the absence of any legit competition, while relying on gigantic start values, horrible form, and jaw-droppingly terrible artistry, not to mention sufficiently shitting on the wonderful memory of Afanasyeva's crowning moment at Worlds in 2011. Price took Afanasyeva's music, and used her dance ability that is on par with Raisman's to make the entire international gymnastics community take note of her complete lack of ability to do something that resembles dance. I hope for the sake of our sport, that pretty and boring Kyla Ross manages to beat Price, even if it's not for first - if Price wins multiple big competitions this year, it will be a huge injustice to what was once dominated by beautiful gymnasts.

Larisa Iordache (ROU) - one of the main international stars in the first half of 2012, she was expected to shine at the Olympics. Unfortunately, Larisa was injured with plantar fasciitis during training in London, and after being a favorite for all-around, beam and floor medals, she placed 9th in the all-around and 6th on beam, only walking away with a team bronze. Hopefully Larisa has properly healed, and can dominate this year. It would be magical if she could snatch this American Cup from both of these Americans, and continue to dominate, hopefully battling someone like Komova later for the World AA title. If anyone can win this title apart from the Americans, it's Larisa.

Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) - the 22-year-old gymnast who continues to whine about (fairly) losing the Olympic floor bronze to Mustafina in the tie-break, has finally decided to attend this year, after having qualified but not attended for the last who-knows-how-many-years. Ferrari, who is locked in a never-ending battle with Catalina Ponor for the award of worlds sluttiest gymnast, will most likely show up in some sort of eye-sore leotard, show off her horrible forward giants on bars, fall on beam, crank out an awful DTY on vault, and place no higher than 6th.

Elisabeth Seitz (GER) - the non-adult German star, who has somehow mistaken uneven bars for men's high bar, performs bars with the excitement of Epke Zonderland and the form on all events of Zou Kai. Seitz has the distinction of being one of the only gymnasts able to do the Def while having a leg separation wider than the width of the vault table. The German, who somehow home-countried her way to the 2011 European silver, shouldn't expect a placement anywhere near that, not in America.

Asuka Teramoto (JPN) - tiny Japanese gymnast who's 16, 4ft 6in, and 66 pounds, swings bars approximately the swing of He Kexin and the form of Koko Tsurumi. She also performs floor with the same amount of choreography as Koko. The ever-upbeat Blythe Lawrence of Examiner proclaims her as one of the up-coming stars of this quad, but she has about as much pizazz as Kyla Ross, i.e. NONE. She has clean, consistent, and boring gymnastics...yawn.

According to The Couch Gymnast, Canada accepted a spot, but they haven't decided who will go. Given that a chunk of their top elites are now in colleges in the US (Lee, Vaculik, Rogers, Savona), don't be at all surprised if Victoria Moors goes for the second year in a row. Maybe her floor will actually be televised this time, as she took the time to whine about last year.

USA Gymnastics has not yet announced which country will take the last spot, but given the bizarre World Cup rules, I haven't the slightest idea who will show up, and what country they'll be from.

On the men's side, the lineup for 7 out of the 8 men who will eventually compete has been announced as thus:

Danell Leyva, USA
Jake Dalton, USA
Marcel Nguyen, GER
Jorge Hugo Giraldo Lopez (who?), COL
Sergio Sasaki, BRA
Kristian Thomas, GBR
Oleg Verniaiev, UKR

The final man is reported to be announced shortly. I'll update this as I receive info on the final 3 competitors.

- IllusionSpin

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