JGP France Ladies Recap

The season has begun! (Finally!) The first major event of the season, Junior Grand Prix St. Gervais (abbreviated to “JGP France”), just concluded. Some disciplines were weaker than others (the dance field was wide open, and the men’s event was a splatfest), but the ladies event featured some fantastic skating that I can’t wait to recap!


1. Alina Zagitova, Russia — 194.37 (68.07/126.30) 

As is the case at virtually every event, Eteri Tutberidze’s latest wunderkind, Alina Zagitova, won this event by quite a bit. Her SP, set to “Samson and Delilah”, included a fantastic Rippon 3Lz-3T, 3Lo, and 2A (her axel technique is exponentially better than most of her coach’s other students), strong spins, and a fast, dynamic step sequence that I really enjoyed. Her free skate (random note-I’m pretty the costume is Evgenia Medvedeva’s 2013-14 SP dress) to “Don Quixote” was not quite as strong-a couple of jumps had slightly scratchy landings-but still excellent, with a very nice 3Lz-3Lo and 2A-3T. Again, I thought her StSq was very well-choreographed and enjoyable. Alina has some areas she could work on-in particular, her expression could be a bit less blank-but much of what she would need as a senior is already there. Either way, she’s clearly very talented-she ended up winning the competition with scores that would’ve won last year’s Junior Worlds. Because, y’know…that’s totally normal result in your first international competition. 

2. Kaori Sakamoto, JPN- 178.86 (64.12/114.74)

Kaori had a pretty good competition here, with two near-clean programs. Her SP, a fun, energetic program to “The Artist,”  featured a 3F-3T, 3Lo, and 2A. She’s improved a lot as a performer over the summer: she used to skate a little bit blank-faced but this performance was really fun and engaging. Her FS isn’t my favorite – it’s set to music that kind of bores me (something called “The Color Purple”) and I find the choreography a little generic – but she turned in some strong elements. She didn’t get a planned 3T onto her opening 3F-3T, but made it up later in the program with two 2A-3Ts. Her biggest mistake other than that was an edge call-not perfect, but overall a great competition for Kaori.

3. Rin Nitaya, JPN — 175.01 (60.94/114.07) 

I vaguely remember seeing Rin last season and thinking she was kind of “meh,” so I wasn’t expecting much here. Suffice to say it that she exceeded my expectations! Rin skated a clean short and a near-clean long (her only mistake was a popped axel) to place 3rd. She landed an excellent 3Lz-3T, 3Lo, and 2A in her “Red Violin” short program, and although I found her expression a bit nonexistent bland, she delivered the technical content and was duly rewarded. In the free skate, she utilized what I call the Satoko Layout: two 2A-3Ts in the second half instead of a 3-3. I really enjoy watching her jump: unlike most juniors, her landings are dang solid and smooth as butter. No scratchiness or turnout, ever-which I love, considering how rare it’s becoming. She’s not the most engaging skater, but she deservedly placed really well here.

4. Ye Lim Kim, KOR — 157.79 (55.11/102.68)

Coming into this competition, people were expecting a lot of Ye Lim. Her jump layout was crazy-difficult and she had been looking consistent, so she was a medal favorite here. But it began to unravel in her “Donde Voy” SP: she two-footed her 3Lz-3T, which was downgraded and given mostly -3s in GOE. Combined with her lack of strength in PCS relative to her competition, that was enough to get her off the podium after the short. Her FS was better, but still had some iffy landings and kept her off the podium in 4th. She kind of tripped (not sure how to explain it because I’ve never seen anything like it…) out of the 2Lo in her 3Lz-3Lo-2Lo, which was downgraded, her 3Lz-3T was underrotated, and she got an edge call on her 3F. And to top it all off, she didn’t seem to be connecting to her music at all (I’ll give her a pass because both pieces were very ill-suited for someone of her age and style, which I blame on the choreographer.) She has a lot of potential, but this was just not Ye Lim’s competition.

5. Emmi Peltonen, FIN — 150.00 (53.41/96.59)

Emmi Peltonen was a nice “discovery” at this event: I’d never seen her, but she is a gorgeous skater with gigantic jumps and I think she has a lot of potential. In her short program, she landed a massive 3T-3T and a great 2A but singled her 3Lo. I really enjoyed the program, which was very well-choreographed with a very convincing tangoey flair. Her StSq was great. The FS was also a lovely program, but three pops and a fall did her in. She badly needs consistency (she appears to be the latest in a long line of artistic Finnish headcases), but she could be one to watch for.

Honorable Mentions: 

6. Alexia Paganini, USA: her short program was gorgeous except for a doubled jump, but two falls in the FS kept her from finishing any higher.

7. Julie Froestcher (sorry for spelling), FRA: her reaction to her score was great. 🙂



2016 Olympics WAG Quals Subdivision 4 Live Blog

Subdivision 4 is going to be LIT. 


Team USA *Pause for patriotic squealing* with Team Netherlands *Pause for artistry appreciation because #Baethora*.

They literally could not have come up with a subdivision I would enjoy more if they had personally asked me. Hehe. 

So, warning: this will not be objective.

Gabby Douglas, USA, FX: double L-turn, 1.5 L-turn the other way, Arabian double front punch front, full-in punch front, double Memmel turn, split to switch split full, switch split full, double pike, double tuck. Well done. 

Courtney McGregor, NZL, VT: DTY. 14.4 on the second vault, which I missed.

I just posted Ariana Orrega’s beam and Sanne Wevers’ bars and now they’re gone…gaah. Both clean. Orrega: 12.733. Wevers: 14.408

Simone Biles, USA, FX: double layout full in, straddle full to split, Biles to stag, double wolf turn, double-double, split jump, tuck full in. Just Simone things…15.733

Aly Raisman, USA, FX: 1.5 twist-double Arabian-layout, split switch full, double L-Turn, piled double Arabian-stag jump, double layout, split jump, split switch full, double pike. Yaaaaaas! I’m calling it, AA silver is hers. 

Random side note: I’m very sorry that I do not know how to tell a split from a Sissone. 

Laurie Hernandez, USA, VT: stuck DTY. 

Jessica Lopez, VEN, FX: tucked full in, whip to triple twist, ring leap, split, switch split, double L-turn, double pike, triple turn, double twist. The steam died and when it came back they’d switched commentators. 12.733

Celine Van Gerner, NED, BB: Sissone, front aerial, split switch half, round off-layout, switch split half – barely stays on, split switch to straddle, front aerial, double back dismount. What a save! 13.800


Sanne Wevers, NED, BB: double L-turn, side aerial-side aerial, triple turn, L-turn to full turn, double turn, switch split to Onodi, full twisting gainer layout dismount. Lovely! Could get her into finals! 15.066. YAAAAAAAS!

Sherine Elziney, EGY, UB: fine set, DLO dismount, 14.100.

Aly Raisman, USA, VT: near-stuck amanar!!! 15.766 

Sanne Wevers submitted an inquiry, which was rejected.

Lieke Wevers, NED, FX: triple L-turn, double back, switch ring, switch split full, double attitude turn, 2.5 twist(?), switch split full, triple turn. Forever one of my favorite floor routines ❤ 13.850

Gabby Douglas, USA, UB: gorgeous routine complete with a stuck dismount. Will it be enough to pull ahead of Raisman in the AA? 15.766

Madison Kocian, USA, UB: goooo, bars bb! Foot-perfect. Bars bb is the best 🙂 15.866-uh, wow…

(Okay, just sayin’, I warned you this would not be objective.)

Eythora Thorsdottir, NED, FX: GOOOO BAETHORA! 2.5 twist-front tuck, Ring switch leap, double back, double l-turn, double turn, double Memmel turn, illusion, 2.5 twist fall (nuuuuuuuuuuu!), leap pass, illusion. Nooooo, she fell! It literally looked like she just slipped. Was it her socks?

It killed Gabby’s beam recap but it was a 14.833. 

Jessica Lopez, VEN, UB: very clean set! She looks pleased. 15.333-she looks absolutely overjoyed. 

Courtney McGregor: POTO… Pike full in, 2.5 twist to front pike, double pike, double Memmel turn, split switch to split, double back, switch split full. Nice! The great warhorses are invading gymnastics…

Netherlands has a total of 171.something. 

Laurie Hernandez, USA, BB: front pike, front aerial to split to switch split, BHS-LOSO-LOSO, double turn, sheep jump, front tuck to wolf jump, side aerial, split to switch split half, switch ring, double pike. YES! Get it, Laurie! Great shot at the beam final with that. 15.366!

Simone Biles, USA, BB: Double wolf turn, split to pike, front tuck, BHS-LOSO-LOSO, front tuck to split, split to split switch half to something, I’m missing things AHHHHHHHHH, stuck dismount! 15.663

16 for 16! Gracie Gold needs some lessons from them…

And the Netherlands are in 7th, and I’m freaking out ugh. 😥

2016 Olympics WAG Quals live blog: Subdivision 3

Slightly late, because I was doing something else, but it’s back! 

Elissa Downie, GBR, BB: front tuck connected to wolf jump, standing Arabian, switch split to switch split half, double turn (balance check), BHS-LOSO, split connected to side aerial, 2.5 twist dismount. It’s got to be hard to concentrate with the crowd going berserk behind you (Brazil’s on floor…). 

Dipa Karmakar, IND, UB: Tkachev, pirouettes, Pak salto, lots of Giants. Hey, I can commentate UB now! Sort of…

Rebeca Andrade, BRA, FX: tuck full-in, 2.5 to front full, split to switch split, double Memmel turn to stag jump, why is there instrumental Beyoncé in this routine, double back, split, double pike. Crowd went nuts for that routine! 14.033

Rebecca Downie, GBR, BB: fall on front tuck, side aerial connected to layout, split switch to split switch half, split switch to half turn to front aerial to another splits, side somi, split switch, double pike dismount. Other than the fall, that was actually great.  13.300

Watching this is making me want tacos, for some reason. This is not the British team’s day but, like in the men’s, Brazil is killing it! I WILL NOT BUY GOLD PEAK TEA NO MATTER HOW MANY ADS YOU PLAY SO WILL YOU JUST NOT SHOW THEM?!?

Tabea Alt: 14.333? I think it was a DTY. Actually, I didn’t see it, but the D-score was 5.8 and I think that’s the value of a DTY. 

My wifi died, and I missed a bunch of routines…le sigh. It’s back, but slow.

Oh, no, Ellie Downie appears to be injured…ugh, why did my wifi have to die? What happened? 

Claudia Fragapane, GBR, FX: double layout full-in, Arabian double pike, ring leap, switch split double turn, I accidentally deleted something, triple twist, switch split, double turn, double layout. WOW. Frags is a crazy-good tumbler. 14.333

Looks like Elissa is out of the vault lineup. I repeat: what. Happened. To. Her?!?!? 

Ana Sofia Gomez, GU, BB: BHS-tuck full, switch split to switch split half, full turn, side aerial to split jump, side somi, front aerial to wolf jump, straddle jump, double pike dismount (chest down). 13.400

The commentators are throwing major shade at the crowd for doing the wave during someone’s beam. 

The stream is being weird. Again. I’m missing so much stuff. 

Ruby Harrold, GBR, VT: nice DTY. 

Pauline Schaefer, GER, BB: switch ring jump, BHS-LOSO, split jump to wolf jump, full turn, front aerial to side somi, double turn, side somi half (trippy!), some leaps, layout gainer dismount. 14.400

Emma Larsson, SWE, FX: switch split full to stag, double layout, tuck full-in, double back, switch split half, double pike, triple Memmel turn. Nice! I’d never heard of her. I like her leotard. 13.500

Brazil’s qualification total: 174.054. 

2016 Olympics WAG Quals-Live Blog

Hey, readers! I’m going to live-blog gymnastics, because I can. Apologies if I can’t do bars.

Martina Rizzello, ITA, VT: DTY. Slight hop on the landing, some leg separation. I like the Italian team’s leos-shiny black with a silver “v-neck” shape.

Kylie Dickson, Belarus, Bars: I have no idea what anything is called, but she did a nice Tkachev. Double full dismount, if I saw that correctly.

Ailen Valente, Argentina, Bars: not sure what she’s doing but her toes weren’t pointed in the Tkachev. Majorly Cowboys double front dismount. 13.033. 

Aliya Mustafina, Russia, Beam: wrote this up but it self-destructed. She fell off on a handstand. 13.033.

Daria Spiridonova, Russia, Beam: BHS stepout-LOSO, switch leap connected to ring leap (eew @ leg position), Onodi, front aerial connected to split and wolf, side aerial, Memmel turn (is that correct for a single?), Onodi, switch leap, double back dismount. She stayed on! 14.266

Ana Perez, Spain, Floor: whip-whip-BHS-BHS-full in, two leaps I missed, double pike, memmel turn, switch leap-ring leap, double twist, l-turn, double back (foot comes up). Music: “Diablo Rojo.” Nice leos! 13.133

They showed the Simone Biles Tide commercial! First time I’ve seen it on a broadcast. 

Stream is uncooperative. 

Seda was clean but my phone killed the write-up. Gaah! She got 13.875.

Giulia Stiengruber, Switzerland, VT: I think that first one was a Rudi. Fantastic! Second vault is a clean DTY. Average score: 14.933

Zsofia Kovacs, Hungary, VT: first vault a very nice DTY. Second vault: Tsukahara full. Both nice! Her leotard is amazing. 14.158

Carlotta Ferlito, Italy, UB: no idea what she’s doing, but it’s lovely. She has nice form. Double back with half(?) dismount. 14.033

Ailen Valente, Argentina, BB: front tuck mount, Flic-LOSO (fall), switch leap, switch half (don’t think it hit 180), some kind of turn I saw out of the corner of my eye, side aerial, split, split-wolf, gainer layout dismount. 11.366

Daria Spiridonova, Russia, FX: split jump, triple twist-punch front (fall, OOB), 3.5 twist, Memmel turn, split switch half, double back, ring leap-ring leap. Shame about the fall. Missed score…ugh!

Farah Boufadene, Algeria, BB: BHS-LOSO fall, split-switch half, front aerial (balance check), side aerial, split, split-wolf, side somi (balance check), L-turn, double pike dismount with big step back. 10.600

WHY DID IT KILL THE RECAP AGAIN GAAH.  Houry Gebeshian was great! 13.266. It also killed Catalina Escobar’s BB recap, which I’m not really mad about because it was a mess.

My stream decided to sign me out and make me sign back in. Came back on Giulia Steingruber’s UB. Scored 13.900. Angelia Melnikova got a 14.933 on a vault I didn’t see.

Sends Tukhtalyan, Russia, VT: huge, gorgeous DTY. Should score well. 14.733

Vanessa Ferrari, Italy, BB: BHS-BHS-back full (fall), split leap, split leap-front aerial, switch split half, ring jump-sheep jump, double pike dismount. 

Maria Paseka, Russia, VT: first vault: no idea what it was, step OOB. Really messy form. The commentator described her leg position as “like an egg-beater”. Second vault: Amanar, quite nice. 

Catalina Escobar, Colombia, FX: Bad fall on double layout. Coaches had to carry her off the floor and it looks like she can’t continue. Really? They gave her a score? 3.700.

Carlotta Ferlito, Italy, BB: front aerial-sheep jump, BHS-BHS-LO (fall), split jump, back tuck, full turn, split-front aerial, ring leap. Double pike(?) dismount. 13.233

Kylie Rei Dickson, Belarus, FX: commentators throwin’ shade! Double back-fall, OOB. Split-split switch half, something into a layout, split jump, double l-turn, switch half, single twist. 10.766

Showing replays of Escobar’s terrifying ankle-murder fall. Poor thing. 😥

Zsofia Kovacs, Hungary, UB: clean, 14.733

 Elisa Meneghini, Italy, FX: double layout, tuck full-in, whip-whip-double back, split jump, ring jump-straddle jump, double pike, straddle jump. Wow, that was a fantastic routine! 14.233

Houry Gebeshian, Armenia, VT: nice FTY. 13.916

Daria Spiridonova, Russia, UB: very nice! Everything was connected. Should be a really high score. 15.683

Kylie Rei Dickson, Belarus, VT: nice FTY. 

I heard Madame Butterfly, and now Nessun Dorma. Must be someone’s floor music-it’s not just a FS thing…

Aliya Mustafina, Russia, UB: hit! Finally. Will it match Spiridonova? Apparently so! 15.8something. 

Catalina Ponor, Romania, BB: switch ring leap, Onodi-front aerial-BHS, split-wolf jump connection, switch half, don’t even know what that was, leap-something full-3/4, full turn, double pike. Takin’ forever with this score…14.900. She seems very happy with that. 

Carlotta Ferlito, Italy, FX: split switch half, tuck full-in, double back tuck, split-split switch half, some dancing on the floor, Memmel turn, ring leap, Sissone, this is Adelina Sotnikova’s 2013 FS music, double pike. The Italians are killing it on floor today!

Giuli Steingruber, Switzerland, BB: Front aerial-split jump, switch split-side somi (balance check), front pike, BHS-LOSO, front tuck, off on switch half, full turn, gainer layout full dismount. Shame about the fall! 12.733. Eek. 

I think that’s the end of this subdivision? I’ll be back later…