Toronto 2015: floor finals preview

The highest qualifier for floor finals is USA’s Madison Desch. The 18-years-old athlete who trains at GAGE has been famous for her work on this event for a while now and she was able to present world class floor routines since she was 14 years old. Maddie seemed a little disappointed to miss the gold medal on the AA finals so this is her chance to stand on the top of the podium. She probably is the best tumbler in the entire competition, since she performs a whip + double arabian, a 1.5 + double twist, a triple full and a double tuck. I absolutely love the variety in her tumbling. Whether you are a fan of backward or forward tumbling, twisting elements or double saltos or combination passes you’re going to find what you prefer in her routine. An area where she needs to work is her leaps. Some time she doesn’t really hit 180 in her splits and her ferrari is questionable. Her toe point also leaves a lot to be desired. Personally, I prefer her previous choreography than the one she has now, but there’s no doubt her routine is enjoyable. Maddie has the highest start value of the competition and she typically has clean execution, so she is the top contender for the title.

start value: 6.2

Fantastic tumbling should also be expected by the second gymnast representing USA, Amelia Hundley. Just like her teammate, Amelia, has always excelled on floor and she was famous for her strong tumbling and energetic performances since she was a junior. Last year, she had to downgrade her routine because of injuries but now she has all of her difficulty back. She starts her routine with a strong Double lay out into a split leap and she continues with a powerful piked full in and a brand new whip + double tuck combination. Through the years, she has found a style that works for her, she works with upbeat music and she sells her routine as well as anyone. She makes eye contact with the audience, she smiles during the entire exercise and she always gets the crowd behind her.

start value: 5.9

My favorite contender in those finals is no other than Flavia Saraiva of Brazil. At the age of 16, Flavia has already been quite succesful on this even, where she is a Youth Olympic Games and a World Cup champion. She has one of those routines that you can watch when you have a bad day and brighten your mood. She is a ray of sunshine. Her smile is contagious, her presentation is fantastic and her tumbling is not any less impressive. She has difficult elements, like a 1.5 + front double full combination and a full in. Despite being the tiniest human being in these finals, she has plenty of power and she gets plenty of height during all her elements and her execution is fantastic. She probably has the best twisting form in the entire finals. She is capable of difficult elements, we haven’t seen in this competition so far, like a triple full and two whips into 2.5 twists. I don’t know if she’s planning to add them for finals, but she is a strong medal contender regardless.

start value: 5.8

Canada’s Ellie Black, who has been the most succesful gymnast of those Games so far will have the chance to add one more medal into her very impressive collection. She has won medals on floor at the Universiade and the Commonwealth Games and she has also been a world floor finalist. She got plenty of attention for her floor routine in 2012 because she had an opening tumbling pass than nobody else in the world had ever done: a 2.5 step out into a triple full. The triple is gone now, and she connects her signature 2.5 into a double tuck. She also performs a double twist + front tuck and an original front full + double pike combination. In the past, she was competing a beautiful double lay out but she doesn’t seem to plan on doing this during those Games. She is not as clean as some of ther competitors, she crosses her ankles when she twists and some times she lands with her chest a bit low but there aren’t any major problems with her execution and she has a fantastic chance to finish on the podium.

start value: 5.8

The oldest gymnast competing in floor finals is Daniele Hypolito of Brazil. The four times Olympian has had a fantastic competition so far, proving that there’s no such thing as being “too old” for gymnastics. She is very valuable for the team because she can deliver solid scores on every event and she is more consistent than most of her teammates Even though she has the role of the solid team player right now, it would be amazing to see her winning a medal after how well she has done. She has upgraded her first tumbling pass to a 1.5 + double twist and she has stuck her 2.5 + front layout every time she competed it. I bet she will be adding a full twist to that layout pretty soon. Her double tuck and her whip + double pike are some times low but very impressive nevertheless. She also performs a memmel and a beautiful double L + double turn combination. The truth is that the judges have been a bit harsh on her and she hasn’t posted a score that would make her a strong medal threat during the competition. However, her start value is right up there with the best in the continent and she has been very consistent so I wouldn’t count her out.

start value: 5.9

Guatemala’s Ana Sofia Gomez Porras qualified in every single final besides vault. Regardless of whether she’ll manage to win a medal or not, this is an amazing achievement by itself. Ana has carried her country’s gymnastics on her shoulders since the previous quad and it would be great to see her being rewarded with a medal. Beam is definitely the event where she has the best chance to achieve that but she could probably challenge at floor too if others maki mistakes. She performs a super high full in, a triple full, a 2.5 + front tuck combination and a double pike, so the level of her tumbling is excellent. However, she does get some deductions for her crosses ankles and her legs separations so her execution score is not as high as her competitors’.

start value: 5.7

Paula Meijas of Puerto Rico hasn’t had a great time during those Games. She started her competition brilliantly with a good performance during qualifications by posting high scores on vault and floor and qualifying into both event finals. She struggled on beam and bars but she still managed to make it into the AA Finals too. She didn’t have a great showing then but the biggest problem for her happened during vault final. She had qualified in the second place and she had a very good chance to medal. Unfortunately, something went wrong in her run and she balked her vault, getting a zero. It was a flashback of Kramarenko’s vault in 2007 world team finals, it was heartbreaking and she was clearly devastated. After that it would be really great to see her. In the past she has competed a full in, a double arabian, 2.5 twists + front tuck and a double pike. All her elements are very high and dynamic and she has a very respectable start value but this year we’ve seen her scoring in the 11s during the Anadia World Cup.

start value 5.7

Cuba’s top floor worker, Yessenia Ferrera, may not be competing in those Games, but that doesn’t mean the country won’t be represented during those finals. 18-years-old Leidys Perdomo grabbed the very last spot, by scoring only 0.5 higher than world cup medalist Ayelen Tarabini of Argentina. The Cubans are not competing very often and it’s hard to have a clear image of what they’re capable of so it’s always a great surprise to see them showing world class routines at big competitions like this one. Leidys is a very powerful athlete who flies high in all of her elements. She performs a dynamic tucked full in, a 2.5 + front tuck combination, a double pike and a double tuck. She doesn’t have the difficulty to medal but this is a great chance for her to prove that she deserves to be one of the three Cuban athletes who will travel to Glasgow for the world championships.

start value: 5.4

Some strong floor workers who didn’t perform well enough in qualifications are Ayelen Tarabini of Argentina, Maegan Chant of Canada and Leticia Costa and Lorrane Oliveira from Brazil. USA’s Rachel Gowey, Elsa Garcia (MEX) and Jessica Lopez (VEN) didn’t compete on floor during qualifications and Yessenia Ferrera (CUB) and Rebeca Andrade (BRA) who would have a good chance to medal are currently injured

The draw of the finals is: Hundley, Mejias, Perdomo, Black, Hypolito, Desch, Saraiva and Gomez

photo from here

qualifiers and scores here

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