Road To Rio – Round 1

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Martha Karolyi, National Team Coordinator Photo: olympics.nbcsports.com
Martha Karolyi, National Team Coordinator
Photo: olympics.nbcsports.com

The 2016 Secret U.S. Classic was the first step for gymnasts to show Martha Karolyi, National Team Coordinator, what they are made of in order to make the US Women’s Olympic Team.  For some it was a success and for others, it may have left doubt in Martha’s mind.

It was also the last qualifier for the US Women in order to compete at the P&G Championships June 23-26 in St. Louis, MO.

For Martha and the rest of the Selection Committee, this meet was a test to see which gymnasts has stepped up their difficulty, cleaned up routines, have their nerves under control, and who can handle the rising pressure.

It seems apparent that there are 3 US Women who are topic picks for a guaranteed spot on the US Olympic Team; Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and Aly Raisman.

Simone Biles is the 3 time reigning World All-Around Champion and has not lost a competition in years.  Her “D” scores are some of the highest, if not the highest, in the world.

Simone at the 2016 Secret Classic. Photo: zimbio.com
Simone at the 2016 Secret Classic.
Photo: zimbio.com

The reigning Olympic All-Around Champion, Gabby Douglas, looks to be in top form even after taking a year off of training and competition.  She is consistently in the top 3 in the All-Around in any meet she enters.

Gabby Douglas dismounting bars at the 2016 Secret Classic. Photo: nbcolympics.com
Gabby Douglas dismounting bars at the 2016 Secret Classic.
Photo: nbcolympics.com

Simone and Gabby will most likely be used on all 4 events during the qualifying rounds at the Olympics which will then, if they score high enough, will qualify them to compete in the AA.  They will more than likely compete on all 4 events in Team Finals as well.

Aly Raisman, the matriarch of USA Gymnastics, doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  Her difficulty on Beam, Floor, and Vault is some of the most difficult in the world.  She is a fierce competitor and a team leader.

Aly already knows that she will not be used on Bars due to her lower “D” and “E” scores.  She may be used on Bars during the qualification round just so that the US has covered their bases in qualifying 2 gymnasts to the All-Around, in case something happens to Simone or Gabby.  The US will definitely not use her on Bars during Team Finals.

The All-Around winner of the 2016 Secret Classic, Aly Raisman. Photo: olympics.nbc.com
The All-Around winner of the 2016 Secret Classic, Aly Raisman.
Photo: olympics.nbc.com

The question now is, who will be the other 2 women to make the US Olympic Team for Rio?

The 2 women chosen must be strong on bars and must be able to step up if needed on beam or floor.

At the 2016 Secret Classic…

  • Laurie Hernandez only competed on Bars but looked solid.
  • Raegan Smith looked very strong on Bars and also had a solid Beam routine.
  • Madison Kocian placed 2nd on Bars with an incredible routine but had a fall on Beam with some small form breaks.
  • Alyssa Baumann had a fall on Bars but had a strong showing on Beam, Floor, and Vault.
  • MyKayla Skinner had a decent Vault and Beam but had a huge error on Bars.
  • Breanna Dowell had a weak Beam routine.
  • Jazmyn Foberg had weak routines on Bars, Beam, and Floor.
  • Ashton Locklear placed first on Bars and had a strong showing on Beam.

 

Based on results at the 2016 Secret Classic, Gym Blog Central’s current picks for the US Olympic Team include:

  1. Simone Biles
  2. Gabby Douglas
  3. Aly Raisman
  4. Ashton Locklear
  5. Madison Kocian

 

Raegan Smith had a strong Secret Classic and it will be interesting to see how she does at P&G Championships & Olympic Trials.  The only reason she was not chosen by GBC for the Olympic Team was because of her inexperience in big international competitions.  If she can prove herself, she has a good chance to make this team.

Missing from the Secret Class was Maggie Nichols due to an injury.  If she is able to come back to P&G Championships and be healthy, she can make a good statement for her spot on the US Olympic Team.

Maggie Nichols Photo: startribune.com
Maggie Nichols
Photo: startribune.com

Let’s see how all these athletes do at Championships & Trials and see if it changes up our picks for the US Women’s Olympic Team!

For complete results and all routine videos from the Secret Classic, click here.

Source: usagym.org

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