WHAT TO WATCH FOR–FLOOR

Floor is the event that the casual fan probably is most eager to see, because it involves all aspects of the sport. Dance, music, and crazy ass tumbling.

There are basically two kinds of tumblers. One kind is Kyla Ross and the other is Aly Raisman. Kyla’s tumbles are fairly boring but super clean and she has nice dance. Aly’s tumbles are crazy hard, especially her first pass; she does the hardest tumbling in the entire world. However, her form tends to be messier.

(I like big tumbling and I cannot lie….)

On floor there are lots of things to watch for. One is how well the gymnast performs. Now, there are theoretical deductions that the judges can take for artistry, but they very often don’t. Otherwise Aly, Shawn Johnson, Beth Tweddle, Lauren Mitchell etc would never do well on floor. However, they tend to reward good musicality and fluidity in the routine at least somewhat.

Gymnasts must include a variety of tumbles in their floor work. They must do at least one backwards tumble and one forward or sideways tumble, as well as different kinds of jumps, leaps, etc.

Some of the common tumbles you will see:

double tuck: this is a double back flip with knees to chese

double pike: double back flip w straight legs at 90 degrees

double layout:double back flip with straight body

double arabian: double back tuck with a half twist so the gymnast lands facing forward

full twisting DLO: a double layout with a full twist

double double: two back flips (tucked) PLUS two full twists

1.5-double-2.5.-triple-3.5 twists: in order of difficulty. Generally done backwards; forward single or 1.5 twists are also sometimes done.

double front: two tucked flips done forward

you will also see a lot of gymnasts punching out of tumbling runs. It used to be that female gymnasts could take a step out of a tumbling pass and not be deducted, but that changed, and now there’s a deduction for anything that isn’t stuck. To get past this–and to add connection value–gymnasts will often punch out of a skill. Most often they do this with a leap of some sort–a split leap, or a sissone (which is a little like a split but without actually hitting the split) or a wolf jump. Sometimes they will do a front tuck or front layout out of it. Basically, as soon as they hit the floor from their bug skill they will use momentum from the bounce to do a leap or salto.

Gymnasts are supposed to do actual dance. This…only happens some of the time. They must also show at least a double turn as opposed to a twist, so watch for the girls doing assorted kinds of spins and turns and jumps. And they must do some sort of low to floor work. where the chest touches the floor. This often looks absurd but occasionally looks good.

What else? Oh, they need to not fall (duh) but its also a large deduction to go OOB, or out of bounds.  This can be an issue with the especially springy gymnasts, like Aly Raisman.

So who will we see from the Big Four on floor? Well. Let’s see…

Romania:

Now that our lovely Larissa  is out of all around (DAMMIT)  she won’t be doing floor–its the most pounding on the feet–which means we will see

 Bulimar, Izbasa and Ponor. Izbasa is a world champ on this event and her routine should be excellent. Alas both she and Ponor prefer thong leos so prepare to shield your eyes. Not having Iordache on this event definitely hurts them, but they should survive, and Ponor has a chance to medal in EFs.

China:

Sui Li, Yao Jinnian if she isnt injured (rumors!) and then either Deng Linlin or HQS. I’m going to go with Deng because she’s cuter. This will be a weak rotation for them, frankly.

Russia:

Ah. Here we go.

Komova could go up in TFs, but I doubt it. She has a tendency to headcase, and I think her coaches will go with Mustafina for reliability’s sake. Then we wll have Grishina, who now appears in podium training with a double double! She will score at least reasonably and may make finals if she’s lucky. Then we have my favorite floor worker of the whole quad, one Ksenia Afansayeva. She is just a brilliant floor worker and should bring in a HUGE score. She is a world champion on this event as well, and I would not be surprised if she medaled in EF.

USA:

Douglas, Weiber, Raisman.

I would have thought it possible for Maroney to compete floor in TFs, but the poor thing broke a toe, so Douglas it is (and it may well have been her anyway). She is quite good if she hits, and she should! Weiber does a very powerful routine and I actually think its more graceful than many others do. Raisman does the hardest tumbling in the world, of course. Its possible we will see WEiber/Douglas in floor finals, and we will certainly see Raisman.

 

Other EF contenders:

Lauren Mitchell, AUS: a world champ on the event. Solid work, usually.

Victoria Moors, CAN: a darkhorse contender, really innovative and cool work.

Beth Tweddle, GBR: another world champ with big skills.

 

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