Sorry, sorry, sorry. Computer has been MIA for about a week, very frustrating (particularly in the lead-up to the new academic year).
Thanks to eagle-eyed fans, news of upgrades in the Aussie women's squad has filtered through from judges and they sound quite spectacular. As witnessed at a recent Olympic Squad training camp:
- Dasha Joura is attempting an Amanar (Yurchenko 2.5 twist) vault and a double layout on floor (as seen in her recent Fox Sports interview) which would propel her up the AA rankings. She is also going to compete at the upcoming Friendship Classic in the USA this March so it will be a chance to unveil one or both of these skills. Still no word on her whip-triple twist.
- Shona Morgan is going for a Baitova (Yurchenko double) while Kerby Purcell is refining hers (she competed it at the recent IGI Chicago Style invitational)
- Lauren Mitchell, also slated to compete at the Friendship Classic, is putting a piked(!) arabian double front in her floor routine...watch out, Beth Tweddle!
The next big challenge for the team is the selection trial for the Pacific Alliance Championships team. By the looks of things, nobody's going to the American Cup but the girls will be training in the USA for a bit. Only four will be chosen, and those four are looking to better the silver medal efforts of the 2006 team (the only remaining member of which is Dasha). I think Miss Joura and Mitchell are locks, Ash Brennan is looking strong for a spot but heaven knows who would get the last one. No word on Chloe Sims' progress so perhaps Shona might get it...?
It must be said that the girls are really rebounding after the Stuttgart disaster, this is looking to be quite an exciting team with a genuine medal chance. Multiple medal chances, in fact. Nationals will be an interesting event this year with some impressive skills on show (last year, to be honest, left a lot to be desired). Here's hoping they continue to improve and hit some great routines as we hurtle towards Beijing.
Happy Belated Valentine's Day everyone. It's good to be back!
Edited to amend the Amanar-Baitova confusion. My bad. Big thanks to readers for correcting me; I read enough at GGMB, you think I'd have picked it up. Derr, Fred!