So here we are, then.
Post #101 and a big exhale after Nationals.
The arena's getting packed up, video footage is being uploaded and downloaded and sidewaysloaded, The Chosen Ones are resuming training and then eventually jetting up to Canberra for final selection, yours truly is back on earth after spending a weekend in Gym Nirvana.
I highly recommend you check out the videos online courtesy of Misty and Nade (among others), they're smashing. Misty's in particular, she had a great seat for the apparatus challenge. Nade has footage of a Stateline (ABC) piece about Nationals, focussing on the Waverley girls and P-Liddy's selection procedures. My own video footage is being edited as we speak but there's nothing too groundbreaking I can add to the mix as it's all already there for you to see*^_^* There aren't [m]any vault vids up so hopefully mine can be of use. Maybe. I did get some footage of the athletes on the sidelines in addition to routines but that's about it, really. I got a few men's routines but aside from Rizzo's high bar, they're not that great to watch. Unless you're into Funniest Home Videos-style entertainment.
There is also a photo gallery at The Age online (www.theage.com.au), scroll down to the Sports section and look for "Twist and Shout - The Agony and the Ecstacy of the Olympic Qualifiers". There are some great ones of Miss D saluting; there's a cute one of what looks either either Ash's or Emma's feet leaving a chalk footprint trail on the floor mat, and there's also a very unflattering one of Olivia on beam, which I didn't think was very nice to include. International Gymnast gave the girls a mention too.
The WAG squad, eh!
Given the Nats results (Dasha and Shona getting automatic qualification onto the team), and hoping everything goes well in camp, I'm predicting the Olympic team will be:
for the following reasons.
Dasha - Well derr, Fred.
Lauren - A high-scoring beam routine and equally impressive floor if she can just control the big tumbles. Her bars is showing promise, too. She just (again) needs some control but I'm sure she can work the kinks out in time.
Shona - Very neat and, as has been established, a "rock" on events like beam and floor. She just needs to keep her chest up to avoid falling forward most of the time. If she can get the Y-double, she's a lock for a vault spot and to be honest I'd rather see her on bars than Olivia in terms of potential B-scores.
Georgia - Beeeeyootiful beam work, not too much to whittle off a B-score there. She tumbles much the same as Georgia on floor but just as neatly. I think she was the 'other' girl with a Comaneci on bars but I hope I'm not confusing her with another Victorian...
Ashleigh - A striking performer who's getting more and more confident each time, particularly on beam where she hits a nice set but doesn't seem to have a "wow" skill just yet. Her floor is a delight and like her other state team-mates, goes for nailed landings with success more often than not. She's not looking to repeat her CWG floor final mistake again anytime soon!
Emma - Y-double on vault, elegant beam and floor work that the crowd will love, she really goes for the stuck landings (and succeeds most of the time). A real surprise package. Could do for the Beijing team what Shona did for the Stuttgart one.
Olivia - Gets my vote for a reserve position because she deserves to travel with the team. However, I wouldn't see a lot of use for her beyond bars, but even then there are other girls who could outshine her in terms of execution. She has great team spirit and if she neatens up at camp, we could see her perform in the preliminary round. Previous Worlds experience could work in her favour.
Mel J - a dark horse for a spot, but was shaky at Nationals. She's great on vault and shows such power on floor (gosh I love well-done double arabians!), but lacks the high scores and stuck landings of the other girls. She could sneak in there, it all comes down to consistency at camp.
Gosh, there's the c-word again (the good kind of c-word). I'm sounding like Bart Conor...
Over to you, Elfi.