Thursday, May 14, 2009

Here We Go!

It's working at last.

I'm just going to look at bits and pieces. I agree that P-Liddy was vague and teasing about parts, but adamant about others. I'm just glad she's toned down the "[name] will have NO chance/is not on my radar/needs to shape up or ship out..." talk.

"Since there is no team event at the World Championships this year, we have really taken an individual approach to the seniors from the Beijing squad," said Liddick, referring to the gymnasts who helped the Australian team place sixth at last summer's Olympic Games."

Great. Let's hope some of the OTHER members of that Beijing team (particularly those that had a greater hand in our 6th place finish than others, and I don't mean that in an antagonistic way) get a shot at some more international exposure before Worlds. I'm gonna use the c-word again: Capitalise on the fact they're still brimming with confidence at what they did last August, capitalise on their ability to block out noise and focus to the extreme like they did at the Games. Use it now (or at least very soon!), let them try it in a new competition environment.

"I have taken the tack that these girls are adults now and they have been involved to a much greater extent in their next four-year plan. We are taking it slow. There is no hurry for them."

That's great to hear. We forget that these girls aren't 15 or 16 anymore; they're now very near to, or on the other side of, 18 years old. Their bodies and mentalities have changed and matured with their styles and repertoires, it's important to approach and work with these these in the appropriate way.

"Britt has been around an elite training environment since she was about 3 years old," Liddick said. "Her mother, Haedi, was an elite gymnast, and she has been on development squads that trained with Monette Russo, Stephanie Moorhouse and Karen Nguyen for the Athens Olympics, and with Ashleigh Brennan for the 2008 campaign, so she knows what it is all about and how to get there. It is nothing new for her."

I forget this sometimes. Britt, then, would know better than the rest of the new seniors what is expected of her and what she can expect as the big event draws nearer. She wasn't at her very best at AYOF or Massilia so with a few months of comprehensive training, and a week's camp experience, under her belt I hope she can pick herself up and do her abilities justice. I saw Britt working on some big skills in training, I'd wish for her to get those ready and consistent and do the best job she can do when selection time comes. She's really grown on me and if she doesn't make the Worlds team this year (I'd say it wouldn't be as an AA-er, maybe as floor specialist if Dasha's not ready???) she'd hang on for a 2010 Commonwealth Games team spot. She comes across as a real team player.

"The girls who are ready and want to, will compete in London," Liddick said. "My expectations would be to only send gymnasts who have their routines up to a World Championships standard and those who can perform at that standard."

Yeah. No more Yurchenko full vaults and single punch layouts as tumbling passes, dammit!

That said, I'm going to make a vague prediction now, and then a more decisive one after Nationals, just to see how it matches up (or how very, very wrong I might be. I'm no good at footy tipping y'know).

AA: Shona Morgan, especially if she's rocking that Baitova we've heard about.
Dasha is she's well enough, but if not then I'd say
Georgia B or Emma Dennis as the second.

Specialist/s: Lauren Mitchell for beam. Derr, Fred! Possibly floor as well if she can control her landings.
Dasha for floor/beam if she's well enough.
Britt for floor if she gets that double arabian.
Mel Jones for floor/vault.


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to blame Peggy for the lack of International assignments this year. My understanding is that GA does not have the funds (I have no information as to why) and that Peggy is as frustrated as we are. There will not be an international contingent as Nationals this year either, which kind of compounds the [problem

Mez said...

I take what you're saying on board, but GA's recent statement did say it was a strategic decision, rather than a financial one, that kept Emily Little from going to Germany.

I'm surprised they don't get more NZ gymnasts at Nationals. A little healthy competition would be great for both programs, particularly in the lead-up to CWG. I think international contigents would turn down our nationals this year simply because it's too late in the year, too close to Worlds.

Anonymous said...

It's certainly unfair to blame Peggy. If the girls are not ready she cannot send them.
Sadly Dasha will be unable to compete for a while yet.

Anonymous said...

what did Dasha actually do to her ankle?

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what GA has said, the reason is money ... maybe strategic finances ?? :)

The Kiwi girls usually go to Aussie Nats, but are coming to Vics this year instead. I think that, too, is probably a cost thing. Airfares to Perth from NZ would be considerable.

Anonymous said...

As much as international competition is important if there isn't enough money then it makes it difficult.

Anonymous said...

I hope Dasha hasn't retired. That would be a disaster for Australia and WA for that matter. Does anyone know if she is still in the gym?

Anonymous said...

I don't know. Peggy said in her interview that she was making progress and might be able to compete at worlds. Then there was a commnent left that said she had ankle surgery, which I guess is not suprising considering how long it has taken her to recover and she needs another operation. If thats the case then it seems highly unlikely that she will compete this year.

Anonymous said...

does anyone no what Amber Fulljames is up to? she could be a hopefull in the coming years aswell.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure she's continuing. She has been at both camps this year and is part if the olympic squad. She had an injury recently but there hasn't been any talk of her not being at nationals.

Anonymous said...

To Annon at 2.10 - i just saw on the new GV website that Amber is coming down for the Victorian Championships in June along with Amaya King Koi (jnr). There are also some juniors coming from NZ

Anonymous said...

Dont forget about our UB specialist. Livvy may be in Oregon, but she is still an Aussie. just imagine all of the exposure she is getting over there.