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Saturday, April 20, 2024

The WAG Juniors To Watch in Antalya

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Isabella Ajalla

The ladies start their competitors on the second ever junior world championships in Antalya, Turkey tomorrow, starting with six subdivisions of group competitors and particular person {qualifications}.

As with the lads’s competitors, tomorrow’s classes is not going to be dwell streamed, however finals shall be proven dwell on the FIG’s YouTube and you’ll observe dwell scores by way of Longines.

The Prime Groups to Comply with

The ladies from the US are coming into junior worlds because the heavy favorites after profitable bronze on the inaugural competitors 4 years in the past. With this yr’s Winter Cup champion Hezly Rivera and final yr’s nationwide all-around silver medalist Jayla Cling headlining the group alongside Izzy Stassi, who not too long ago moved to Buckeye and completed second behind Rivera on the trial meet earlier this month, this group is tremendous well-balanced throughout all 4 occasions and has an amazing mixture of stable issue, clear execution, and beautiful presentation that shall be laborious to match.

With Russia, the reigning junior world champions, out of competitors and with China trying a bit weaker than we’d normally count on, the remainder of the rostrum is fairly vast open, however I’d guess on Japan as taking one of many medals. Japan is led by standout all-arounder Yamaguchi Sara, who completed eighth all-around on the NHK Trophy final yr, scoring equally to the seniors who made the worlds group and placing up the perfect scores on beam and ground, earlier than happening to win the nationwide beam and ground titles on the All-Japan Occasion Championships a month later (beating world gold medalist Ashikawa Urara on the previous within the course of).

Yamaguchi is a star and must also be one to look at for the all-around ultimate, whereas Mizuno Mika ought to put up massive scores on vault and ground and Nakamura Haruka is an excellent bar employee who additionally has stunning abilities on beam. Their standout occasions assist cancel out weaker occasions to maintain them afloat within the all-around, and if all three athletes mixed do what they’re able to, I’d take into account them huge threats right here, and suppose they may doubtlessly even get the upset for gold relying on how issues go for the U.S. ladies.

Each Italy and Germany are getting back from nice group performances at each Euros and EYOF final yr, and will proceed to be within the combine for the rostrum right here. Although the Italian group is fairly totally different from what we noticed final yr after many of the prime juniors in 2022 have since graduated to the senior degree, July Marano brings expertise and massive scores on vault and ground to assist newcomers Giulia Perotti – an incredible younger athlete with massive potential as an all-arounder – and Caterina Gaddi contend for a medal right here. For Germany, star Helen Kevric returns with among the best junior all-around applications on the planet, and if she’s at full well being (which is questionable based mostly on what she carried out on the DTB Pokal Workforce Problem a few weeks in the past, although my hope is that they have been holding her again a bit there) she has what it takes to steer teammates Marlene Gotthardt and Silja Stöhr to the rostrum.

In any other case, my favourite group to sneak onto the rostrum is Argentina, led by South American Junior Video games and Pan Ams all-around bronze medalist Isabella Ajalla and South American Junior Video games all-around, vault, and ground champion Mia Mainardi. Identified for her artistry, Ajalla ought to contribute prime scores on bars, beam, and ground, whereas Mainardi is a robust vault and ground employee who additionally does properly on beam, although she’s been a bit inconsistent there up to now. The group additionally contains Emilia Acosta, who’s a it behind the opposite two general however has a phenomenal beam routine and will present an essential routine ought to both of the others falter.

In any other case, the group from China – that includes Jiang Shuxuan, Qin Xinyi, and Yu Hanyue – has quite a lot of expertise however not fairly the problem seen by different applications. Sometimes, the Chinese language ladies have been a bit behind on vault and ground, however could make up for this with unbelievable work on bars and beam, and whereas this group of athletes has potential on each occasions, it’s not going to be fairly as simple to carry on to a prime spot because it’s been up to now. As with the lads, I’m being a bit conservative with my estimation right here and hoping they’ll step it up as soon as they compete, however I do suppose they’ll must depend on errors from different groups along with hitting their very own at 100%.

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Nice Britain, Canada, and France ought to all have some nice performances. Abigail Martin – who simply grew to become her nation’s junior nationwide all-around title final weekend – leads the British group. Having competed at each EYOF and Euros final summer season, she brings a lot of expertise along with her energy and finesse on vault and ground, whereas Jemima Taylor is solely beautiful on beam and ground, and Ema Kandalova has a constant program throughout the board. For Canada, all three athletes – Cristella Brunetti-Burns, Victoriane Charron, and Zoe Tsaprailis – are robust all-arounders, with Brunetti-Burns an particularly gifted beam employee. For France, the standout ought to be Lilou Viallat, a beautiful all-arounder with massive potential on bars and beam, whereas Ming van Eijken is a prime vault contender, and Lana Pondart ought to steadiness them out throughout all occasions.

The opposite groups I’d take into account for my prime 10 are Romania, Brazil, and Belgium. The Romanians have been prime medal threats on the continental meets final season, however having misplaced most prime juniors to the senior ranks, they’ll probably take a reasonably large dip this yr, whereas Brazil has some stunningly gifted beam and ground employees, but it surely’s not like they’ll have the ability to overcome a weaker bars rotation. Belgium could possibly be attention-grabbing – they weren’t among the many stronger groups final yr, however a lot of their athletes have grown exponentially and will shock right here and end increased than I count on them to.

The Prime People to Comply with

Exterior of the highest groups, there are a number of athletes from smaller group applications or competing right here as people I’d like to see make particular person finals.

One among my favorites is Vanesa Masova of Czechia, who’s a promising bar employee and powerful all-arounder with a stable talent degree throughout all 4 occasions. Wiktoria Grzesikiewicz and Maria Drobniak of Poland are each additionally good all-arounders with 48+ potential, and I’m very excited to see what Allanah Portalatin, who trains at Parkettes however is representing Puerto Rico internationally, is ready to accomplish right here…and the identical goes for Amber Ward Wen Si of Hong Kong, who trains in Australia and completed sixth at nationals there final summer season.

On beam, I actually take pleasure in 2022 Balkan all-around champion Mila Prpic of Croatia and Tatiana Tapia of Panama, whereas on ground, I discover Yali Shoshani of Israel and Colleen Hong of Singapore tremendous compelling, whereas Hwang Seohyun of South Korea is a bundle of vitality and a pleasure to look at.

Article by Lauren Hopkins


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