Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Analyzing China's Chances Despite Little Information

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Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Analyzing China's Chances Despite Little Information
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Rumors are, by definition, unsubstantiated reports or idle speculation. However, where the 2012 Chinese Olympic women’s gymnastics team is concerned, so little information is available to the general public, one cannot help but wonder how they will perform.

Though not known for wearing their hearts on their sleeves, the Chinese coaches and team members have been conspicuously quiet. OK, team members are inherently mum, but are the coaches worried, or should the U.S. be concerned about these dynamos, beyond allegedly changing passports and birth certificates?

Then again, the Chinese could be merely working diligently behind the scenes toward improving difficulty (D) scores on bars and vault.

Now that the women’s team has been determined, Yao Jinnan, Sui Lu, Huang Qiushuang, Deng Linlin and He Kexin are under scrutiny and under wraps, with Jiang Yuyuan and Tan Sixin tagging along.

If the recent Chinese National Championships is any indicator, the women are lagging woefully behind the Romanians and Americans. Of course this does not mean they can’t improve, but surpassing either country will require feats of magic on their part and bad luck for the U.S. and Romania. Only one Chinese gymnast scored a 15 during event finals. Count ‘em—one. 

It’s a good bet the team is working feverishly on improving their D scores overall, and more than likely trying to stand up Amanar vaults.

How they will fare at the 2012 Summer Games is anyone’s guess as training continues behind closed doors. On Sunday, we'll finally see what's behind the curtain...but here is what we do know from a short-term historical perspective.

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