Women's Gymnastics Olympic Qualifications 2012: What You Need to Know About Them
Women participate in qualifying in gymnastics starting on July 29. The events that they can qualify in are the individual all-around, team all-around, vault, floor exercise, uneven bars and balance beam.
What the event is: A springboard is set up next to a pommel horse. Then the gymnast runs full speed and uses both springboard and pommel horse to perform stunts.
Key names to watch for: McKayla Maroney, Oksana Chusovitina, Sandra Izbasa, Jordan Wieber
Maroney is an assassin on the vault and was brought into the Olympics solely to win a gold in the event for the US team. Oksana Chusovitina is 37 years old. However, she has been amazing over the past few years finishing with a silver at the 2011 World Championships.
Sandra Izbasa is the current European Champion in the vault and is looking like a strong shot to medal. There isn't much behind Moroney on the American team, but Jordan Wieber is a great all-around gymnast and could surprise here.
What the event is: A giant stage where the gymnast will perform what are called passes of a gymnastic tumbling series.
Key names to watch for: Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Sui Lu, Larissa Iordache
Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas will represent the Americans on the medal podium here. As good as Wieber looked in the event in trials, Douglas was right on her heels and could edge her out in the individual competition.
Sui Lu of China is another gymnast who will compete in the floor for a medal. She won the silver in the floor at the 2011 World Championships. Larissa Iordache is another European Champion who could medal, but she will have to battle a bout of plantar fasciitis in her left foot (h/t ESPN).
What the event is: Two bars that are spaced with one being a good bit higher than the other.
Key names to watch for: Viktoria Komova, Aliya Mustafina, Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross
Viktoria Komova is the current World Champion in the event and is looking like the woman to beat in London. Aliya Mustafina is a candidate for the breakout gymnast of the games. She could really make a name for herself with a medal in the uneven bars.
Gabby Douglas is the best American in this event and could very well win the gold medal. Kyla Ross is another American to watch, as she earned her spot on this team with a great showing at the US Olympic trials.
What the event is: It's a beam sitting on supports that is just 4 inches wide.
Key names to watch for: Sui Lu, Larisa Iordache, Catalina Ponor, Jordan Wieber
Sui Lu is the current world champion on the event and is going to be the name to beat here. She has been dominant at competitions and will likely win another gold. Larisa Iordache, if healthy, is another name to watch here.
Catalina Ponor is a tremendous competitor on the beam and the gold medalist from the Athens Games. She also won the gold in the 2012 World Cup on the beam proving that she still had it. Jordan Wieber is excellent here and is the Americans' best hope for a medal.
What the event is: It's the combination of the four events for just one gymnast to participate in.
Key names to watch for: Jordan Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Viktoria Komova, Sui Lu
Wieber and Douglas will be extremely competitive for the American team and are likely to finish one and two. Now as to who wins gold and who wins silver, we will have to wait until late to figure that one out.
Viktoria Komova is a top gymnast in the uneven bars but has the ability to medal in any event and could be a gold medal threat here.
Sui Lu is a gold-medal candidate in the beam and the floor exercise, but she will have to go out of her mind in the vault and bars to compete for a medal here.
What the event is: Similar to the individual event, but multiple members are allowed to compete.
Key names to watch for: United States, China, Romania, Russia
Douglas, Raisman, Wieber, Maroney and Ross will have the United States as the true gold medal favorite. China is the group that won the gold medal in 2008. However, they don't have but one of the 2008 team competing in this year's event.
Romania is one of the more experienced teams in the Olympics and will be competing for the final medal spot. Russia will be competing for the gold with the US, Romania and China, but third seems like the right spot to slot them.
The women's gymnastics has always been a favorite of Olympics fans. The qualifying will leave fans mesmerized, but it's just the appetizer that will get them ready for the main course. The medal competitions are later in the Olympics.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.
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