Women's Gymnastics 2012: What USA Must Do to Bring Home Gold
The women's team competition is coming up, and it's going to feature a United States team that will compete for gold. However, they must keep their focus and do their jobs if they want to win the gold medal this year.
The team competition is extremely unique in that the countries will put their top three in each event into the competition. This is going to give the American team an advantage in every event and could be one of the few times the US team sweeps every event.
Likely Participants: McKayla Maroney (15.900), Gabby Douglas (15.900), Jordyn Wieber (15.833)
This is McKayla Maroney's only event that she will compete in for the team or individual medal competitions. Lucky for her, she's the best in the world at the event and the only one who is anywhere close to her is her teammate Gabby Douglas.
Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman are both going to compete for the third spot on the vault team, but it wouldn't shock anyone to see Bela Karolyi allow Raisman to take this one off in the team competition to rest her for the individual all-around.
The US women will win this event no matter which three they choose to put into it. They dominated the top four spots in qualifying and there is no reason for the US to not use the vault as a way to springboard their positioning.
Likely Participants: Gabby Douglas (15.333), Kyla Ross (14.866), Jordyn Wieber (14.833)
The uneven bars are arguably the American's weakest event. However, with Wieber not having to compete in the individual all-around, she can take much bigger risks in the team competition leading to much higher start values.
Kyla Ross's only event that she qualified for individually was the uneven bars. However, don't count out Gabby Douglas to lead the US in this event. She is the best shot for the women's all-around individual gold and this is her best event.
The US women just need to stay even with the field in the uneven bars and their dominance in the other events will allow them to win gold.
Likely Participants: Gabby Douglas (15.266), Aly Raisman (15.100), Kyla Ross (15.075)
The US has three of the best five women in the world in this event. Gabby Douglas is listed here again as she ranked second behind China's Sui Lu. The Chinese will be competitive here, but only have two good competitors in this event.
If the US women can use this as a way to expand a lead after going hard in the vault and staying even in the uneven bars, then expect this to be just another part of a dominant US gymnastics win in the team all-around.
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Likely Participants: Aly Raisman (15.325), Jordyn Wieber (14.666) , Gabby Douglas (13.766)
When looking at the floor exercise, the US has its least amount of depth here. Aly Raisman is the best in the world in the event. She is looking like the gold-medal favorite heading into it this year after posting the best qualifier.
Jordan Wieber is also in the top five, but if she can reduce down to just a couple of mistakes in her routine, she will end up much higher than just fifth in the event. Gabby Douglas is the weakest of the three in this event; however even she has medal talent if she can cut down on mistakes.
This would be just a way for the Americans to close out the competition. The floor rotation is similar to the uneven bars in that it could leave the US vulnerable to a comeback, but they should be spaced so far ahead before this event even comes into play that it won't matter.
So expect the US team to not just compete for the gold, but win it in London. This is the best women's gymnastics team the US has put out in years and could possibly end up as one of the best gymnastics teams of all time. Its depth of talent in both specialists like Ross and Maroney and all around talents like Wieber, Raisman and Douglas is unparalleled by any country this year.
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 runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and host Kvetching Draftniks Radio.
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