In honour of the 2014 World Championships taking place in Nanning this week I thought that I would post my ideal top ten gymnasts (of those who are competing). These aren’t the girls that I think should get the top ten places in the current code but the ones that I wish would place in the top ten. Who would you want to see in the top ten? Regardless they are ALL huge inspirations to me, as people and as gymnasts.
1. Aliya Mustafina
Pure class, she is elegant, rhythmic and beautiful to watch. Her difficulty is high but the level of the skills is not quite wow enough to nudge past the super power Simone Biles (see further down the list). Her maturity and focus makes her very comfortable to watch and her strength and power is disguised by her poise. She is known as a feisty gymnast, and I admire women who say what they think. She first became world champion in 2010 and has consistently medaled at major championships. Of all the gymnasts competing at this year’s worlds, she is the one that I would most like to emulate. She is is one of the only top bar workers who doesn’t do it through “wow” moves but though flowing connections and effortlessly high release and catch.
2. Larisa Iordache
I almost put this lovely lady at the top. She is playful and fun to watch, and the Romanians have a style that I really like. It is not as elegant as Aliya’s but it is grounded and methodical with it’s own style. I like her beam and floor, her power tumbling on floor is good but her tumbling on beam is even better. She is always just nudged out in the AA and I would love it if she won, although I think she is the princess to Mustafina’s queen. But despite being playful she is very much the leader of the team, when the Romanian team just missed out on a medal today she was clearly giving a supportive talk to the younger members of the team who seemed unconsolable. I get the impression that she is a very intelligent young woman too. She also tweeted:
We did our best! Some little mistakes made the difference! Still 3 finals to go and I feel I can do it. Love