China is spectacular this year… on beam. Don´t worry, I’m kinda kidding. China can medal as a team this year, but they MUST hit beam. They´re experiencing a drought on the power events (mainly due to the retirement of Wang Yan), and while their bars rotation is good, they can be passed by the Americans, the Russians, the Germans, and the British. Beam is the only event that they can win. Beam is their weapon and their ride to the podium. I can’t overstress the importance of beam for the Chinese. Did I mention that beam is really important for this team?
Chen Yili: Asian all around champion, potential DTY, TF bars set, BEAM BEAM BEAM, the new one that gives China hope for the future
Luo Huan: Asian all around silver medalist, 2017 world bars finalist, Asian bars silver medalist, also pretty good on BEAM when she hits
Liu Jinru: The new Wang Yan, Rudi and Kas full on vault, DLO+punch front on floor, keeping China afloat on the power events, crucial to China´s TF success
Liu Tingting: 2018 Asian bars champion, 2017 world beam finalist, used to have a DTY, damn good at bars and BEAM, the team’s best combination of both.
Zhang Jin: 2018 Stuttgart world cup winner, Kas full on vault, whip+ 3/1 on floor, damn good BEAM worker
Du Siyu: The one who is taking Fan Yilin´s role, the new bars-a-tron, 6.4 d score, Downie, was injured most of the year, is still new to me
I know, who is the alternate? Let’s see…
With China, their biggest issue is their underpowered floor (and vault, but to a lesser degree) lineup. With that issue, anyone who looks like a TF floor worker is immediately on the team. So Liu Jinru, Chen, and Zhang are all safe.
The remaining three of Liu Tingting, Du Siyu, and Luo Huan are all UB/BEAM type gymnasts. Of said three, Liu Tingting can provide TF/medal worthy scores on both, so she should make the team along with the power gymnasts. Out of the remaining two, both have similar arguments (primarily centered around bars) for making the team. Du can claim that she can produce an untouchable score on bars, and Luo can claim that she can add to both the bars and the beam lineups. Sadly for Luo, her argument is rendered useless, as the beam lineup is already full with Zhang, Liu TT, and Chen, and while she can put up a good score on bars, she is inconsistent there, and Du will almost undoubtedly beat her there with a hit routine. Luo is the likely alternate, sadly for her.
VT: Chen, Zhang, Liu J
UB: Chen, Liu TT, Du
BEAM: Zhang, Liu TT, Chen
FX: Chen, Zhang, Liu J
Not bad at all, especially if Chen has her DTY by worlds. And, as I said, THAT BEAM THOUGH.
Chen, the Asian all around champ, is a very legitimate all around contender. She must hit bars and BEAM spectacularly, though, to make up for a (potential) FTY and a weak-ish floor routine.
As for China’s second all arounder, Zhang Jin is a fantastic gymnast on three pieces, but her bars routine keeps her from being a true contender in the all around.
Event Final Prospects:
VT: Being the new Wang Yan, Liu Jinru is expected to make the vault final. Her difficulty keeps her in the conversation for a medal, but she has to hit both of her vaults well if she wants to beat Olsen, Devai, Melnikova etc.
UB: China can realistically expect two bars finalists. Liu Tingting is the Asian champion on bars, so with a hit, she can make the final with relative ease. China’s newest (and most realistic) bars medal hope is Du Siyu, who has the start value to challenge anyone (6.4 D puts her right up there with Derwael and Downie). What hinders her is both her consistency and how little we know about her. She just came back from injury, so who knows what she looks like right now? With that said, she´s a medal favorite with a hit.
BEAM: BEAM is China’s place to go 1-2. I´d expect Chen to have a good shot at #1 with a hit, and Liu Tingting can also challenge for a medal with a good one. Zhang Jin can also make the final, but she’ll need a teammate to falter if she wants in.
Though China has a SPECTACULAR beam team this year, they aren´t without competition on the event. Biles, Sanne Wevers, and Kara Eaker all pose threat to the Chinese two. I´m actually SO excited for the beam final.
Floor: Don´t. Just hit it in the TF. Please. The start values just aren’t there for this one, without Wang Yan.