Larisa Iordache won the all around title. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

The 2017 Summer Universiade was held from August 19 to August 29 in Taipei City, Taiwan.

All around final

Larisa Iordache of Romania proved that she is officially back as an all arounder, winning the all around title with a 56.750. Iordache had a steady performance, scoring a 14.400 on vault, a 14.300 on bars, a 14.00 (with a fall!) on beam and a 14.050 on floor. She is not her cleanest self, and her leg form in particular is a bit sloppy here and there, but she is certainly a contender for multiple medals at the World championships, especially in this post-Olympic year, when no one looks entirely polished (except for the U.S. juniors!). Iordache also has the top balance beam difficulty in the world right now with a massive 6.5. She performs both a full-twisting layout (very tucked though) and a full-twisting tuck. She fell on the latter both in qualifications and in the all around competition, she will want to work on her execution for Worlds.

Second was Olympian Asuka Teramoto of Japan, who keeps impressing with her consistent performances over the years. The 2017 American Cup silver medallist posted a good 55.650 all around score. She scored a 14.500 on vault, a 13.950 on bars, a 13.800 on beam and a 13.400 on floor.

Third was Olympian Ellie Black of Canada with a 54.950. Black, who had qualified in first place, scored a 14.500 on vault, a 14.00 on beam and a 13.550 on floor, but had trouble on bars with a 12.900.

Fourth was Evgeniya Shelgunova of Russia with a 54.200, fifth was Japan’s Natsumi Sasada with a 53.250, sixth was Filipa Martins of Portugal with a 52.400, seventh was Gabriela Janik of Poland with a 52.050 and eighth was Daria Spiridonova of Russia with a 51.700. Spiridonova, however, posted the highest score on bars, a 14.450.

A couple of NCAA gymnasts competed in the all around final as well. Senior Briannah Tsang of Penn State competed there for Canada and was eleventh with a 51.000. Germany’s Pauline Tratz is committed to UCLA as a freshman for this upcoming season, and was thirteenth with a 50.350.

Team final

The first day of competition also determined the team final winners. Russia won the competition with a 163.000. The Russian team was formed of Lilia Akhaimova, Daria Elizarova, Evgeniya Shelgunova and Olympians Daria Spiridonova and Maria Paseka. Paseka made a strong case for herself for a spot on the World championships team, after hitting her Amanar for a 15.000. Akhaimova impressed on vault, where she competed a solid DTY for a 14.450 and on floor, where she scored a 13.600. Elizarova, who is 26, also impressed on floor with a beautiful and difficult routine, and qualified in first place for the final with a 13.850. Both Elizarova and Akhaimova performed a double Arabian to punch front as their first tumbling pass.

Second in the team final was Canada with a 161.100. The team was formed of Olympians Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers, Jessica Dowling, Denelle Pedrick and Briannah Tsang. Canada was surprisingly the best team on balance beam, but struggled with difficulty on floor and with consistency on bars. In addition to Tsang, Denelle Pedrick is also an NCAA gymnast at Eastern Michigan, and Brittany Rogers is a former Georgia Gymdog.

Third was Japan with a 159.900. The team was formed of Yumika Nakamura, Natsumi Sasada, Ayana Tone, and Olympians Yuki Uchiyama and Asuka Teramoto. Nakamura and Uchiyama both posted big scores on the uneven bars.

Fourth was Germany (which included NCAA gymnast Antonia Alicke of UIC and Olympian Kim Bui), fifth the Netherlands, sixth Chinese Taipei, seventh Portugal and eighth South Korea.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua


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