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The Chinese Seniors Looking to Shine in this Quad

Liu Tingting in the Bangkok Asian WAG Championships in May.  (Photo @ Bless the Blooming Flowers of Chinese Gymnastics) It is almos...

Liu Tingting in the Bangkok Asian WAG Championships in May. 
(Photo @ Bless the Blooming Flowers of Chinese Gymnastics)

It is almost a given for gymnastics fans to associate the Chinese WAG team with combinations of multiple E-rated full pirouettes on bars and high layout straight on beam, but there is more that this team can offer. Going into the middle of this season, the young budding flowers of Team China has yet to display some impressive difficulty, but in less than three months’ time, some of these 2000-born young ladies will throw their best tricks to electrify the Montreal Olympic Stadium.

The Redemption of Liu Tingting (All-around, Balance Beam)

Since missing Rio due to injuries, the 16-year old has become more determined than ever, medaling in almost all competitions she participated in, including gold in all-round and on beam, and silver on bars in the Asian Championships in Bangkok two months earlier. Apart from the signature Chinese Healy-Ling-piked Jaegar combination on bars, Tingting also has very daring skills on beam – a front tuck mount and front handspring-front tuck acrobatic series. She is yet to reach her top form this year. Let’s hope that the Worlds will bring out the best of her and wish her a successful quad!

The Eligibles

Luo Huan (All-around, bars)
Initially one of the hopefuls for Rio, Luo Huan had a tough past quad due to injuries. Her start of this quad has been smooth so far, medaling in international assignments such as Melbourne World Cup (second on bars) and Doha World Cup (first on bars, third on beam). She went on to become the National all-around champion, as well as winning the bar title and clinched silver in all-around and on bars in the Asian Championships earlier in May. She is known for her cleanly executed techniques on bars, and a front aerial-split jump-Onodi-straddle jump combination on beam. However, Luo Huan has not been able to upgrade her vault from a full-twisting Yurchenko, and lacks a competitive floor routine. These will prevent her from attaining the same glory in the international arena.

Liu Jinru (Vault)
Having won a couple of medals on vault on both national and international levels, the latest being gold in the Asian championships earlier this year, Liu Jinru has established her name as a vaulting specialist. A much powerful vaulter than Wang Yan due to her height, Jinru might have missed Rio due to the lack of international experience and not having competitive beam and floor routines. She has been impressive at the national level over the years, but she has not been as ready on the big world stage. Now that we see many gymnasts outperforming themselves at big times, it is coaches’ trust that will be tested. Will she be ready now?

Lu Yufei (All-around)

A top 5 finisher in all-around in this year’s Chinese Nationals, Lu Yufei’s soulful eyes reminds us of veteran Jada Barbosa’s aura. Her slender figure gives that extra refinement in her movement, and she is definitely one who can dance. Yufei’s repertoire includes a Tkatchev-Geinger combination and a Fabrichnova dismount on bars, but the issues of labored swings and dead hangs are yet to be overcome. She once had a full-twisting double back on floor and a double twisting Tsukahara, but during the Nationals she had competed slightly watered down routines. This may affect her prospects for the 2017 Worlds in Montreal, which her inconsistency on beam does not make the situation better. Yet it will be great to have her grace the Chinese WAG team with her elegance. 

Written by Valerie Theodora Ko

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