IG Editor Dwight Normile is blogging from the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships at the O2 Arena in London, where the women's competition began Wednesday.
The results of Session IV had little impact on the top all-around rankings, but it included some highlights nonetheless. Session V, on the other hand, could shake up the standings on various events. Until then, here are some observations from the penultimate prelim session.
Koko Tsurumi (JPN): Mounted floor with a clean tucked full-in, then followed with a 2.5 twist, punch front layout. Third pass of handspring-double-twisting front, and a double pike dismount, all landed securely. Yurchenko-full vault. On bars, Tsurumi did an Ono to Jaeger and later an Ono immediate pirouette. Dismounted with a double layout (14.775). Excellent beam routine to finish the session. Consecutive full turns in both directions, light tumbling and beautiful lines. She landed in fifth place in the all-around rankings.
Veronica Wagner (SWE): Wagner began on bars with a Gienger and double front. Her beam was notable for how high she worked on her toes, the lightness of her landings and powerful double front dismount (13.80). High double front mount on floor, after which she bounced forward and maybe O.B. High double tuck second pass. On vault she did a tight handspring-piked barani and a layout Tsukahara.
Jessica Lopez (VEN): Lopez hit bars well and finished with a high double front from elgrip. Missed a flip-flop layout on beam, which seemed to have given her trouble in podium training, too. Tucked full-on mount on floor, and 2.5 twist, tucked front second. Triple twist third pass was excellent but she lunged forward after her double pike dismount.
Cha Yong Hwa (PRK): Incredible bars set from the North Korean, highlighted by a giant-hop-full to a Hristakieva (full-twisting Gienger) for a 15.025.
Youna Dufournet (FRA): Solid start to her meet on beam, finishing with two flip-flops to double pike. Piked full-in mount on floor, followed by a double Arabian, both landed well. 1.5 twist through to 2.5 twist third, and double pike to finish. Strong routine. Dufournet had a scary moment in vault warm-ups when her hands slid off the table after a roundoff half-on. Her coach caught her in midair to avoid a nasty fall. In the meet she did a Yurchenko-1.5 and a roundoff half-on layout barani. (You need to show two vaults to have a chance to qualify to the final.) Dufournet was looking strong on bars until a full pirouette went crooked and she missed the ensuing Gienger. That led to another break.
Hong Un Jong (PRK): Struggled with balance issues on beam, and nearly missed a foot on her roundoff to triple twist dismount, which finished in a prone position. She was OK. Opened floor with a clean 1.5 twist through to triple twist. Double tuck second, and two whips through to double pike third. Hong dismounted with a 2.5 twist. Lacking in choreography, but she can definitely tumble. In the final rotation, Hong did what she came to London for: vault. She did a high Amanar (small step) and planted an easy roundoff half-on to piked barani. She will be hard to beat.