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Wieber Wins Senior Title Easily; Bross Injured
(17 votes, average 3.71 out of 5)

First-year senior Jordyn Wieber looked invincible as she ran away with the 2011 Visa Championships, but a knee injury to defending champion Rebecca Bross proved how fickle a gymnast's health can be. Wieber never missed a routine throughout the two-day competition, and her 121.30 was a hefty 6.15 ahead of runner-up McKayla Maroney (115.15).

But in contrast to Wieber's all-around brilliance was the exit of defending champion Bross during the third rotation, when she landed low on a double-twisting Yurchenko and dislocated her right knee cap. Her leg was put in a brace and she was carried off for further evaluation.

"To see one of your friends and teammates get injured, it's heartbreaking," said Wieber.

Wieber improved upon her 59.85 from Thursday and tallied 61.45 Saturday, which exceeded the goal of her coach, John Geddert.

"We really wanted to post a 61 today to send a message to the world," said Geddert, who did not want his gymnast to water down her last routine, on beam, with such a big lead. "This is nothing like what worlds will be like [in terms of pressure], so taking things out was never an option."

Wieber also wanted to send a message, especially after the spotty effort she had put forth on Thursday. She's also looking forward to getting even stronger in the lead up to worlds in October.

"It feels really good," she said of her win. "Just how aggressive and confident I was, I want to put into my training."

Maroney turned things around from Thursday, when the only event she hit was vault (Amanar). But what a vault she has. She hit all of her routines tonight, and won the vault title (layout Podkopayeva second vault). U.S. national team coordinator Marta Karolyi was willing to give her a pass on day one.

"You can't blame her because that was her first time as a senior," she said, and then raved about her incredible vault. "She has what I think is the best [Amanar] in the world."

Alexandra Raisman, third with 114.60, avoided falls throughout both days, but was rough in places. She attributed that to her new routines, which are packed with difficulty. She mounted floor with a 1.5 twist through to Arabian double, punch front, but she decided against vaulting her Amanar in both prelims and finals.

Mackenzie Caquatto finished fourth with 112.50, and her sister, Bridgette, finished sixth (111.50), behind Sabrina Vega (112.05). Both Caquattos are strong on bars, which could help at least one of them get selected for worlds.

Gabrielle Douglas improved considerably from day one, when she had numerous falls. She looked much better this time on three events, and was nailing her difficult beam set until the end, when she balked twice on her dismount sequence of flip-flop, flip-flop, double pike.

Chellsie Memmel was eighth, and that included an aborted routine on uneven bars when she tweaked her right shoulder on a giant to full pirouette. She missed the skill twice and decided not to remount again.

Shawn Johnson did vault, bars and beam, and looked stronger than on Thursday.

"With each routine I compete I feel more like myself," she said, adding that she would be attending the next training camp. Overall, she was very excited about her performance and inspired to continue her quest for London 2012.

Alicia Sacramone had another mixed effort, looking strong on floor but missing connections on beam and landing her double-twisting Yurchenko fairly low. But as she said after prelims, now is not the time to be peaking with the world championships in October.

Karolyi can only hope things come together by then.

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Read complete coverage of the Visa Championships in the September issue of IG.

Comments (7)add comment

Anonymous said:

Poor Rebecca. She's usually such a tough kid. Seeing her cry like that means it must have been VERY painful indeed. Judging by the way people in the crowd were covering their faces, I wonder if they could see the dislocation. Hope its not serious and she can recover in time for London.
August 20, 2011
Votes: +7

Liz M said:

I'd like to read a "Stretching it out" on whether or not Bross should have even been doing vault based on her workouts this week, or if she should have watered down on vault for the sake of doing AA. As someone pointed out on the forum, Marta removed a switch-side leap from Johnson's BB but OK'd Bross' DTY? I know hindsight is 20/20, but we have now lost one of our MVPs on what was a totally unnecessary routine.
August 20, 2011
Votes: +10

Ana gym said:

shame on Liukin
I'm so sorry for Becca.... But I wonder why Valery didn't water down her vault. During warm up it was clear that she wasn't gonna land it on her feet. It wasn't the olympic finals! She shouldn't have gonne for it!
August 21, 2011
Votes: +2

jenny Gabribidian said:

bross should have NEVER vaulted. shame on you Valerie
August 21, 2011
Votes: -2

gymbot12 said:

Only the USA could suffer such bad luck so close to Worlds...explain to me how we lose Bross and Memmel in the last rotation, two months from Worlds? Seems like the USA's long list of fallen gymnasts will need to be extended, those injured immediately prior to or during all majorly contested events of this era-
2010-Bross(foot),Sloan, Davis,Hong,Shapiro,Peszek
2009-Marna Neubauer
2007-Liukin,Fuller Frenz
2006-Liukin,Memmel,Kristen McDermott
2005-Liz Crandall
2004-Kupets,Memmel,Vise,Postell,Yim,Stacy Gunthorpe
2003-Kupets,Postell,Hatch,Anne Woynerowski
2002-Yim,Ashley Asmelik-blakgeurle Miles
2001-Michelle Campi's younger sister,Summer Campi(who oddly now runs a summer camp titled "Summer's Campi"
1997-Chari Knight-Hunter-Knight-Chari
1993-Sheryl Dundas, Stephanie Wood, Agina Simpkins, Heidi Hornbeek
1992-Campi,Grivich,Woolsey,Zmeskal,Miller,Okino,Dawes,Amy Scherr,Engel
1989-Marcia Frederick's daughter, Conehedtisha Frederick
1987-Aurelia Dobre (not American, but yeeahhhhhhh, you won Aurellie!
1986-Same goes for Kolesnikova, amazing!
1983-Marie Roethlisberger(during hearing disability
1979-Nancy Thies-Marshall & Chinese Pianist ,Jian Jiazheng
1979-Doris Fuchs-Brause and her squirrel for every year thereafter was a loss!!!

August 21, 2011
Votes: -1

Frankie68 said:

Bross clearly should not have been competing. If it was that importanant she should of just did Beam and Bars to put her back out there. Her new floor routine is just arm swinging , no dance. I have never been a fan of her gymnastics. But she she use to be consistent.
August 21, 2011
Votes: +1

Cassie said:

Patella dislocation is extremely painful. I've dislocated both of my kneecaps many times. Finally had surgery on one to prevent it. I knew she dislocated hers when she landed and clutched her knee the way she did. It's a terrible feeling. You just want to put it back in place immediately. Hopefully she was able to get hers back in quickly. Luckily I always could put mine back myself.
August 22, 2011
Votes: -1

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