U.S. Olympians: Johnson, Liukin

To almost nobody’s surprise, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin went 1-2 at the just-concluded U.S. Olympic Trials, securing spots on the team pending a show of readiness at the selection camp later this month.

Also invited to the selection camp: the rebounding with a vengance Chellsie Memmel, Samantha Peszek, Ivana Hong, Bridget Sloan, Shayla Worley, Jana Bieger, Mattie Larson, Chelsea Davis, Corrie Lothrop and Alicia Sacramone.

The way I think it will go down: Memmel, Peszek and Sacramone, pending injury and an absolute meltdown, as gymnastics analyists call them, should make the team. And those are the only five who will be used in event finals — Johnson, Sacramone and Peszek on vault, Liukin, Memmel and (probably) Johnson on bars, Liukin, Johnson and Memmel/Sacramone or possibly Peszek on beam and Johnson, Sacramone and likely Peszek on floor.

The sixth gymnast’s Olympic Games will consist of team prelims.

Who should that leadoff be? Ivana Hong makes a pretty good case for herself. Her B scores are higher than Jana Bieger’s. And she’s not rebounding from injury the way Sloan and Worley are.

Those four will likely make up the last team member and the three alternates.

The one question mark in all of this is 16-year-old Mattie Larson, a new senior who should be favored for very good things in 2009. Larson has the difficulty on vault and the polish and presence on floor to be an alternate — at least. She doesn’t have the international exposure.

Will she be an alternate?

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One Response to “U.S. Olympians: Johnson, Liukin”

  1. TCO Says:

    I disagree with this approach. We are going to CRUISE through prelims and there is no benefit to getting a higher score there, other than a “pass”. We need to select the team based on the 3 up format and every tenth could count. A bars specialist better than Johnson would still help. Probably Beiger, but perhaps Sloan.

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