Sunday 29th July at 9.30 a.m. is when the women start competing. Because women do only 4 events, there are more subdivisions. Plus medal contenders tend to come from mainly the same countries – unlike men’s gymnastics which has specialists from countries that often don’t have whole teams in the Olympics.
Subdivision 1 is made almost entirely of mixed groups – individual competitors from countries that did not have teams qualify. Brazil will be struggling as due to contracting and sponsorship issues, Jade Barbosa has not been allowed to compete. Had she been allowed to compete she would likely have been a medal contender on Vault.
Yamilet Peña Abreu (DOM) – The first Dominican gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Peña has the potential to throw a spanner in the works of the women’s vault final. In 2011 we saw her attempt an insane vault with a 7.0 start value – a handspring double front. Even men struggle to do this vault and stick it, and they have more upper muscle and a higher vault table (therefore more air to get their somersaults in before landing). Every final she’s ended up landing on her back with a 0.000 score. Will she compete and complete the vault in London?
watch out for her in: Women’s Vault
Subdivision 2 – 11.30 am.
Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) – The 2006 World All-Around Champion narrowly missed out on a Floor medal this year in Brussels at the European Championships. However, there is no doubt that her strength on floor is coming back. She’ll be a key member of the Italian team along with Carlotta Ferlito and best hope for Italy winning a medal.
watch out for her in: Women’s All-Around, Women’s Floor
Lauren Mitchell (AUS) – Lauren had a real coming out party in Beijing, and looked to just be enjoying that she was at the Olympics. Then came Worlds in London, and she won a Silver medal on beam stunning people with her signature wolf turns – on 4 inches of wood! In 2010 she won multiple medals in the Commonwealth Games and went straight from Delhi to Rotterdam where she became Australia’s first world champion female gymnast. Her career has been plagued by injuries taking her out the All-Around but we’d love to see her shine on Beam and Floor…and maybe even help Australia to team finals.
Watch out for her in: Women’s Floor, Women’s Beam & (possibly) Women’s Team Final
Giulia Steingrüber (SUI) – Taking the torch from Ariella Kaeslin, Giulia is another great Swiss vaulter. Though she will likely be beaten by the likes of Chusovitina, Izbasa and Maroney, she is still one to watch in London.
Watch out for her in: Women’s Vault