With the wrap-up of the World Gymnastics Championships, the US women finished strong in all categories, giving a strong indication of how they will perform in 2016. The ladies brought home the team gold, while everyone was able to hit when the pressure was on, especially Simone Biles, who completely dominated the field.
Kyla Ross, Alyssa Baumann, Madison Kocian and Makayla Skinner all put up great routines at Worlds, but can they go the distance?
As for Ashton Locklear, with the large junior field coming of age for the 2016 year, it seems that a one event gymnast may not be a commodity.
With the last major competition behind us, it is time to update the Rio Power Rankings. At GNN, we get so excited after every competition as we compare scores and come up with our new list. (Just a reminder, this is who we think will make the team to compete at Rio in 2016, so gymnasts that aren’t age-eligible are not included in the Power Rankings.) So, let’s check out the ranking board!
1. Simone Biles proved her power and grace by bringing home four gold medals (team event, all-around, balance beam, and floor exercise) and 1 silver (vault apparatus). She certainly seems to be the powerhouse favorite to do some amazing things in 2016.
2. Mykayla Skinner will be 20 years old in 2016, a little “old” by gymnastics standards, but she could grow and mature into a refined gymnast with experience. She executed well in Nanning, China at the World Championship placing 3rd on vault and 4th on the floor exercise. She was also a major score contributor to the team gold medal.
3. Jazmyn Foberg won the All-Around as a Junior at the P&G Championships this past year and should be prime age to be a true threat in Rio. She is strong on all four events, which is something the Olympic selection team will be looking for.
4. Nia Dennis stays in our top 10 because she is a strong, amazing gymnast. She placed 2nd AA, 1st on floor and vault and 3rd on balance beam in the Jr Division at the P&G Championship. She also made a great showing at the US Classic and 2014 Pacific Rim Championships, placing 2nd All-Around at both. Dennis was 1st on bars and 2nd on vault and beam at the US Classic. She is also one of the only 4 Juniors to score in the 15.00s.
5. Bailie Key has made a rather strong showing this year in the Junior division and will be the perfect age for Rio. She made a rather strong showing at the P&G Championships placing 1st in the All-Around, balance beam and floor exercise. She also placed 4th on vault and floor for a very consistent meet. She had a similar showing at the Secret Classic placing 1st All-Around, 2nd on beam, 3rd on vault and 5th on bars and floor.
We expect her to be a strong contender in the Olympic trials.
6. Ragan Smith has been fun to watch the past few years. She came out as a tiny dynamo and continues to grow and stun those around her. Placing 7th All-Around at the P&G’s, she also placed 2nd on beam and floor.
7. Nora Flatley appears to be an excellent balance beam and uneven bar worker. This could be a commodity for her as she placed 3rd All-Around at the P&G Championship as a Junior and 2nd on the uneven bars and 4th on the balance beam. At the Secret Classic this past year, she placed 3rd All-Around, 1st on balance beam and 3rd on the uneven bars. Hopefully she can become stronger on vault and floor and become a true contender in the Senior division.
8. Felicia Hano is more of a gamble since she has been a senior competitor all year and has not really produced anything higher than a 7th place ranking on anything…yet. Let’s hope she can become comfortable and stronger in the next year.
9. Lexie Priessman holds a position in our top 10 only with the hope that she can come back from ankle surgery. She was performing impressively until her injury at the Secret Classic. Time off and healing properly could result in her being on top again this next year.
10. While Kyla Ross demonstrates consistency on all four events, two years is a long time away for a gymnast who is older with injuries. For us, she’s a wildcard pick.