Simone Biles

World Gymnastics Championships nominative lists announced

Leave a comment

The U.S. women’s team for the World Gymnastics Championships won’t be announced until Wednesday, but the International Gymnastics Federation released “nominative lists” of gymnasts for every nation.

These lists mean nothing for the U.S., but it’s interesting to note which names were submitted. Here they are:

Simone Biles — 2013 World all-around champion
Kyla Ross — 2013 World all-around silver medalist
Alyssa Bauman
Madison Desch
Madison Kocian
Ashton Locklear
Mykayla Skinner

Full women’s nominative list | Men’s nominative list

The World Championships in Nanning, China, start Oct. 3.

Last year, the four U.S. women on the nominative list ended up being the four U.S. women who flew to Antwerp, Belgium, for the event. The 2013 World Championships only included individual competition. This year, the team event returns, so nations can send seven gymnasts.

Biles and Ross are considered shoo-ins for the team. Ross is the only member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team who could make it with none of the other Fierce Five members active this year.

Brenna Dowell made the 2013 World Championships team with Biles, Ross and McKayla Maroney, but she did not compete in Antwerp in favor of the other three competing in all four events in qualifying.

Dowell did not make this year’s nominative list, but she is among 12 women attending next week’s U.S. National Team camp in Texas from which the World Championships team will be chosen. Here are the 12:

Simone Biles — on nominative list
Kyla Ross — on nominative list
Alyssa Bauman — on nominative list
Madison Desch — on nominative list
Madison Kocian 
— on nominative list
Ashton Locklear — on nominative list
Mykayla Skinner 
— on nominative list
Brenna Dowell
Felicia Hano
Veronica Hults
Amelia Hundley
Macy Toronjo

The U.S. women will be looking to win a second straight World Championships team gold, but the pool of gymnasts to choose from is shallower than hoped. The following gymnasts will not be competing in Nanning:

Maroney underwent surgery earlier this year.

Maggie Nichols, who finished third in the all-around behind Biles and Ross at the P&G Championships last month, dislocated a kneecap at the Pan American Championships.

Rachel Gowey, who is from the same gym that produced Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas, broke an ankle in training at the P&G Championships. Gowey was fourth at the Secret U.S. Classic behind Biles, Ross and Nichols.

Peyton Ernst, who replaced Biles at the Pacific Rim Championships in April, had shoulder surgery and missed the P&G Championships.

Lexie Priessman, the 2012 P&G junior all-around champion, withdrew from the Secret U.S. Classic after suffering an ankle injury, had surgery and did not compete at the P&G Championships.

Katelyn Ohashi, the 2011 P&G junior all-around champion, hasn’t competed in more than one year.

Elizabeth Price, the 2012 Olympic alternate and American Cup winner in March, retired from elite gymnastics.

The U.S.’ biggest competition should come from Olympic silver medalist Russia, expected to be led by veteran Aliya Mustafina.

The entire U.S. men’s team announced Aug. 24 is on the nominative list, along with Japan’s reigning all-around gold and silver medalists, Kohei Uchimura and Ryohei Kato.

Tokyo 1964 Olympic cauldron lighter passes away

Swim meet canceled after FINA’s threat to ban athletes

Getty Images
Leave a comment

GENEVA (AP) — Amid growing conflict between swimmers and their world governing body, an international swimming meet was canceled on Thursday after threats to ban athletes who took part seeking better prize money.

The Italian swim federation called off the Dec. 20-21 competition it was organizing in Turin, saying it acted to protect athletes from FINA.

The Turin meet was linked to a proposed International Swimming League, a privately run operation which aims to operate outside FINA’s control and pay higher prize money.

“FINA declared the event ‘non-approved,’ threatening sanctions against the participating athletes,” Italian officials said in a statement.

FINA, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some Olympic champions have long criticized FINA, believing swimmers should be better rewarded, have more say in decisions, and could create their own union.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Britain wrote on Thursday on Twitter he was “incredibly disappointed” by the cancellation.

The politics involved will “galvanize swimmers, not break them,” wrote Peaty, who holds 50m and 100m breaststroke world records.

Peaty has previously supported Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu in her public criticism of FINA, and calls to create a swimmers’ union.

Italian organizers said Peaty, Hosszu and other Olympic champions including Chad le Clos of South Africa and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden were due to take part in their 25-meter pool event. It was scheduled days after the short-course world championships being staged in Hangzhou, China.

The clash of events seemed to provoke FINA into finding more prize money for its worlds event in the smaller pool.

On Nov. 6, FINA added to its promised prize fund for China by almost doubling the total to $2.07 million.

FINA wrote to member federations on Oct. 30 warning of bans of up to two years for taking part in Turin.

However, a European Commission decision last year suggests swimmers could successfully challenge any attempt to limit their right to race and earn money.

The European Union’s executive arm ruled the International Staking Union in breach of anti-trust laws by threatening severe bans for speed skaters who wanted to compete in a South Korean-organized event in Dubai.

The ISU’s threats “also serve to protect its own commercial interests,” the European officials said.

MORE: Katie Ledecky on her new suit, challenges for Tokyo 2020

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Simon Ammann believes ski jumping career end is near

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Simon Ammann, the most decorated active ski jumper with four Olympic gold medals, said it is hard to imagine competing beyond this season, according to Swiss newspaper Blick.

Ammann, 37, swept the individual Olympic titles in 2002 and 2010 to join retired Finn Matti Nykänen as the only four-time Olympic ski jumping champs.

In PyeongChang, his sixth Olympics, Ammann placed 11th and 13th, one month after making his first World Cup podium in nearly three years. He decided after those Winter Games that he would continue at least one more season, but has no plan to go all the way to a seventh Olympics in 2022, according to Blick.

Ammann has teased retirement since at least 2011 and even said going into the 2014 Sochi Olympics that he was “99 percent sure” they would be his final Games.

The now-father of two first gained crossover celebrity with his surprise Salt Lake City 2002 gold medals, his first wins in top-level international competition. The bespectacled Ammann’s victory screams and resemblance to Harry Potter helped land him on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and one of Europe’s biggest shows, sitting next to Shakira.

Fellow ski jumper Noriaki Kasai of Japan holds the Winter Olympic record of eight appearances. Kasai, 46, has said he plans to go for a ninth participation at Beijing 2022.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Finland ski jumping legend retires for third time