Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AUSTRALIA VS JAPAN!



(Koko says "it's on beeyatches!")


If I was the naughty, skiving type, I'd take off work and get on a train to Canberra this weekend for the Japan vs Australia showdown.

For starters WHY OH WHY must they have a competition as great as this in Canberra???!!!
I know that, like, the Australian Institute of sport is there and it's, like, the capital city of Australia, but NO ONE GOES THERE for freaks sakes!! It's boring and brown.  And so many of our greatest gymnasts are coming from WAIS or Victoria right now anyways!  At least if it was in Western Australia it would be so out of reach it might as well be in Japan.  But Canberra, so close, so stupidly far away.

Okay, tantrum over.  For those who do live in Canberra, which I am sure is very nice if you live there, and for those traveling there, I hope you have a great time.  It should be an excellent meet. Not jealous at all.

For starters, it should be great to see a rematch between Koko Tsurumi and Lauren Mitchell to see who is queen of the AA.  Lozza looked like she would easily have it over Tsurumi after the prelims in London, but a solid performance and a ridiculously clean final vault threw Koko into the bronze position in the finals.  Lauren Mitchell admitted, in a GA press release that having lost the bronze to Koko "gives me a bit of motivation to beat her in Canberra."




They are on pretty similar levels in their difficulty so it will be down to who is cleaner, more confident and doesn't trip over their feet (you never know, Afanesyeva did it in Milan.  Karpenko did it in Sydney!).

But for me, the real showdown is the team competition.  I have been harping on for a while about how Japan and Australia used to be more on par.  These days, it seems Japan really has the edge on us.  I think as a general rule, their gymnastics tends to be a little cleaner while difficulty levels are similar.

I remember when Gymnastics Australia used to invite Ukraine out here for meets because we were closest to them in standings and vying with them for team finals spots.  While Ukraine have generally dropped below us, it remains to be seen with Japan, who if anything, edged us out in Beijing. We were, however, mostly sans Dasha Joura and things may have been a little different if we'd had her stellar scores.

Australia won't be performing with the ideal team, I guess, with Morgan still out and Britt Greeley having just been pulled for  but it will be interesting and very telling to see just how much work there is to be done for both teams if they want to be competitive in team standings over the next few years in the London lead-up.


Sigh.  I  never, ever thought i would live to see the day when i wished i was in Canberra.



*****

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