Japan's First of 2 Olympic Trials

4:38 PM

Just a point to note - what's with the new-found popularity of the Zorba music for floor routines? Just something that I have noticed, but then again that may just be me - I have seen 3 variations of it done for the younger gymnasts at my club!

Japan has held the first of the two Olympic trials - already I hear you ask!?! Well there is no time like the present right? You can see the article on the International Gymnast website. But I would really like to focus on the WAG side of things, mostly because I can and it's where my passion lies. I think it's great to see two of the juniors given an opportunity to compete alongside their senior counterparts and see where they stand even if they are juniors, but it's also great competition and experience for them. Finishing the the team qualification at the 2007 World Artistic Championships in 12th place, means that they are allowed to bring 6 members. The Japanese team consisted of: Koko Tsurumi, Keiko Mukumoto, Miki Uemura, Momoko Ozawa, Mayu Kuroda and Kyoko Oshimo.

Personally, I would love to see Miki Uemura in Beijing - I loved her floor routine in 2006 and think she's rather classy and was 41st in qualifiaction at the 2007 Worlds. Koko Tsurumi finished 15th in the All Around at the Worlds last year and I would love to see her there at the Olympics., maybe even alongside Miki - or one of the other girls. Yu Minobe is one of the one's who I am unfamiliar with, although she did come 8th last year in the AA at the Japanese Nationals. It would be really nice to see Kyoko Oshima at another Olympics., and I think she'd bring some of that experience of "been there and done that". Mai Yamagishi would definitely be an asset on beam and came 6th at Nationals last year. I am relatively unfamiliar with Yuko Shintake, but she did come 5th at Nationals and would be an asset on bars. Mayu Kuroda is a fantastic bars worker - making the event finals in 2005 and 2006 where she was 4th both times! Keiko Mukumoto is a great gymnast and was one of 3 tied in second place at last years Nationals - I would definitely like to see her on the team! Rie Tanaka is a new name for me. Momoko Ozawa is an alright beam worker for me, I think there are a lot of better workers that can be of use, but she may surprise us. Setsubai Takaseki aka He Xuemei - let's just put her on the squad anyway - I would love to see her there! For those of you who don't know she competed for the 1992 Chinese Olympic team under her Chinese name of He Xuemei. She was tenth at Nationals and if I can remember correctly did well on beam? Sayu Minobe was 13th at Nationals last year, whilst Imanishi was 18th, Uchimura 20th and Takeuchi is another unfamiliar name to me. Chinami Otaki scored 55.325 at the Pacific Rim and competed at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympics.

The team I would love to see: Oshima, Uemura, Tsurumi, Mukumoto, Takaseki, Minobe or Yamagishi

Results from 1st qualification:
1. Miki Uemura 116.900
2. Koko Tsurumi 116.800
3. Yu Minobe 116.350
4. Kyoko Oshima 115.450
5. Mai Yamagishi 114.900
6. Yuko Shintake 114.500
7. Mayu Kuroda 114.400
8. Keiko Mukumoto 113.250
9. Rie Tanaka 112.450
10. Momoko Ozawa 111.900
11. Erica Lynn Danko* 111.100
12. Setsubai Takaseki (He Xuemei) 110.200
13. Sayuri Minobe 110.050
14. Akiho Sato* 109.450
15. Yuma Imanishi 109.200
16. Haruhi Uchimura 107.900
17. Chinami Otaki 107.350
18. Serina Takeuchi 107.000

* Junior competitor, not eligible for 2008 Olympics

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