lundi 12 octobre 2015

2015 Worlds: What to expect from our Men's team?

The 2015 World Championships are just around the corner (Glasgow, October 23 - November 1)! Last year, the men's team finished in 19th place. And this year, the objective is clear: the top 16 and a qualifying spot for the Test Event!

Siemon Volkaert Instagram

Yesterday, the men's team has been named. Donna-Donny Truyens (Blauwput Omnisport), Jonathan Vrolix (Olympia Houthalen) and Siemon Volkaert (GymMax) were selected to represent Belgium in Glasgow. They join Jimmy Verbaeys (Blauwput Omnisport), Maxime Gentges (Gym Club Malmedy), Florian Landuyt (Sportac Deinze) and Bram Louwije (Turnkring Vlamertinge), who were already selected.

At the 2014 Worlds, Belgium ranked 19th, the best finish ever for team Belgium. With this ranking, the men's team qualified for the 2015 Worlds. And this year, the Belgian team wants to do even better: to reach the top 16 and earn a qualifying spot for the Test Event for the first time!

We don't know yet which gymnast will compete on which apparatus. Nevertheless, let's have some fun and try predicting the future !

To me, if they avoid injuries, three gymnasts will compete on all 6 apparatuses in qualifications: Jimmy Verbaeys, Maxime Gentges and Florian Landuyt. Jonathan Vrolix and Bram Louwije also have the capacity to perform in the all around, but with a 6-5-4 format (6 gymnasts in the team, 5 up on the event, the 4 best scores count), the coach might choose to split the apparatuses between the two of them. Finally, Siemon Volkaert and Donna-Donny Truyens are specialists. Siemon usually competes on floor exercise, pommel horse and vault, while Donna- Donny is a pommel horse specialist.

Here are my predictions:

Floor exercise:
I'll start with the three all-arounders. Jimmy, Maxime and Florian have all earned scores above the 14 marks at least three times this year. It will depend on the routine they will present, but Jimmy and Florian have already presented routines with a difficulty score of 6 or more this year (6.1 for Jimmy and 6.2 for Florian). Maxime starts a little lower, between 5.7 and 5.9, but he is able to get a score higher than 14. Personally, I would choose Siemon on this apparatus. He has a difficulty score of 6.4 and if he has not had much luck this year, on a good day, his score can really help the team. The 5th spot, for me, would go to Bram.

Pommel horse:
If he is not the alternate, no doubt that Donna-Donny Truyens will contribute significantly to the team total on this apparatus. A flawless routine would be a major asset to the team. He was very consistent this year, except at the European Championships. Last week, he reached the 15 mark. Siemon is also able to get a good score, thanks to a high difficulty score (it can go up to 6.3). Nevertheless, this year, he struggled a bit on this event. If Siemon or Donna- Donny is an alternate, in addition to the three all-arounders, I would choose Bram again, because of his difficulty score (Jonathan has a 5.5 D score and Bram's between 5.7 and 6.4).

Still rings:
This is the weakest apparatus of the team in terms of difficulty. None of the gymnasts who will go to Glasgow is a specialist or has a stellar routine. Their difficulty scores are similar (between 5.1 and 5.6).

On vault, Maxime and Jimmy have similar results, scoring around 14. Florian, thanks to a higher degree of difficulty, can get a score above 14.5. This is also the case of Siemon. But he only vaulted a couple of times this year. Bram and Jonathan had good and not so good results on this apparatus this year. On average, they can get 13.5.

Parallel bars:
Jimmy can make a difference on this event. These past two weeks, he reached the 15 mark twice. Florian also performed a routine with a difficulty of 6.4, which could also bring valuable points to the team. As for Maxime, he is quite steady on this event. Bram and Jonathan have lower difficulty scores compared to the others but they should performed well.

Horizontal bar:
This season, it is once again Jimmy who had the best results on high bar, scoring an average of 14.3-14.5. Maxime and Florian are both good on this event. Jonathan does not have a very high difficulty score (4.7) but was fairly consistent in his results (around 13.5). As for Bram, he is able to score around the 14 points.

In a competition, the best and the worst can happen. Remember that Belgium recently earned a total of 338 points, the highest total ever made by a men's team. Many factors will be taken into account in Glasgow but one thing is for sure, our boys will give the best of themselves!

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