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  • Writer's pictureKensley Behel

GBR vs. USA: The Battle for Bronze

Updated: Sep 13

It's no secret that the frontrunners for the bronze medal at the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships are Great Britain and the USA. Over the past ten years, both teams have often been evenly matched, with Great Britain having a slight edge in World and Olympic team results (4-3).

GBR

USA

2014

4th

3rd

2015

2nd

5th

2016

4th

5th

2018

5th

4th

2019

5th

4th

2021

4th

5th

2022

3rd

5th

Last year, the USA (106.6)* had a 1.2-point difficulty advantage over GBR (105.4)* but could not capitalize on their advantage. Instead, a poor showing in team finals left Team USA 1.5 points behind Great Britain.


*Using Difficulty Scores from Qualifications. Team USA"s score also includes Donnell's Ri Se Gwang difficulty score as that was the intended vault had he not slipped, and therefore would have been the expected D score going in.

Photos: © Amy Sanderson/GymnasticsNow. Used with permission.



Projected Lineups and D Scores


This year, both teams are so well-matched in terms of difficulty that they will likely only be tenths apart from each other. Using potential lineups and D scores from U.S. Nationals and GBR World Trials, demonstrate just how close the battle is likely to be!


Projected lineups for USA: 105.2D

FX

PH

SR

VT

PB

HB

Asher Hong

6.1

6.0

6.0

5.4

Khoi Young

5.6

6.5

5.6

Fred Richard

5.2

6.0

6.3

Yul Moldauer

5.7

6.1

5.8

6.6

Paul Juda

5.5

5.8

5.6

5.4

Barring catastrophe or injury, the parallel bar lineup should be a lock. For the other five events, there could certainly be changes to projected lineups. For example, floor lineups could easily go any number of ways based on how the athletes are looking during training. Asher has a much higher D score than Paul but struggled on floor day one at nationals which lowered his overall total. In this case, by subbing Asher for Paul, their team D score potential would increase. High bar is similar in that the U.S. has two exceptional high bar workers, Fred and Paul; the third spot on high bar could be allocated to any of the other three athletes.


Projected lineups for GBR: 105.1D

FX

PH

SR

VT

PB

HB

James Hall

5.8

5.9

5.2

6.1

5.6

Harry Hepworth

6.2

5.8

5.6

Jake Jarman

6.7

5.6

6.0

5.9

5.5

Courtney Tulloch

6.2

5.6

5.4

Max Whitlock

6.9

5.1

As with the U.S., GBR certainly has areas where their D score could increase depending on how they choose their lineups. Again, barring catastrophe or injury, this should be GBR's vault line-up. There could however be some variation in the vaults performed. Courtney Tulloch also has a 6.0 vault which he could use in the team final, but with how close the scoring is likely to be, I would be surprised if he didn't just stick to the Dragulescu (5.6 D score).


D Score Isn't Everything


As alluded to earlier, D score isn't everything. Using averages without bonus from the two days of competition at the National Championships, and our projected lineups, the U.S. would score 257.225. Using scores from the British World Trials, and using our projected lineups, GBR would score 255.15.


While it is impossible to compare scores across competitions, this will hopefully provide some insight into the showdown to come in Antwerp. In all reality, both a 257.225 and a 255.15 are on the high side for what to expect scoring-wise for these teams. Realistically, a score around 250 would be good for either team and certainly put them in medal contention. On their best-hit day, expect a score closer to 253.


Others in the Mix


While Great Britain and the U.S. are the frontrunners for the bronze medal behind China and Japan, it would be unwise to ignore the challenge that Italy and Türkiye can pose as legitimate medal threats, especially if the U.S. and GBR have major mistakes in team finals.


Both Italy and Türkiye beat Great Britain earlier this year at the European Championships, though the British are bringing a much stronger team to the World Championships. Italy won the European Championships with a 249 and they won without one of their strongest gymnasts, Nicola Bartolini. Should, world champion, Bartolini be back in top form, their chances for a spot on the podium are only to increase.


Who do you think will win bronze? Let us know in the comments!



Article by: Kensley Behel

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