Hopefuls at the 7th Asian Championship

As expected, the 7th Asian Championship was dominated by the Korean star Son, who is probably aiming to place among the top 8 in every apparatus at the world championship. Although she made some mistakes at this championship, she won the all around without much argument. Nazarenkova from Uzbekistan got second place, also well ahead of the top Japanese gymnast Sakura Hayakawa. Uzbekistan won the team gold.

Although Son, Nazerenkova and Hayakawa all have been receiving high scores all season at various Grand Prix and World Cup events, I think their routines at this stage lack a "wow" factor. The really interesting music, or that original element that will be remembered for a long time just isn't there.

So I chose a couple of gymnasts outside the top 3, who I think may have lots of work to do but show a lot of promise. First is Serdyukova from Uzbekistan, who shows very clean lines in this ribbon routine. I wish she could keep her heel off the floor for the pivots and some more risk, but, otherwise, she is on the right track and seems to be enjoying performing:

Ashirbayeva from Kazakhstan continues to earn scores over 17 and I think she will look even more confident in the future. Here she handled a problem with the music very calmly:

Ashirbayeva is very young and I expect her to make a lot of progress if she stays injury-free and continues to improve.

What is disappointing is that China has not presented a new and exciting gymnast yet, not since Deng retired.

But here is another Korean, who, although not close to the level of Son at all yet, looks very expressive in her fast-paced clubs routine. She needs to add more difficulty, but she could bring some more excitement and competition to the all-Asian events:

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