Jesolo: Team USA, Sunisa Lee Win Senior Titles

The U.S. women continued their international dominance with a relatively new group of seniors at the 2019 City of Jesolo Trophy, winning the team title, while Sunisa Lee won the all-around in her senior elite debut. Both as a team and individually, China and Italy were successful. China won the team silver while Italy won bronze, and the top seven all-around gymnasts were all from USA, China or Italy.

USA began on vault with just a Yurchenko full from Gabby Perea, but it was strong and well-executed to earn 13.567. Lee followed with a nice DTY for a 14.200. Emma Malabuyo was next with a great DTY and scored a 14.533. Last was Shilese Jones with a huge DTY, and she earned a 14.700 for it. 

Meanwhile, China began on floor. Liu Tingting was up first and opened with a triple twist. Tingting was short on her double tuck to finish but was able to land it. Qi Qi's floor routine was full of strong twisting and also ended with a double tuck but was not short. Zhang Jin had a packed routine that began with a great turn and a whip triple full to split jump. Liu Jingxing finished floor for China and had good difficulty in her routine, beginning with a full-in, followed by a double tuck, front layout through to double full and a double pike.

But Italy had a great first rotation that put them in medal contention with USA and China right away. Alice D'Amato got Italy started on a good note with a nice uneven bars routine that included great combos like a Maloney to Tkachev and a Ricna to Pak salto. D'Amato dismounted with a front double tuck and scored a 13.967. Desiree Carofiglio was second and hit her routine, including a Tkachev to Pak and a stalder full to Maloney to shootover for a 13.933. Next up was Alice's sister, Asia D'Amato. Asia had good difficulty in her routine, hitting a Ray to Pak, a Maloney to Tkachev, a Church and an eagle-grip full to a double front dismount. Finishing up the first rotation for Italy was Elisa Iorio, who had a routine with nice eagle grip work and pirouettes but was close on her double front dismount.

After the first rotation, USA led with a 43.433, followed by Italy with a 42.067 and China with a 39.600. Japan was in fourth with a 37.300 after beam.

The second rotation is where the top teams made some major mistakes. USA started well with a hit routine from Malabuyo, whose routine began with nice stalder work, followed by two releases and a double twisting layout for a 13.633, but Jones and Perea both fell during their routines, earning a 11.600 and 12.900, respectively. But with Lee anchoring the event, it's no surprise USA got back on its feet. Lee had a great bar routine and hit all of her connections and combos, including a stalder blind to piked Jaeger and the Nabieva to Pak to Maloney to Gienger. Lee earned a team-high 14.700.

Italy was on beam and had some breaks as the rotation went on. Alice was first and nailed her front tuck mount and hit the rest of her routine, including a back handspring back tuck series and a triple twist dismount. Asia unfortunately did not nail her mount and fell but recovered well, finishing with a double pike dismount. Iorio hit her tricky roundoff layout stepout mount but bent at her hips for a big break during her front aerial. However, she was able to stay on.

China was solid on vault. Jin began the rotation with a Tsukahara double, followed by a DTY from Qi. 

Halfway through, USA maintained its lead despite its mistakes with a 84.666. China moved into second with a 81.767 and Italy was third with a 79.200. Japan had a 75.233.

The third rotation saw more mistakes from USA as it competed on beam. Perea led off but grabbed the beam after her double wolf turn and fell after her standing full and scored a 12.367. Jones fought to stay on and had a few balance checks on her acro series and straddle 1/2, earning a 13.033. Lee also fell victim to wolf turns and fell. She missed a few connections but was solid on her side aerial layout stepout layout stepout and earned a 13.233. Malabuyo hit her routine without major problems but did only a back handspring layout stepout instead of the triple series for a 13.500.

China showcased its skills on uneven bars but had a few mistakes. Qi was up first and had good form throughout but had to muscle up to a handstand. Jin was crooked on a pirouette near the end of her routine and had to do three giants into her full-twisting double tuck dismount. Xijing hit her routine with a double layout dismount for a 14.200. Tingting anchored bars with a fantastic set that included a Maloney to Gienger and beautiful pirouette work for a 14.500.

After three, USA was able to remain on top with a 124.432, with China not far behind with a 123.200. Italy fell behind with a 118.034, and Japan maintained its fourth place position with a 114.166.

The fourth rotation was a strong finish for USA but not for China. Perea started floor for the U.S. with a solid, hit routine, complete with a tucked full-in, front through to 2.5, double pike and double full for a 13.333. Lee was next and hit her routine, including her wolf turns, tucked double double and double layout. She scored a 14.333 to clinch the all-around title. Malabuyo followed with a good routine, opening with a double layout, followed by a double Arabian to stag jump, tucked full-in with her chest low and a double pike to score a 14.233. Last up was Jones who opened with a big tucked double double, followed by a double Arabian to stag jump, double pike and double tuck for a 13.800.

China can be great on beam, but today, the Chinese gymnasts struggled. Qi started the rotation and had two big wobbles on top of a fall on her triple series. Jin picked things up and hit her set, including a switch ring, back handspring to layout two feet, front aerial, and double full dismount. Tingting proved why she's the reigning World Champion on beam with her beautiful set, but Xijing fell on her acro series, causing China to count a fall. 

USA won the senior team title with a 166.798. China won team silver with a 165.201 and Italy won bronze with a 161.333. Japan was fourth with a 150.866.

Lee won her first senior all-around title with a 56.466. Tingting won silver with a 55.901 while Malabuyo joined her U.S. teammate on the podium with a 55.899 for bronze. Xijing was fourth with a 54.167, Alice fifth with a 53.733, Jin sixth with a 54.534 and Asia seventh with a 53.500.

Related:
Jesolo: Interviews with Team USA
Archived Videos: Jesolo Team & AA Competition

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