IIRC Marta wanted her for 2004 pretty badly, but Sac took herself out of the running by not finishing in the top 12 at Nationals. Rumor was that Marta wanted to personally invite her to Trials but USAG was not having it.
It’s crazy how well Sacramone could’ve done in Athens after all was said and done. Too little too late in terms of consistency, which she more or less gained in the years to follow, 08 TF aside. But the fact that Bhardwaj took the space that could’ve been hers speaks volumes in retrospect (although I never would’ve put 04 Sacramone up on BB in TF).
Oh she definitely would’ve taken Sacramone if she’d done the Rudi at Trials. That was more valuable than Hatch. The more I think about it, it’s a toss-up who you’d take between Hatch and Bhardwaj with Sacramone going, but Sacramone made the bed for them by not making it to Trials.
These vaults later in the year won her the World Cup final. The whole “Marta is taking two vaulters!” narrative was always the narrative for Karolyi, and she wanted one of them to be Sacramone.
I don’t think it’s that open and shut of a case for Sacramone. Despite performing the layout Rudi vault at 2004 Nationals, Sacramone was outscored by Hatch, and had the same score as Tricase and Bhardwaj on the first day of competition, which is significant when you consider that the double twisting Yurchenko vault only had a 9.8 SV. When you look at vault standings over both days of competition, Sacramone actually dropped to third, even after Hatch’s withdrawal from Day 2 of Nationals.
While Sacramone had a start value advantage when it came to vault finals, Marta would have prioritized the highest scoring single vault, which would give Hatch the edge. Hatch’s vaults were also much more dynamic and generally had cleaner landings. When you factor in her mistakes over the season on both beam and floor, it’s clear why another specialist like Bhardwaj could get the nod over Sacramone, even if Alicia had made it to Olympic Trials and the selection camp.
If I remember correctly, Bhardwaj was the big surprise. Before Nationals, if you asked me whether Bhardwaj or Sacramone would make the Olympic team (if one of them was definitely going to), I would’ve for sure picked Sacramone. I think Yim getting injured messed up the plans in general, but being the first Olympics (of only two) with 6-5-3 really seemed to do a number on Marta’s calculations. The open-ended Code completely changed the approach.
Yes. That’s exactly what Marta told Annia Hatch and Sam Sheehan to do. All she had to do to petition to Trials was not compete four events both days. Once you had an 8-event score you placed where you placed and that was the end of it.
I don’t know where this rumor that Marta hardcore wanted Sacramone was. The rumors on GGMB at the time were that Marta was done with Sacramone after she bombed beam and floor on day 1 and wasn’t interested in her Rudi anymore. If she wanted Alicia at Trials so badly she could have just told her to pull out of Nationals and sent her straight there. It’s literally what she did with Hatch.
It’s nuts looking back, just how valuable a DTY was to Marta but could afford to leave 2 bars world champions at home.
I wonder if USAG were against the open ended code because they believed the US would be disadvantaged by it (I can’t see how they could think that) or was it more that they were against the abolition of the 10, because they feared what it would do for the sport’s marketability?