Has WAG vault difficulty reached its ceiling?

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Most of the top AAs now have a DTY. Some in vault EFs even have a DTY along with a harder vault like a Rudi or Cheng. Thankfully, Produnovas aren't as common anymore.

In the 2012 quad (and to a lesser extent 2016), almost all the best AAers could hit an Amanar, especially in the US and Russia (Komova, Mustafina, Douglas, Biles, Raisman, Ross, Wieber, Maroney, Afanaseva etc). I understand that in subsequent quads, the difference in difficulty value between the Amanar and the DTY was reduced so that performing a super clean DTY was more beneficial than a messy Amanar, which led to a sharp reduction in gymnasts performing the Amanar in favour of the DTY.

As far as I can tell (and I could be mistaken), the DTY was debuted in the 1980s. The Amanar was debuted some time around 2000. After that, the Cheng was debuted in around 2004/5.

The Cheng+Amanar combination still seems to be the golden ticket for a vault EF medal – even with really poor form (a certain Olympic silver+bronze and world gold medallist comes to mind but shall not be named as I like her and don't want to be mean). DTY+Cheng (Downie) or DTY+Rudi (Steingruber) combos can medal as well, but it's pretty hard to overcome the Amanar+Cheng combo.

These vaults are at least 15 and 20 years old, and we now have less gymnasts performing them (especially the Amanar) than before. A DTY is now considered to be a really tough vault, despite being 30-40 years old.

I think since the Cheng, the only more difficult vaults have been the Biles (Cheng+half, only successfully performed in competition once I think? And may never be seen again) and the Yeo (Rudi+half, I think maybe also only performed successfully once?). Simone has teased that double pike Yurchenko but then claimed that she will never perform it.

With the fact that Cheng+Amanar still seems to almost guarantee an EF and probably a medal and not even Simone willing to compete her own vault, it's basically 15 years since a new difficult vault became mainstream for top gymnasts.

So, has WAG vault reached its ceiling? Will Chengs and Amanars be the way to go from here on? It kind of does feel like this is the most that WAG gymnasts can expect from their bodies without risking serious injury – even the Amanar has derailed careers (Mustafina's ACL, Komova's disastrous London AA Amanar) to the point where Simone refuses to perform anything harder.

submitted by /u/ishgever
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