Men’s Qualification – A Day of Thoughts

Men’s Qualification day at the Olympics. I’ll be popping in and out of the coverage throughout the day with thoughts and concerns, mostly concerns.

Standings after 2 Subdivisions:
1. USA – 275.342
2. Great Britain – 272.420
3. Japan – 270.503
4. China – 269.985
5. France – 265.759
6. Italy – 262.085
7. Korea – 255.327

1. Danell Leyva – 91.265
2. John Orozco – 90.567
3. Kristian Thomas – 90.256
4. Kohei Uchimura – 89.764
5. Daniel Purvis – 89.199

Please don’t let this mean that the US will suddenly become the “favorite” to win everything in the minds of certain commentators. 

Commentary after the jump:

In the final subdivision of the day, we say Philipp Boy appear to injure his ankle while landing short on vault. That mat should be ashamed of itself. How dare it? Also, he got an 8.700 E Score after a fall. It eludes me.

Russia was able to leapfrog Great Britain for the second spot in team finals on the back of a major performance from Belyavskiy. OK, so who had USA and Russia starting on floor in Team Finals? Japan and China will be in the same rotation, starting on rings, as Germany used great scores from Hambuchen and Nguyen to make up for an off performance from Boy. Ukraine also snuck into team finals in the 7th spot. Spain just barely missed out behind France, and Romania fell way back.

Thoughts on Subdivision 2:

Not too long until the subdivision including the USA, Japan, and Italy, and Shatilov as our Mixed group standout. I’ve decided to watch the main feed, as I’m sure NBC will brief us fully on every US routine during the primetime session tonight.

The US will start on horse while Japan starts on hbar. Score to beat is 272.420, both the US and Japan will have a shot at it.

Shannon often feels the need to tell us that scores don’t carry over to finals.

Japan opens with a Tanaka error on a one-armed giant. Drop this one, obviously. Finishes with a double double lay with a hop forward.

Horton has a disaster on pommel horse to open for the US. So that happened. It seemed like he was getting more consistent, but this is the Olympics after all. Mikulak recovers for the team with a 14.333. 

Uchimura on hb – totally misses the bar on his full twisting Kovacs – not a chance. I really thought that we wouldn’t see the training problems pop up in competition. Let’s see how this continues. Double double lay dismount. 15.000 with a fall.

Orozco on ph – It was a great routine until a little bit of a weird hesitation on the dismount, but that is a minor problem. Horton never has to do pommel horse again if he doesn’t want to. He should have a massive grin because of that. 

USA scores higher on pommel horse than Japan does on high bar. That massive for them. 43.965 to 43.766. USA to rings, Japan to floor.

Dalton does a strong, serviceable routine on rings with one iffy handstand, but otherwise it was his usual routine. Solid start. 15.100. They’ll take that any day.

Yamamuro with several low or short landings on floor. They’ll be counting a 14.433 now.
Uchimura is almost perfect. He won’t make it back to hb final, but with just two bounces on landings, we should get to see him on floor.

Horton on rings, struggling a little with his positions, not maintaining horizontal. I see what people meant about him in podium training. This is not his best, big lunge on landing. I agree with those who’ve said he looks tired. 15.166 is a good score, but he can do better.

 Aside from Uchimura, Japan looked fine but not overwhelmingly impressive on floor. The 45.332 from the US on rings is the top score of the day on that event.

Shannon just mentioned her “very nice white scrunchie.” I died. Can Shannon do commentary on every competition? Can we keep her? PLEASE?

Orozco and Leyva hit their vaults. Looks like they might actually get through the event today. Orozco had a big leap on the HS double, but it was strong. Good Kas 2 from Mikulak. Low body and a hop, but that means less in men’s. Good vault. 

Really nice routine on horse from Yamamuro in terms of his rhythm and momentum. They need to drop a leadoff 12.200, so his score will help. Wow, a fall from Uchimura, so they will be counting that. He was completely off on his center of gravity from the beginning. Even after he gets back up, none of it was great. 12.466.

Kato has an issue in losing his first handstand, but it was a solid enough routine after that. Japan and China are sort of mimicking each other in the land of lackluster.

48.000 for the US on vault, just behind GBR’s 48.333. Just a 41.199 for Japan on horse. That’s 3.634 lower than GBR did on that event. Italy used a massive routine from Morandi to post the highest rings score so far, 45.698.

Shatilov on floor – the tall Israeli we’ve all been looking for in our lives. Nice, not his very best. USA to pbars, Japan to rings.

Vid (Why isn’t my name Vid?) on horse – very strong, face like he just invented the concept of famine.

Mikulak on pbars – lovely routine, minor hop on landing. He got nice amplitude there on every release. 15.316 is an exceptional leadoff score. Horton hesitates after his double back, totally off, takes a fall. He is nowhere near on today. He wasn’t in top shape at Trials, but it seemed like he was rounding into form. Instead, it’s starting to look like he’s not ready to be back. 

Uchimura gets through his rings routine well enough. It would be fine for other people, but for him it’s an underperformance.  Still, it is important in helping him get back on track.Yamamuro is solid but the strength positions looked like a struggle, and the positions were not always maintained.

Orozco doesn’t get a massive pbars score, so Leyva has pressure now. He has to kip up in a correction, struggle in handstand, big hop on landing. Not great. The US needed to do much better in that rotation. Leyva probably won’t make finals with that. 

Kristian Berki (I’ll combine the names, my new name is Vid Berki) – oooh unexpected leg form issue. We just expect him to be perfect every time. Shouldn’t have a problem getting back to finals.Well, actually 15.033, it may be close.

Hypolito takes a fall on floor. No finals for him. Oh, he needs a hug.

After four, the US still has about 6.5 points on Japan, but Japan is going to vault. The US needs to shine on hb, which they can. Horton will be one to watch considering his very poor day. It will be quite the discussion as to what he does in TF.

Japan is finding its form on vault so far. I jinxed Yamamuro who has a very poor landing.
Mikulak suffers a fall on high bar. Huge pressure on Horton and the others now. Orozco hits a very clean routine. He’s had an excellent day.

Missed some routines because of watching the huge upset of the US beating South Korea in men’s archery. That’s big.

Horton redeems himself on hb. That will be a big, necessary score for the team and for his confidence. 15.566 will get back. Danell is wonderful as well with only a step out of the dismount and a bit of muscling when swining out of the Liukin as the only problems. They will drop Mikulak’s fall and score well. 15.866.

The US leads Japan by well over five points going to the final rotation. USA on floor, Japan on pbars. The US needs a 43.300 on floor to pass GBR.

John Orozco had a fantastic day, very clean on floor and leads the AA as of right now. 15.166. Shannon thinks the score was low. I don’t. Leyva gets a 15.100 to move ahead of Orozco in the AA. They will be 1-2 going into the final subdivision.

Uchimura is incredibly clean on pbars. He improved as the day went on, and the last few events were perfectly fine. I hope he gets into the top group of AA qualifiers so we can just focus on one main rotation. Dalton finishes for the US with a great routine aside from a slightly awkward stumble out of his layour double arabian. 15.633

Standings after 2 Subdivisions:
1. USA – 275.342
2. Great Britain – 272.420
3. Japan – 270.503
4. China – 269.985
5. France – 265.759
6. Italy – 262.085
7. Korea – 255.327

1. Danell Leyva – 91.265
2. John Orozco – 90.567
3. Kristian Thomas – 90.256
4. Kohei Uchimura – 89.764
5. Daniel Purvis – 89.199

Thoughts on Subdivision 1: 

Unknown male commentator in for us today, displaying the excitement of a depressed cockroach.

In our first subdivision, we begin with Zou Kai’s near fall on the vault. And our commentator just called the vault the pommel horse. Excellent.

Zonderland has a hit routine. A little bit of form in the legs throughout, especially on the Kovacs variations, but no major errors. Hop forward on dismount. 15.966

China is led by Zhang’s 16.233 on vault to advance to the front after the first rotation. Should not see a knock from Zou’s average effort, which they will drop. Korea struggles on horse, recording two scores in the 12s. Purvis goes 15.033 on rings.

Great Britain is hitting the necessary Y2.5s in the early part of the vault rotation, and Thomas looks good on the double back pike. They need these landings, and they’re not far off. Korea is having a bit of an issue. Another fall, this time on rings from Kim Seungil, and another score under 13. Ouchie.

Commentator change! Fortunately, we’ve been joined by Shannon Miller, who sounds like she is broadcasting from a well. We’re coming to get you Shannon! Everyone can breathe easier now, she will save the day as always.

China had disasters from both Chen and Guo on PBars and had a few form issues that were not necessarily issues for the scores in the other routines. I haven’t been totally impressed through two rotations, and we see that China leads GBR by less than a tenth after 2 rotations. South Korea has had just one score break 14 through two events and trails by an almost comical margin already.

I’m officially done with these ads in the middle of routines. Done.

South Korea moves to vault. Fall on a DTY. Ruh-roh. Have you been training with the British women? Much stronger Y2.5 from Korea now.

Shannon is not impressed with the Guo’s height on release elements. Ha. Clearly the host country is not in charge of the world feed because we are seeing very few GBR routines. We see Yang’s awesome handspring triple. Low chest with step forward, but strong nonetheless. 

Purvis had some unfortunate leg form issues on PBars, which will hurt his scores a bit, but he improved as the routine went on.

Halfway through now, China with a fair lead over GBR now, but nothing hugely impressive. Zhang was strong on bar, and though I was not impressed with Zou (is that a controversial statement in MAG?) it was enough to significantly outpace GBR on PBars.

Shannon is very diplomatic about Paul Hamm 2004. There’s always a controversy… She’s also really into “Intricate hand placements” today.

South Korea struggling through PBars as well. This has been a very poor day so far. They look injured and tired, the whole lot of them.

Tommasone hits a lovely PH routine. Good for him. Zou is very confident with the landings on floor, gave little away. We’re moving through these rotations at a fast clip. I like it. Kristian Thomas is such a linebacker, but he hits a clean HB routine. Score is. . . high? China takes a 2 point least into the 5th rotation.

In our latest Shannon update, she has taken to calling Great Britain “Team G.” Awfully familiar, isn’t it Shannon?

Poor Guo. He’s having a poor day. Another fall on PH. China will be counting a fall on horse. Nothing is wow for them so far today. Even the strongest routines I would describe as “prudent” more than “impressive.”

Purvy (am I allowed to call him Purvy? Inappropriate?) has a bit of trouble on his second pass, but he held onto it. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a problem in the score. Landings overall were OK but not his best. Great hits overall for the team. So pleased for them to hit well at home.

China had a horrible horse rotation, counting two falls, which GBR succeeded on floor to leapfrog the Chinese by over two points going into the final rotation. GBR on horse, China on rings. My my my. Thomas and Purvis take the AA lead.

France takes a fall on the final vault, Zonderland had some issue-y issues on PBars, but at least HB went well. Still gets a 15.133. Low score from Purvis on PH, but we didn’t see it. Not sure why the world feed has become so concerned with France all of a sudden.

Chen will get a massive score on rings. GBR will need a big Smith performance on horse to keep the lead. It happens. They both score 15.800. Thomas trying to finish it out for GBR. It’s a hit routine. Not nearly the difficulty. They couldn’t have asked for a better day of Qualification, really.

GBR finishes with 272.420, and they will not be caught. Well, Great Britain will certainly have something to talk about now. Well done. Thomas leads the AA, followed by Purvis.

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