Event Finals Day 1

Our first day of the slow descent toward the end of the competition includes men’s floor, men’s horse featuring Louis Smith (champion if he hits), and women’s vault featuring McKayla Maroney (champion even if she doesn’t hit). [buhhhhhhhhhhh]

Men’s floor:

 Women’s vault:

 Men’s horse:

Notes when we begin from 9:00 ET/6:00 PT

. . .
NBC is trying to punish gymnastics fans by not starting the coverage in time. What have we done to deserve this?

Men’s Floor:

We’ve finally arrived to see Zou Kai take the lead over Uchimira, 15.933 to 15.800. Ablyazin now. Lots of hops and shuffles on these landings, so there’s quite a bit to take in that routine. Lots of difficulty but can’t imagine it outscoring Zou. 15.800. Level with Uchimura.

Kozci -some struggles early on landings and in the handstand on his Manna, Fine but not event-final-medal level. Shannon pretends she had to talk to athletes at this Olympics to know that it’s harder to compete in silence. 15.100

Shatilov – his Sabrina Vega legs in his pike are forgiven, very low with a step forward on combo pass, whip+thomas is nice, minor step on tuck full dismount. 15.333.

Dalton – minor hop out of layout double arabian, multiple hops but stays in, lovely ending with a clean triple twist. It’s a shame about those hops on the side pass. 15.333. Even if he had been perfectly clean, he didn’t get the difficulty to medal today.

Nguyen – big step out of double double with low body position, the middle of the routine is very nice, but another low one on tuck full dismount. He was never going to medal, but that was one of the weaker routines he’s done at this competition. 14.966

Can we once again complain about the random draw for event finals that makes this so anticlimactic? It’s like they don’t even care about making competitions interesting or keeping fans engaged, which they obviously don’t. Zou Kai will win floor again. This final has been rather bland.

Gonzalez Sepulveda to finish – Oh I’m sorry, your mustache has some tumbling in it. Shouldn’t get credit for triple full dismount. It was like some triple full beam dismounts we see in WAG. This just makes it easier for Zou to win, you know. If you’re going to have a weird mustache, the least you can do is be clean elsewhere because who knows what kind of food particles and disease are sitting in that mustache. 15.366.

Medals: GOLD – Zou Kai, SILVER – Kohei Uchimura, BRONZE – Denis Ablyazin

We’ll do the medals before women’s vault starts, so I’ll step away. Don’t let me miss it!

The lollipop guild presents the medals to the cameras, and we need to start vault about 10 minutes ago. Impatience!

Women’s Vault:
At least Maroney and Izbasa are at the end of this rotation. Vaulters are emerging now. Do we think Pena Abreu can hit her double front? No?

Brittany Rogers – she’ll be a Gymdog asset, she hits a pretty nice DTY with a hop to the side, but good direction and pretty good form. She’ll need to anchor that rotation next spring because the 9.825s from Couch and Earls won’t cut it at the beginning. And now I will stop getting into NCAA, which I’m already more excited about than I am the rest of the Olympics. 14.766

Brittany Rogers Vault 2 – ro1/2 on layout half is not as strong. Very piked, leg form, and a low landing with a step. On replay, they could credit this piked. She never maintained layout shape. They credit the vault (good news for some others in this event) – 14.200.

Janine Berger – layout rudi is surprisingly solid in the air, she just needs to get the Sacramone one-lunge landing down. She didn’t have the stick and so took multiple steps out. A little feet issues and more piked on landing than we’d like. 15.133.

Janine Berger 2 – Tsuk double full is nice as well, some leg separation and landing issues, but she can be a Euros champion/world medalist next year. Let’s be honest, we’ve seen world championships where this performance would win gold. 14.900.

Ellie Black – nowhere close on her rudi, she basically landed ankes first and may be hurt, but she will continue. 0.000. I’d have to see the replay again to see if the arms really did land first, but I thought they would give her the landing.

Ellie Black 2 – she balks on the vault and didn’t feel comfortable on her ankle. Good decision.

Yamilet Pena – Produnova’s legacy – she balks her run as well! She looks totally rattled. She’ll have another run. Nope. Same miss as the first day of competition. She;ll get a score because her feet hit first, but it will be low. The judges will have to watch this score because they won’t want someone medaling with a fall again this year. 14.566.

Yamilet Pena 2 – DTY is pretty solid with a step back. She is so talented, I almost wish she would back off the double front for a while. She could find two difficult vaults to hit.

Oksana Chusovitina – Chuso’s rudi is chuso’s rudi with a locked-leg landing and a step forward. 15.100.

Oksana Chusovitina 2 – Tsuk 1.5 with a bounce out. It won’t win, but a wonderful wave to the crowd. What, crowd, you couldn’t manage a Nastia standing ovation for Chuso? What’s your problem? 14.466.

Maria Paseka – Our first Amanar of the day, similar to TF, low landing with a big step to the side out of the area. Some serious Nabieva legs on her block, too. 15.400.

Maria Paseka 2 – ro 1/2 on, layout 1/2 – she definitely had the layout position long enough and a nice landing, but some wacky legs will hurt the score. 14.700.

McKayla Maroney – now the competition can begin and end – pretty good but not near TF level – she may have landed out of bounds but hopped back in. Should still be .5 higher than anything else we’ve seen. 15.866.

McKayla Maroney 2 – GASP! Sits her Mustafina. Devastating. I can’t even make words about it. 14.300. Still in first (HA!) but Izbasa should pass her. Paseka is feeling very Russian about the whole thing.

Sandra Izbasa – Hits a very nice Mustafina. A little tucked and a hop forward. 15.383. She just needs to be OK here to win.

Sandra Izbasa 2 – DTY with a big hop. She is probably our winner. 15.000 Yes, she wins.

The Olympics is officially dead to me. [Silver lining: will this spur Maroney to stick around for another quad when it gets to 2015 and she starts getting jealous of those who might get individual golds?]

GOLD: Sandra Izbasa, SILVER: McKayla Maroney, BRONZE: Maria Paseka.

Men’s Horse:
What’s the point anymore? Some people will do some travels, the world continues to turn. Sigh.

Tommasonne is a little iffy to start for 15.141. 8.641 on the execution. Only real break was on the dismount.

Busnari has very nice control (translation: he’s slow and a little boring), but great turns in straddled handstand – that was exciting to see even if he has molasses pace. 15.400. I feel like “controlled” is the men’s version of “sturdy.” 15.400.

Hidvegi comes off on his Russian travel after very nice work on one side of the horse. 14.300.

Whitlock performs the most pleasant routine so far in terms of pace, and his 6.6 difficulty is higher than Shannon expected. 15.600 goes into first.

Berki’s legs are perfect every time, with good pace, a minor struggle on the Russian but that should be the highest score so far. 16.066. Trouble for Smith because that was excellent.

I don’t expect Nakonechnyi or Belyavskiy to contend, so this is going to come down to Berki and Smith with Whitlock looking good for a medal. Nakonechnkyi just had little struggles throughout, and Belvayskiy had a major leg break. Neither routine breaks 15.

Smith now (was Kristian Thomas moving in on Kate Middleton in the crowd?), looked tentative in handstands early but it’s an extremely clean routine. He couldn’t have done much better, but I honestly think Berki was better. Smith will win because if he doesn’t the judges wll burn, but . . . 16.066. Tie. Loses out on a tie. Berki wins gold, and Smith gets Nastia-ed.

GOLD: Krisztian Berki, SILVER: Louis Smith, BRONZE: Max Whitlock