We already learned during yesterday’s finals that Christmas has been cancelled and there is no Northwest Passage, so it’s hard to muster enough enthusiasm for today’s results to make predictions (also, I haven’t the foggiest). Let’s just all try to pretend that we’re not getting just a little Olympics-ed out so we can bravely push through to the end.
Our commentator seems surprised that the level is higher in the event finals.
Chen Yibing is dressed for snow. Nice to see Grandfather Time make this EF again.
Chen – Sticks dismount, and we probably have our winner. You see how much better he is than the others in the holds and handstands. He’s just not shivery the way the others are. 15.800
Molinari – It’s nice that gymnasts from some of these lesser countries can make an EF in MAG. In WAG they’re just making up the numbers. Wasn’t nearly as solid in his holds, then goes for a 1.5 twisting double tuck (it appeared) and put his hands down. 14.733.
Balandin – I was about to talk about how smooth this was, and then Shannon said it, so I feel like I can’t. Anyway, his feels like a cohesive routine more than the others, but don’t expect it to challenge Chen. 15.666.
Morandi – #2 qualifier, this is excellent, but it looks like a pain for him more than it does for Chen or Balandin. You see him struggling. Step on landing. 15.733. Ooh, could have been first with a stick. Or would they still have kept him down?
Iovtchev – He just can’t hold these positions the way he used to. May have put his knees down on the DLO full. It wouldn’t have medaled anyway, but a nice little crowd recognition. 15.108.
Ramos – He’s holding these positions very well, just short on some of these handstands and inverted crosses, though, which could keep him out of it. 15.600. That’s mostly appropriate because he did have some visible deductions.
Ablyazin – A very solid routine, just a step on landings, but I’m having a little trouble separating these routines. To me, it did not have the same fluid quality of Balandin, so it would go lower, but I’m not paying that much attention to the real deductions. 15.633 and 4th just below Balandin.
Nabarrete Zanetti – (Didn’t we used to say Navarrete, or did I just always have it wrong?) Very clean in the legs and the holds, and moves between the positions confidently. Step on DLO full, but it was extremely well executed. 15.900. And he wins. It really was a nice routine. A bit of a shame for Balandin to miss out, though.
GOLD: Nabarrete Zanetti, SILVER: Chen, BRONZE: Morandi
The judges couldn’t get it done for Smith yesterday, so it will be important for them to make amends for Tweddle. He Kexin will obviously challenge, as will Komova and Mustafina. Douglas, Tsurumi, and Seitz should fight it out for the 5th-8th positions.
Finally, our bars gymnasts are entering. Shannon chucks the pronunciation of He Kexin every time. Half of these gymnasts look like they are about to cry, but those are just their resting faces.
He – Her Li Ya is a bigger struggle than it used to be, but she got it with a little deadness. Minor step forward on the landing, and the dead hangs were the biggest issues in the routine. Three muscled handstands, but the pak looked cleaner than before. 15.933.
Komova – It was going perfectly until she brushed the low bar and took a step on the dismount. Still no golds for Vika. It really was a perfect routine before that where it would have been difficult to find any deductions. 15.666. They should take .300 for the brush on the bar, so without that she would have been ahead of He.
Seitz – Hit the Def every time at this competition, and I’m glad she’s doing the skill, but the from deductions throughout the routine do not merit a medal here. Overall a hit. It’s a shame that her shaposh full is so undervalued as to make it not worth it because I would have liked to see that as well. 15.266.
Yao – A clean routine, and her pirouettes were a bit quicker than He’s, but she has the usual Chinese muscling and is missing some amplitude on her releases. 15.766, in ahead of Komova.
Tweddle – Here we go. Stumbls on the landing will take her out of first, but she has by far the most exciting composition in the group. That’s a shame. It would have been great to see her win. A medal is still in the picture. 15.916. They really wanted to give it to her but just couldn’t with the steps. It will be nice for her to get a medal after Beijing’s 4th.
Mustafina – Brilliant routine. She missed one handstand right before the stalder full, but that should medal. It was just like Komova without the bar hit, so it should even be first. 16.133 Yes. She will be the bars champ and deserved. That routine is brilliant. Tsurumi and Douglas won’t be able to get 15.9, so Tweddle will be in with the bronze.
Tsurumi – (Shannon just tried to say Huang Qiushuang, and I think it was “Hu Quickshang”) Some missed handstands and a very close catch, so her score will not be very close. 14.966. It was an accomplishment for her to get into finals.
Douglas – Goes over on a handstand, so the score will be low. DLO dismount with a step. She wasn’t going to medal anyway, but this will be her lowest score of the competition. 14.900.
GOLD: Mustafina, SILVER: He, BRONZE: Tweddle
Are we going to be able to maintain our momentum through men’s vault? They should really hold all the medal ceremonies until the end. Inconsiderate.
Radivilov doesn’t acknowledge the crowd due to Ukranian reasons.
Koczi – Kaz double with a big step to the side and slightly underrotated, followed by a handpring receiving a 15.966. Overall average is 16.033. I don’t see that medaling.
Thomas – Y double pike with a minor step back. Nice, controlled landing. Our feed has switched to water polo for no reason. NBC. I just don’t even have the energy to be mad at them anymore. Second score for Thomas was just a 14.700, so sounds like a fall. He’s in behind Koczi.
Botella Perez – Starts with a 15.900 on a 6.6. vault and ends with a 15.866 average that will not pass Koczi but will pass Thomas. He holds up a towel with a message on it. You couldn’t gave come up with something a little more. . . legitimate?
Radivilov – Sticks a Dragulescu. Really one of the better ones I have seen, especially because of the good chest position. Excellent. Why am I saying the same things as Shannon? 16.400. Big lunge out of his Tsuk double pike, but he lands it well enough. Should easily be enough for first right now. 16.316 is the average.
Ablyazin – Better Tsuk double pike than Radivilov, and he gets a 16.433. Not sure I’m more impressed by it than Radivilov’s Dragulescu, though. Interesting. Ro 1/2 on 2/5 with a big step. Very similar performance to Radivilov overall. Average is 16.399 to move easily into first.
Mikulak – Kaz double comes around the side a little bit with a big lunge back out of the landing. 16.100. Sticks the double front with a very low landing, but he doesn’t move. Great job, great smile that forgives the squat. 16.050 average into 3rd for now, but he will be pushed back to 5th.
Ricky Stache and the Eyebrow Ring – The mustache is growing on me. Best Tsuk double pike yet, I think. Easily stuck, did not look like a struggle. 16.400. Amanar (Man-anar?) fine with hop forward. Won’t be a huge score. He’ll move into 3rd for now ahead of Mikulak.
Yang – Handspring triple full with massive lunges out. Gets a 16.466. So basically the only deductions were on landing. Kaz double is stuck and excellent. He’ll win with that. 16.533 average for first.
GOLD: Yang, SILVER: Ablyazin, BRONZE: Radivilov