The qualification round happened! And we got to watch most of it! And I have thoughts! At least three. Probably more.
1) Simone Biles. The end.
2) Screwing up a kip is the new going out of bounds.
3) Eight real vaulters made the women’s vault final. Is the era of “just throw a random second vault, you’ll probably make finals”/”Tsuk full—I’m the best!” ending? Steingruber’s yfull was the only easier vault to make it to finals, and that’s sufficiently balanced by her rudi.
4) There are three executions scores on vault. 9.233 (great vault!), 8.933 (medium step or form break!), and 8.633 (ugly poo-poo!) Those are the choices.
5) Do the US men select teams with more attention to qualification than to team finals?
6) Madison Kocian and MyKayla Skinner got basically the same E score on beam. What?
7) Kohei Uchimura might be a cursed pharaoh. Anytime anyone is mentioned as being a potential challenger to his reign, that person immediately falls 50 times. Men’s gymnastics is basically the plot of The Mummy.
8) Biggest improvements in 2014 compared to four years ago (women’s category): Austria (31st to 22nd), Colombia (34th to 25th – *they didn’t have enough scores in 2010), Mexico (21st to 14th), Germany (14th to 9th), Belgium (15th to 11th)
9) Biggest drops in 2014 compared to four years ago (also, women’s category): Ukraine (12th to 27th), Uzbekistan (24th to 31st), Brazil (10th to 16th), Greece (19th to 24th), Venezuela (22nd to 26th), Romania (4th to 7th), Switzerland (16th to 19th)
10) Not so much with the Canada. And I admit NCAA is at least partially culpable. We’ve taken all your bars workers and doused them in glitter and enthusiasm.
11) What happened to Brazil? They looked almost Team Final-y at Pan Am Championships. And then . . . nope!
12) Romania’s bars routines are even weaker than I thought. They’re so bad at bars, they’re bad at beam. They finished 25th on bars. 25th. If bars were the whole sport, they wouldn’t be advancing to 2015.
13) The beam judges were much stricter about connections than we’ve seen at any other event. This is a good thing. Don’t try to jam three rushed skills together and call it a connection. It just makes all of them look worse. If you can’t CONNECT connect them, just perform them individually.
14) If there were a Claudia Fragapane stuffed animal, I would probably buy it.
15) If there were a Rebecca Tunney healthy, Great Britain would definitely buy it. And pay the crown jewels for it.
16) If the Welsh women had competed as an independent team and repeated the team scores from Commonwealth Games, they would have finished 17th, within a point of Spain and Brazil.
17) Bai Yawen is a beautiful swan whom we’ll probably never see again because she has only one event of contribution, an area where China is already strong. Enjoy her while you can.
18) Tatiana Nabieva is my constant.