Men’s Team Final Live Blog

It’s already happening. A team final. It’s too quick. We need days of recovery in between these competitions. But for now, remember that qualification was qualification. And meaningless.

Helpfully, Ukraine has all but forfeited the competition by scheduling Verniaiev to go up on only two events today. Thanks, Ukraine. Now we only have seven teams to focus on. It is a logical strategy, though. Their chance at a medal is much, much, much greater in the AA than in the TF, so they’re putting all their Olegs on that. That’s why Ukraine got demoted out of the flag image for this event. Russia got demoted because my image of Russia’s flag was being a jerk and deserved to be punished.

Six of the teams will be putting up a gymnast in the all-around today, with Kohei Uchimura, Deng Shudi, Max Whitlock, Sergio Sasaki, Marcel Nguyen, and Vladyslav Hryko doing all six. The two teams not putting up an AAer, the US and Russia, both looked like they might have to, but they’ve decided to sit Mikulak and Belyavskiy on rings today to give them one event off. Mikulak is probably the better rings worker than Brooks, though Brooks scored higher in qualification. Belyavskiy is a better rings worker than Kuksenkov, so that will be interesting to keep an eye on if things get close.

The only gymnast not competing for his team today is Andreas Toba, for obvious reasons. Everyone else is doing at least one event. Three gymnasts are going on only their specialty: Liu Yang and Arthur Zanetti on rings, and Louis Smith on horse.

We’ll all be doing a lot of score comparison to qualification as things progress, so here are the qualification team results.

Basically, just be sure to have the pommel horse stream open the whole time because….

Chris Brooks has to carry all the bags today. The woes of being the team captain.

Jim: Jon, why you horse suck?
Jon: It’s a stupid jerk

These introductions sure are long. I’m not equipped with enough patience for that.

Warmups finally beginning. China has already gone OOB on floor 18 times.

Jon mentioning that Sam fell on floor in 2012 TF. BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS ALL JOHN OROZCO’S FAULT?????

Lin – FX – 2.5 to front double with a hop – 3.5 to barani, controlled landing stays in – secure landings – russians – goes OOB on a roll out – he rolled out alright, AHAHAHAHAHA – hits for 14.833.Well certainly better than the horror of day 1.

Stretovich 14.766 on horse.

Kuksenkov – PH – 15.033 Another hit for Russia.

Deng – FX – 3.5 to barani pulled around – 2.5 to frton 2/1, a little low and hoppy on that – hands down on his third pass. That’s the China I know. Another very low landing – hops back on 3/1.

Igor not throwing his triple front thankfully, even though Ukraine is just doing whatever. Sticks his Dragulescu.

13.833 for Deng. Takes away the hit from Lin.

Nile breaks 15 on rings for 15.1. Definitely gained some tenths on rings today.

Belyavskiy – PH – just fantastic – so smooth – 15.5.

Zhang – FX – frotn 2.5 a little short with a hop – 3.5 to stuck half, low but stuc k – very strong landings, crazy legs – front 2/1 to front 1/1 with a hop – guh his routine is so boring – sticks 3/1 – 15.133.

Russia 45.299
GB 44.066
Ukraine 44.015
China 43.799

GB and China gain two tenths on these events from qualification. Russia basically level. Ukraine loses eight tenths.

Onto the second teams!

Uchimura on PH, Naddour on floor.

Naddour – FX – front 2.5, a little sloppy with a hop – solid rollout – 2.5 to barani to shushunova – very pleasant flares – frotn 2/1 to front tuck nearly sat, hops back to save it but low landing – falls on dismount. Oh America.

15.1 from Uchimura.

13.566 for Naddour.

Yamamuro falls on horse. WHERE’S KAYA? 13.900.

Mikulak – FX – 2.5 to double front, OOB – oh, so this is going swimmingly – out again on second pass as well? – better third pass – sticks a 2/1 because 2/1 – sticks 3/1.

14.866 for Mikulak – a whole point lower than the first day, which was also an insane score.

Kato hits horse to get Japan back. 14.933.

15.566 on rings for Zanetti.

Dalton – FX – strong layout dobule arabian, hop – small hop on piked double arabian – 2.5 to layout full, stuck – a little short on 3/1, hop. 15.325. Also well below qualification.

Second teams:
Germany 44.540
Brazil 44.332
Japan 43.933
USA 43.757

Germany up a tenth. Brazil up a half point. Japan down but just .3. USA down 2.35. Yikers.


Russia 45.299
Germany 44.540
Brazil 44.332
GB 44.066
Ukraine 44.015
Japan 43.933
China 43.799
USA 43.757

Leyva – PH damn buffering – looked like he was doing well, then he botched his dismount, just sort of flopped off. Not a fall, but not a good. 14.333.

Kohei 14.8 on rings following Tanaka 14.933. Kohei nearly stuck double double, hop back.

Mikulak – PH – smooth start – gets a little floppy before his travel but small error, pull sit back – travels and Russians look good, nearly made the same mistake as the first day but really did save it this time.

14.733 for Mikulak is a 1.6 improvement on the first day. Getting some of the deficit back.

Yamamuro sticks rings dismount. All Japanese gymnasts improve on prelim scores.

Naddour – PH – one leg break on a circle – another one on a travel, not his cleanest but he’sdoing fine until dismount, hip drop on the dismount, awkward. 14.633.

US will gain a point back on the prelims qual score, but that doesn’t make up for floor by any means.

Germany nails PBars, but the bad events are still to come.

After 2:
Germany 89.931
Brazil 89.364
Japan 88.532
USA 87.456

Nagornyy has pretty good purple-heart-attack face going on rings. Large hop forward on dismount with chest down. 14.866.

Max quite underrotated on TTY. Thomas gets his vault this time for 15.400. HUGE boost for GB.

You Hao horse, 14.400.

Deng on PH – Deng also through pommel horse with no major errors. 14.958.

Abliazin finishes rings with a stuck layout double double. You know.

Kuksenkov finisshes rings for Russia – smooth in his movements and holds but not a ton of difficulty in this one – struggles in one hs, sticks a front double pike. 14/866. Much better than either he or Belyavskiy did in qualification. Good.

Lin 14.900 on PH –
Oleg deigning to do a PB routine for Ukraine – TIPPELT – 15.900 today – sticks double front 1/2

Group 2, rotation 2:
Russia 90.731
GB 89.465
China 88.057
Ukraine still waiting?

WAIT. Did Ukraine not even do a third PB routine? LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Nagornyy – VT – Dragulescu, good, small hop back.

Liu is up first for China on bars. China lineup strategy.

Belyavskiy hits vault (again!) for 15.033. Russia having a tremendous day so far.

Liu sticks DLO full – 15.833 on rings.

Abliazin – VT – Tsuk – dull twisting double back – just a step back – 15.600.

Deng Shudi on rings – sticks doulbe double lay, bends to hold onto stick and does. 14.600.

Bevan – on PB – a handstand issue or two early – double back to arms – tippelt – double pike, stick. 14.933.

Semiankiv is not doing HB either – touch. Another zero. This is amazing.

You on rings – extremely clean his layouts are tremendous, NOOOO – double dobule layout to a million lunges!

Really sucks for Switzerland. They could have done more than this.

Well, so that’s weird.

After 3:
Russia 136.764
GB 134.031
China 133.290
Ukraine – gets no acknowledgement because of bullshit.

Too distracted but apparently other things are happening. Like routines or whatever.

Brooks is 14.666 on rings. Uchimura 15.566 on vault because Uchi.

KENZO STICK A THON. 15.633. TTY magical.

Some talk about whether this is a protest from Ukraine over 2012. But if that were the case, wouldn’t everyone have just gone up and touched one-by-one and made a real statement, rather than start and pretend to compete?

Dalton’s rings 14.833.

14.7s from Nory and Barretto on PBars.

It’s a 14.966 for Naddour on rings. His first real hit of the day.

HAM – on HB – Cassina is good – Kolman a little close but fine – stalder rybalko as crazy as everyone’s but good – stuck dismount – 15.666.

After 3 events:
Russia 136.764
Japan 134.731
GB 134.031
Brazil 133.897
Germany 133.663
China 133.290
USA 131.921

Not to get lost in this, China did not get the rings boost it would have imagined after You stumbled on that landing. The top two qualifiers are currently in last (not counting Ukraine).

Can Russia actually hit the high bar routines to make this a thing? That’s the question right now.

Russia is currently .9 up on its qualification score on these events.

Mikulak opens vault with a 15.366. That means a 9.366 E. That’s the idea.

Arthurd Nory on HB – Tanaka on PB – Nory arches a handstand but holds on – some floppy legs on a jam as well – small hop on double double layout – 14.933

Tanaka sticks double pike.

Dalton sticks his Tsuk double as well. 15.466. There it is.

And then there’s Alex Naddour, in sort of a Florida floor situation. Tsuk double pike, short with a step forward. 15.033.

US picks up five tenths on its qualification vault score. But just five tenths.

Kato also drills his double pike off Pbars. 15.500. Japan has finally arrived. Group 2 is the group to watch today.

15.166 for Barretto on HB,

Just a Kohei left for Japan – missed hs pretty clearly in there, very horizontal – good double back – short on double pike with medium hop forward. Still 15.366.

Japan 181.497
Brazil 178.562
USA 177.786
Germany 177.195

The US has moved ahead of one of the real teams.

GB’s high bar will be interesting now. They can’t let the other teams get too far away from them.

Lin Chaopan starting on vault for China – poor Kas 2/1, very low and a large lunge forward. China vaulting. 14.400. How exactly? He basically fell.

Stretovich looking smooth on pBars – near stick on double front half out, hop forward. 15.100.

China’s remaining vaults are 15.200 from Deng and 15.400 from Zhang, so they will move ahead of the US by a half point. Still over three points behind China. They’ll need a massive PBars now, which they can do.

Another stick on PBars for Kuksenkov. 15.133. RUSSIA.

Zhang’s TTY was strong, crazy legs like on his floor twisting, but chest up and a very controlled landing.

Nile – HB – strong cassina – very good Kolman as well, extended – late on stoop full but otherwise clean – tkatchev to mixed – hop full to stuck double double, wonderful routine. 15.666.

Double front half for Belyavskiy dismounting pbars, step. 15.800. Russia still ahead of Japan by over a point. But high bar……

After 4:
Russia 182.797
Japan 181.497
GB 179.030
Brazil 178.562
China 178.290
US 177.786
Germany 177.195

China goes to PBars now while Japan and Russia go to the dreaded high bar. This is China’s chance to move back into a real position. Also GB’s chance to make up some ground, going to floor. This is getting gooooooood. Brazil can also make up ground here but will not be pleased when it comes to horse in the final rotation.

Stretovich on HB – a late pirouette earluy – hits Kolman – tkatchev half, catches – near stick on DLO 1/1, small step – 14.766

You sqautty landing on double front half with a step, otherwise clean and Youish. 16.166. You know. China.

Nile 14.666 on floor. he can do better –

Lin Chapoan on pbars – strong one-handed piro – double back – small leg brea on peach half – smooth bhavsar – tippelt – holding handstands and toe point, small slide back on double pike. 15.900.

Just a 14.1 for Kuksenkov on HB.

Thomas – piked double arabian, OOB – otherwise strong – 2.5 to half – great style – Japanese hs – sticks final double arabian, should still get out of it with a big score.

Great pike shape on double pike on the bars from Deng on PB – double pike dismount with a step back. 15.800. Russia’s lead shrinks to half a point, but critically, still exists.

15.4 for Whitlock on FX. Lots of work to do on PH, but it’s GB and PH.

Russia will finish on floor, which was a 43.966 on day one. China finishes on HB which was a 43.298 on day one. GB’s pommel horse was a 46.233, so making up two points is doable.

After 5:
Russia 226.687
China 226.156
GB 224.129

Kato starts for Japan on HB – catches cassina – a little late on stoop 1/2 – good layuout tkatchev – catches Kolman – some crazy legs in there – layout double double STUCK. 15.066.

Mikulak a giant 15.700 on PBars. This is going to be one of those “if only floor” kinds of days for the US.

Kohei – HB – catches pik no trouble today – catches cassina as well – stadler rybalko – slightly clsoe on Kolman but fine – not his strongest – a little floppy toward the end, but just a small hop on double double lay and much better than qualification performance. 15.166.

Sasaki went 12.1 on floor to remove Brazil from teh equation –

Brooks – PB – peach to one is good – very leggy on that giant – tippelt – small hop on double front. OK. Good. 15.100.

Tanaka – HB – cassina is good – kolman is caught as well – some lateness on pirouettes but just one or two – double double lay as well, lower than the others, and a bounce forward

Leyva – PB – peach full, peach to one rail – very smooth on pirouettes – double front, cowboy, hop back. 15.533.

Team after 5:
Japan 226.895
Russia 226.687
China 226.156
GB 224.129
USA 224.119
Brazil 220.295
Germany 218.143

The US caught up with GB but like the other sides will bemoan that GB still gets to go to pommel horse.

Japan has such scoring potential on floor with Kohei and Kenzo that it’s full steam Japan at this point.

If the teams repeat what they did in the first day, GB would pass China and get close to Russia as well. So medals still in the picture for GB, at least potentially. Of course, that would require China messing up HB again, but you never know.

Japan is starting with Kenzo on floor. Just to be like, “Oh, we win…”

Kenzo – being all twisty – triple double and nails the ladning -2.5 to 2.5 – normal – a little hoppy on quad. 16.133.

Mikulak hitting PB simultaneously, strong Kolman – sticks double double layout, some floppy legs but will still score well – US trying to be all pumped. 15.000.

Kenzo things.

Brooks – HB – one-armed – stoop full – catches tkatchev half – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – almost sticks double double lay, small hop – 15.108.

Kato follows Kenzo with a little 15.466. They’re a Kohei hit away. Wish they had gone in the second team position to finish the meet. It’s like winning NCAAs on a bye.

Leyva will finish for the US on HB.

Kohei gets crowned with a jacket while waiting for floor.

Leyva – HB – layout kovacs is quite strong – crazy legs on rybalko – peels off on layout tkatchev, which is basically his skill.

Kohei – 35 to front 1.5 with a hop – 2.5 to front double full, small slide, third pass – double double, another little hop – 3/1 hop back.

15.600 for Kohei. That will do it for Japan.

They’ve forced China and Russia to need high 47s on their final events, which won’t happen.

It’s about silver and bronze now. That’s in China and Russia’s hands. Gb just has to do GB things on horse and use mistake voodoo.

The US will still finish 5th, which is about what we thought going into the Olympics, even after a poor day. The US had two falls, probably mistakes that added up to four falls, but it’s quite possible for them to end up more than four points behind the other four teams.

Nagornyy starting floor – strong double double, 3.5 to full is tremendous – front double full to double front, large lunge but looked to stay in – short landing on side pass with a bit of a squat – a couple landing errors, but solid

Bevan – PH – great straddle elements – good rhythm – solid dismount and stuck! Great! 14.866.

Finally get the Nagornyy score and it’s a 15. That helps for Russia to try to hold off GB.

Deng a 14.4 on HB.

Abliazin – step forward on piked dbl a, stays in – double double layout, one step OOB – lunge forward on double front and OOB again! punch 2.5 is better – good stick final pass.

Louis falls on PH. And that’s it for GB. DAMNNNN YOU HAD THIS.

15.100 for Abliazin still. Somehow. 14.766 for Louis still, but they needed more.

China got a 15.000 for Lin Chaopan.

Belyavskiy floor –

When you hit pommel horse you’re in the 11s John –

he does lunge OOB on an arabian double piked – Russia doing its best to try to throw this away -otherwise looking strong – hops on 3/1.

Max Whitlock hits his PH routine –

Zhang 15.566 on HB.

Belyavskiy needs about a 14.4 on that routine to pass China.

14.666! Russia with the silver. China with the bronze. GB fourth.

1. Japan 274.094
2. Russia 271.453
3. China 271.122
4. GB 269.752
5. USA 268.560
6. Brazil 263.728
7. Germany 261.275

Even with a Louis hit, it would have been close, but GB likely still behind China.

Japan was always going to be able to win gold with an actual hit, and they brought and actual hit. Russia had a tremendous, Euros-level day, almost like they’ve figured out how to not suck. China was just too floppity. Probably should have had silver, but there were mistakes. Fall on floor. Didn’t get the rings scores they needed.

GB will be very disappointed with that, and they could have done better, but it would have been tough to beat these teams in other circumstances.

For the US, well, another poor day in a team final. They ended up three points out of silver, had the fall from Naddour and the fall from Leyva, and then mistakes that equaled falls or near falls on other events like Mikulak on floor and Naddour on PH. Silver was realistic for the US today with a fantastic meet, and they didn’t have near that.


34 thoughts on “Men’s Team Final Live Blog”

  1. Martha for Men’s Team Coordinator! Make this happen please gym gods….The thought of Sam Mikulak having to endure Martha makes me smile…


  2. And they didn’t even make up much ground on Pommel. They’re not going to medal. They don’t have any room. Unless everyone else is dumpster fire status.


  3. seriously fuck Ukraine. If they didn’t want a TF spot, they shouldn’t have just withdrawn and let the next best country compete.


    1. End of competition, Ukraine is in 3rd. Japan is out of the medals because Kohei Uchimura wasn’t credited with a dismount on PH. Review process gives it to him, bumps Japan up to 2nd and Ukraine is out of the medals.


      1. and it was *so* wrong – I mean, I love Uchimura, but there was NO WAY that was a PH dismount. GB got bumped from silver down to bronze too


  4. Could someone explain all the nabieva jokes that have been circling around since yesterday? I don’t get it, is she know for not taking competitions seriously?


    1. Yes. She’s actually a fierce competitor for competitions that absolutely matter like the World Championships. Outside of that, she’s known for her sassy devil-may-care attitude and facial expressions, and disregard for restrained, serious performances that she could not care less about. It’s like Afaneseyva’s eye rolling and Mustafina’s Rio beam fall were given human form and extended for 80% of a gymnastics career.


  5. Russia! So glad they didn’t need meldonium to hit today! Good job. GB having a horrible Olympics so far. China too . US scores still inflated. How much did NBC pay these judges?


    1. Please stop. US scores were most definitely not inflated. Judges are not bought. This isn’t the 1970s. What the hell would be the point of paying large sums of money to judges so that your team can get 5th and would still not medal even without the falls? We get it. You dislike the United States. But talking about paying off judges undermines the credibility of the sport. Believe it or not, you are not a trained international gymnastics judge, and you don’t know everything.


    2. Yes, somehow the US scores are all inflated and it’s some undefined, unexplained conspiracy by NBC. But it is Russia that has the shameful state-sponsored doping program and has been caught in other judging scandals (see figure skating, rhythmic gymnastics, and artistic gymnastics especially the years when Russia was part of the Soviet Union). Moreover, the US came in 5th today. Score inflation would have surely put them over Great Britain. Poor, innocent Russia. It never does anything wrong!

      Aside from the ridiculousness above, Russia was just awesome today. A well deserved silver. I haven’t seen the Russian men hit like this for ages.

      I’m happiest for Japan, and especially that King Kohei finally got his Team Gold. Starting on vault, Japan turned it around and never looked back. Great performance by the best team in the world.


  6. 2012 all over again. It would be fine if they just hadn’t won a medal, but they way they lost was pretty crappy. Why Sam Mikulak can’t go 6/6 is beyond me. It’s not even like he falls on the same event over and over. That I could understand. Instead, it’s totally random. He has literally screwed up every event at one point or another this summer other than vault. But he’s also hit all of those events for fantastic scores at one point or another as well.


  7. The scores were fair today. Better than WAG. I do agree that US WAG was overscored on ba S but so was everyone in later subdivisions . Touch luck for China being so early to go.


  8. The US men’s program need to do some serious consideration on this consistency issue. How do we fall on floor in the Olympic team finals when it is our first event? One thing if total fluke. But it’s not. We just are holding our breath to see who is going to implode where.


    1. Yes! They are inconsistent even in their inconsistency. Like horse was ok. They didn’t fall off. In just the last two Olympics, the US has fallen on 4/6 events. It’s not like they always screw up in the same place. It’s just truly bizarre.


      1. Is this just men’s gymnastics? (I’m a casual men’s fan, but a women’s judge) Or is this an issue with the U.S. men’s program?


      2. Nope, horse was better than in qualifying, but still not okay with Naddour’s noticeable errors (see Spencer’s write-up).


      3. Anonymous, there is no men’s program nearly as dominant or consistent as the US Women’s program. There’s no country that has hit 48 straight sets in team final situations on the men’s side. Japan and Russia did not count falls, I do not believe, but they both did in qualifications. All the other 6 teams counted one or more falls in team final.

        However, no other team quite has the same pattern of the USA, being great in qualifications and terrible in finals. USA consistently underperforms its qualification scores whereas the other programs significantly improve qualification scores. In other words, yes, other teams fall, but they are less likely to fall in finals than quals, whereas the Americans are more likely to fall in finals than quals. The American men do not compete well or handle pressure well.


    1. Their “training center” really seems to be like a giant fraternity. They do not have pressure on them almost ever. If you fall in front of Martha at training camp, you could be off the team, or fed to one of Bela’s zoo animals (I kid I kid). The US men have no repercussions for falls, as far as I can tell.


  9. Spencer, Oleg apparently apologized for what happened with Ukraine and the inability of one of their gymnasts to compete because of medical reasons very shortly before the start of competition. Apparently also hampered by the inability to change lineups at the last minute even if they wanted to use Oleg in TF. He also apologized to Switzerland for what seemed to happen. If true, would you reconsider their banishment from existence and writing up some of their other worthwhile routines even if it makes absolutely no difference to the outcome of the final? At least they kind of tried with what they could do given the circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or at least editing some of the language in the post so they don’t look like mustachioed-wearing villains who kick puppies for fun?


    1. I already did. Al needs to go. He’s only good at demonizing non American athletes. He’s ignorant of gymnastics and is nothing but a drama queen. Always insinuating that non American athletes are less worthy of winning.


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