Today, the Simone Show moves into phase 2, the SIMONE part, featuring special help from her trusty assistant Aly Raisman. The most interesting item gleaned from qualification (reinforcing what we learned at trials) is that while we have been saying for years that Simone could fall twice and still win the Olympic AA, that’s not necessarily true. One fall, yes. One fall and some 2015 AA issues, probably fine. But two falls would start to be a problem.
The #2 American was always going to be the favorite for silver, but the margin by which Raisman leaped ahead of the other non-Americans in qualification was surprising. Two whole points, and two whole points ahead of people like Andrade and Tutkhalyan who had pretty much ideal meets for them and won’t expect to do much more today. That’s why medal expectations have turned toward Mustafina, one of the few in the competition who could go into the 59s with four hit routines, in spite of her underpowered 2016 floor.
Still, the race for bronze remains as wide open as it has seemed ever since Iordache got injured, but Mustafina’s 58 with a fall in qualification does appear to put her in the front of the pack, especially with Melnikova not advancing and Shang not looking at full strength so far in the competition. But those of us who are looking for an insane result somewhere still have bronze to cling to. Continue reading Women’s All-Around Live Blog