And we’re back. Rested. Calm. Ready to pretend that the Olympics aren’t going to be over in a few days. What? How dare you. Shut your filthy mouth.
Today’s life experience will feature men’s floor, followed by women’s vault, followed by pommel horse, followed by uneven bars. Be warned that the (original) schedule has a break after each event for the medal ceremony rather than bunching the way they do at worlds. So sit back and take your patience pills.
Floor – Uchimura, Hypolito, Whitlock, Thomas, Nory, Dalton, Shirai, Mikulak
Vault – Hong, Olsen, Chusovitina, Wang, Steingruber, Karmakar, Paseka, Biles
Horse – Tommasone, Belyavskiy, Naddour, Verniaiev, Smith, Merdinyan, Whitlock, Kuksenkov
Bars – Lopez, Douglas, Mustafina, Kocian, Scheder, Shang, Spiridonova, Seitz
In spite of Mikulak’s alarming #1 qualifying position on floor, the heavy favorite will be Dear Sweet Kenzo. As always on horse, the favorites are the Brits + whoever doesn’t fall into the lava.
On vault, Biles is only aided by the fact that she gets to go last (in spite of the length of time since warming up) while her biggest competition, Hong, must go first. Paseka is right back in the medal hunt after showing her full difficulty again, though her landings have been the least consistent of the three so far. The pressing question heading into the final will be upgrades. Will Chuso throw a hail-mary Prod, and will Hong finally decide to chuck a TTY out there? My instinct is no since she’s basically guaranteed a medal with her normal Amanar. We shall see.
On bars, we were supposed to have a Kocian, Fan, Spiridonova, Downie showdown for gold, but with Downie and Fan missing the final and Mustafina remembering that she’s Mustafina, the battle for gold is probably Mustafina v. Kocian, with Spiridonova as the spoiler as long as she doesn’t get hit with the “we hate you” judging stick again.
“Let’s not forget about Jake Dalton and Sam Mikulak.” The US men’s team should put that on a t-shirt. That’s the motto.
Kohei’s jacket is the normal amount of three sizes too big for him. And yet, Kenzo’s fits just fine. I have a lot of questions about the Japanese wardrobe.
Uchimura – FX – Oh Jim. Kohei did not win the AA on the uneven bars – 3.5 to half, OOB! Both feet. With a couple hops. 2.5 to front double with small bounce, double double small hop with chest low, 3/1 small hop. What is this hangover performance, Kohei? 15.241.
Hypolito – FX – 1.5 to front 2.5 – double arabian to front tuck full, excellent – piked double arabian, medium hop – 2.5 to front double full, just a tad under on 3/1 but solid, just small hops on every pass but nothing major. 15.533. Diego is like, “Where my 15.8?”
Whitlock – FX – punch full to frotn 2.5 – 3.5 to half is stuck – smooth flares – 2.5 to frotn 1.5, chest down but controlled – 3/1 a little short hop forward. 15.633. Get ready for the boo birds.
Thomas – FX – whip to piked double arabian with a hop – front 2/1 to front full – 2/5 to half side pass, a little short with a hop – love his height on his Russians there – pauses in Japanese handstand – small hop on double arabian dismount. 15.058.
Nory – FX – front double pike to front tuck to stag, glorious – piked double double, a bit Nichols on the landing but secure – his posture is my home boy, and he’s actually sticking some of these passes – full in, small hop. Oh Nory, all smiley celebration and almost ran right off the podium. 15.433.
Swear Miss Val is going to recruit Arthur Nory to be the new team manager.
Dalton – layout double arabian hop – whip to piked double arabian, large hop – too many bounces on these landings, they’re all .3 – 2.5 to front full with another hop – 3/1 with a slide back. Too many landing errors on that one. Mark Williams is giving him “lovely parting gifts” claps. 15.133.
Kenzo Time – 3.5 to front double, small slide – triple double with a hop back – very smooth a quick in handstand – NEARLY sits his front triple, saved it – another huge landing error, stumble forward out of second-to-last pass, large steps – hop back on 3/1. WOW. Not good.
15.366 for Kenzo and he’s 4th. Just under the Brazilians. Wow wow wow. Diego already crying. And Kenzo is still smiling. Oh Kenzo. I want a Kenzo stuffed animal.
Mikulak – FX – very short landing on double front, squatty – hoppy on his second pass and goes OOB – I’m sure people will be pissed at the crowd for cheering all his mistakes – poor landings from Sam, more similar to TF – too bouncy – 3/1 hop forward –
PS ARTHUR NORY IS GOING TO WIN A FLOOR MEDAL.
You all had that one, right? Sure thing.
That final was awesome.
Diego has lost the ability to walk. Arthur lost the ability to chill long ago. So many tears. The Brazilians are like Ellie Downie and Aly Raisman, but with ten times more feelings.
For the medal ceremony, Nory has returned to his natural sunshine state. Diego can’t stop crying. He’s basically going to injure himself because of it.
Diego’s victory sprint-hug. He’s just so full of feelings.
Wait, there are more finals? I’m too exhausted already.
Paseka with half-Nastia hair. I’m really enjoying the height disparity in this lineup. Steingruber next to Wang. Paseka next to Biles.
Hong – Starting with Cheng – OK, a bit messy in the legs and a .3 lunge back, and another step. Some piking. Still gets 15.400.
Hong 2 – She has put up the value for the TTY. YES. Surprised but YESSSSS. Why but YESSSSSSS. Well, she got her feet down first, but no chance to actually land it. Sat. Under-rotated, feet exactly sideways. Yurchenko 2.75.
No credit for the TTY. 6.3 D and a 14.400 total. Judge drew the picture and had to show it to everyone.
I agree with no-credit there. That was definitely a full 1/4 twist short of triple. At least.
Olsen – Amanar, JUST keeps her knee off the mat, large lunge forward. Still 8.666 E. 14.966. Replay shows knee barely grazed mat, but not a fall credit there.
Olsen 2 – half on tucked 1.5, some crazy legs in there, and stepping. Her average is 14.816. Behind Hong.
Kupets KNOWS she’s the best NCAA gymnast ever. She was not going to humble about that.
CHUSO – DOUBLE FRONT – DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO FORWARD ROLL – Ooops. Oh Chuso.
Kupets does not like that they’re not strategically going for medals.
Chuso 2 – Tsuk double is solid, step back. Average is ahead of Olsen but still behind Hong. Actually almost managed to pass Hong with her own fall. Fall v. fall for vault. Save us Simone.
Wang – Her own Tsuk double, not a ton of amplitude, small leg break, lunge back, good direction – will get hit for piking and dynamics.
Wang 2 – Rudi – one of her better rudis – chest down and a hop forward, but solid form. 15.133 for that one.
Wang 14.999 average, into first. Wang casually in the lead by doing this thing called not falling.
Steingruber – Best vault of the final so far with her rudi. 15.533. Near stick, better power than Wang. Won’t have to do much on her second vault to move into first for the moment.
Steingruber 2 – DTY – larger bound back, chest up and strong distance though – 14.900 on the DTY.
Steingruber’s average is 15.216. Easily into first.
Dipa – VT – We have another Prod we have to try to live through – First is a very solid Kas full – legs in the air but secure landing with just a lunge back – This vault has improved a lot.
Dipa 2 – Prod – it was a Butt-a-Prod but a slighter Butt-a-Prod, first-date-graze with the mat, bounces right back up with a hop. They’re taking their time with this one. 8.266 execution for that one. 15.266.
Average is 15.066. Into second behind Steingruber. She’ll get a top 4 at least, which is still huge even if it’s not a medal.
Paseka – Cheng first – SO RUSSIAN – crazy legs in the air, lands out of the lines, and yet STUCK. LOL. 15.266.
Paseka 2 – Amanar – VERY deep landing with a large lunge back. 15.241 on Amanar. Just ahead of Steingruber, still.
This vault final has been a little…ugly. And blah. Exciting because of going for difficulty, but not the best display of visually enjoyable vaulting.
Biles – Amanar – OK, great form as always, a little short and a hop back. Obviously a million tenths more than she needs, and still gets 15.900. But she’s like, I WANTED A STICK.
Biles 2 – She could probably fall and still win – Cheng – good – a little short again – hop forward. 16.033 on that one.
15.966 average. Simone wins by a billion.
Sucks for Wang to finish 5th since she was pretty clean, but she doesn’t have the difficulty and her amplitude and distance will always keep her below the best vaulters. She goes like an inch.
The fact that Wang’s E scores were lower than Paseka’s though? No me gusta.
Men’s pommel horse! Get ready for the quick hits to start getting a lot less exact!
Pretty impressed that Naddour managed to finish as high as 5th in the Pommel Horse Hair Rankings. An upset.
Tommasone – arched a second handstand in his scissor combination – good height over the horse in general, not butt-scraping it – some wonky legs in a place or two, not bad. 15.600.
Belyavskiy – love his one-arm pommel work – good rhythm in his travels – no leg separations – higher E than Tommasone, but lower D to go in behind him – good leg form throughout – together, no knee bends. 15.400.
Naddour – his best routine of the competition by quite a margin – much better leg form than in qualification and much better dismount than in TF – he rushed the hell out of that dismount to get it around before falling. 15.700. Into first.
Oleg – struggles up on a handstand – couldn’t save/didn’t save because why – but he does stand astride the horse like a champion, so there’s that. Got back up but had the same problem on dismount and was just like NO THANK YOU PLEASE. 12.400.
Louis now – A Louis hit! Am I allowed to saw that I prefer Louis on horse to Whitlock? No. OK. I’ll keep that to myself. Good to know. He must have adjusted his hair weight for this one – 15.833.
Merdinyan – great height in these circles, love that – does flares, so gets bonus points from me for that even if they weren’t the smoothest possible thing in the world – struggles up to handstand on his dismount, doesn’t complete it, rough. 14.933.
Whitlock – nearly loses his legs in his flare, just saves it – otherwise quite solid – great dismount. 15.966. Oh good. This won’t be controversial. Lower execution score, appropriately because of that error on the flare, but gets it with the difficulty.
Kuksenkov – he really has the best extension and legs in the final, just lovely to watch his spindles and flares – those splits – his routine is tremendous until those fugly Russians because Russians – ARCHED THE DISMOUNT – didn’t do full dismount. Wow. 15.233
AN AMERICAN WON A POMMEL HORSE MEDAL WHAT LIFE IS THIS.
Two-for-two for national hero Max Whitlock.
Louis Smith should just start writing his social media apology right now. Or, sorry. He already has that template written.
Uneven bars final
Jim actually admitted to Cold War narrative. Well, at least he’s owning it. I guess…
Also, Jessica Lopez is in this final!
Surprise, surprise. Kupets thinks bars is the best event.
Lopez – stalder shap to clear hip 1/2 – strong layout jaeger, loses legs in pak – toe shoot to late clear hip full – tkatchev – double front with hop – She hit with a fist pump! Wonderful. 15.333. Massive score. 8.633 E.
Dougie – toe full, but stops halfway through and has to muscle back up and keep it going – the rest looks great, normal composition, hop on DLO, but that mistake early will take her down. She’ll be furious because that was a silly mistake she never makes. 15.066.
Musty – inbar full to shap to pak to shap 1/2, lovely throughout – great handstands – piked jaeger – toe full to Mustafina with a step. Very very strong. We’ll see what Kocian does, but that’s a gold-worthy performance. 15.900. 9. 1 E score. 6.8 D.
Aliya literally clutching a stuffed animal waiting for her score. THAT BITCH.
Kocian – inbar full connects to shap – YOU WERE BRAVE TO CONNECT – pak to shap 1/2 is strong – good jaeger – shap full is late to a stuck dismount. Let’s see… 15.833.
I’m dreading to see how NBC reacts to this, but I think it’s correct. Kocian actually got a higher E score than Mustafina, and I think you can argue that as well.
Scheder – inbar full to inbar shap to bail, very clean – a little late on toe full – that crazy shoot to high bar that looks like the nannies from Mary Poppins – great amplitude on jaeger and tkatchev – hop back on tuck full.
15.566 for Scheder. Into third.
Shang – piked hindorff to pak is very good – hip shap is a bit flat – inbar gienger – E pirouettes, dinishing position looks OK – jaeger – an arch on random half turn – hop back on tuck full – hug-attack from coach and she was like, “What is this…?” 15.433.
Spiridonova – inbar full, great finish to inbar shap – pak to shap half and a fall. GET THE SHOT OF MUSTAFINA OBVIOUSLY NOW, but she’s walking away, not Khorkina laughing like they wanted.
Seitz – toe shap to Ricna – very high jaeger – one short hs and a leg break on the pak out of the piked tkatchev – shap half – also slightly late on final piro like Kocian – hop on tuck full. Scheder was cleaner to my eye. 15.533. It’s Scheder by .033!
Appropriate podium order based on performance there.
Scheder also trying to enter the ugly-cry sweepstakes.
Until tomorrow! For beam, men’s vault, and……rings.