Things Are Happening – April 6, 2018

A. For the common wealth

Team competition has concluded at the Commonwealth Games for both the women and men, with a fuller strength Canadian women’s team edging out England for gold. The result is mostly as expected since Canada sent its A team (except for Moors, so like A- team) while all of England is currently in full-body casts.

England did well to keep Canada’s margin of victory to just four tenths and at times seriously challenged for gold. The late English replacements James and Stanhope had some errors each but did the job on their important events, James qualifying first into the floor final and Stanhope getting the team’s high score on vault. Vault nonetheless proved the difference between the two nations, with Canada bringing much bigger and better vaults to outscore England by quite a margin there.

We also got to enjoy a real race for bronze between Australia and Wales. Wales put the pressure on Australia with its performance in the third subdivision, looking fantastically composed on beam and recording solid scores on vault and floor as well. It was just bars that made the difference. Wales doesn’t have the routines there, while bars is Australia’s most impressive event, even though Mizzen missed. Australia developed enough of a margin because of bars to end up on top despite underscoring Wales on both beam and floor. So close. Wales nearly pulled off the medal upset for a second consecutive games.

Despite a miss on bars, Ellie Black was strong enough on beam and floor to qualify first into the all-around final because Ellie Black. She’ll be the major favorite for gold in the final, with the other medal contenders comprising the other gymnasts from Canada, England, Australia, and Wales (Onyshko, Simm, Kinsella, Godwin, Brown, Methuen, and Bevan).

Sadly for the sake of interest, that was the story in event final qualification as well: two from Canada, two from England, two from Australia, two from Wales. Vault provided the only respite with Archer and Kennedy from Scotland and Nayak from India making the eight. Nicole Burns from the Isle of Man just missed out on the beam final, ending up first reserve. Drat.

Burns did, however, make the AA final along with Bonita Shurmer of Jersey, so that’s fun.

On the men’s side, England took team gold by a casual ten points, also much as expected. That team is far better than anyone else here and did not have to perform as well as it did in order to win. It was a “US women at Pac Rims” kind of margin. Canada will also be very pleased with its silver and the clear superiority shown over all the non-England competitors here. That isn’t always that way for the Canadian men, which provides an actual hope glimmer for this quad.

A disappointing competition put the Australian men down in fifth, but that did allow Cyprus to challenge seriously for a medal and nearly pull off the upset, just getting edged for bronze by Scotland at the last minute. Fourth is still a huge finish for the Cypriots.

Or, sorry, Cyprus won, Singapore was second, and India was seven countries.

In the all-around, Nile Wilson and James Hall qualified a billion points ahead of everyone else, two-perring out Dom Cunningham, though the race for bronze is going to be real. Rene Cournoyer of Canada qualified in third just ahead of Hamish Carter of Scotland—everyone’s laughing, and riding, and Cournoying except Hamish— but it’s easy to see that spot going to a bunch of different people. Tragically, Dan “Our Purv” Purvis also got two-perred out of the final.

Honestly, the English men are probably the favorites to win every single gold medal here, but watch out for Chris Remkes of Australia on vault. That could be the moment for the home country.

Here’s the US time schedule for the remaining events:

April 6 – 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT – Men’s AA Final

April 7 – 2:30am ET/April 6 – 11:30pm PT – Women’s AA Final

April 8 – 12:30am ET/April 7 – 9:30pm PT – Event Finals Day 1

April 9 – 12:30am ET/April 8 – 9:30pm PT – Event Finals Day 2

ESPN3 has been showing most of the subdivisions so far (except for the early subdivisions of L5 gymnasts, which are fun in and of themselves—except when they get 4.00 off for having too few skills in a beam routine and you’re like, “JUST DO A CAT LEAP!”). All the remaining finals will also be streamed on ESPN3.

B. Verify yourself before you wreck yourself

The latest USA Gymnastics “this is normal…what?” verification competition is already upon us, this one held at WCC and used to decide the six-member team for Pac Rims.

The verification will be conducted in two parts—the first part on April 7 at 6:30pm ET and the second part on April 8 at 11:00am ET. The second part will be followed by the announcement of the Pacific Rim team at 2:00pm ET. Yes, that means the first part will directly conflict with NCAA regionals, which is not cool and obviously just an elaborate scheme to make sure I’m not watching. Which I will not be. Regionals wins. Get in line, elite.

Notable absences from this verification (which just means that they’re not going for the Pac Rim team, not that they’re necessarily injured or anything) include Ragan Smith, Emma Malabuyo, Jade Carey, Riley McCusker, and Trinity Thomas.

Pretty much all the other main ones will be participating here, including the return of Gabby Perea whom we haven’t seen in a while, as well as a few more juniors than last time because juniors have to make up at least half of a Pac Rims team.

The verification will once again be streamed, so we’ll see if a few more people allow themselves to be seen in public this time, or if gymnastics is still a secret.

C. Non-disclosure

If you’re keeping up with what hot water USAG is in this week, the OC Register has two pieces about non-disclosure agreements and aggressively not caring about horrible gymnast abuse.

Remember like 30 seconds ago when Kerry Perry told the Senate that USAG doesn’t use non-disclosure agreements, except for that one time with Maroney and exactly no other times? USAG’s attempt to wriggle its way out of this one will be fun to watch in the coming weeks. Did I say fun? I meant a;lkdsfhj;laksdjf;lasksdhjh;ljashdf.

D. Oh, Georgia

So, word on the internet street is that Lauren Johnson tore her Achilles. Dear dear. Johnson was no longer in the bars lineup, but this would put Georgia back down to five vaulters with Oakley, Arnold, Vega, Dickson, and Snead, which makes the vault prospects quite a bit rougher than they were before.

E. GymCastic

It’s the Geddert and Karolyi Rage-O-Meter special this week as we take on all the horrible things John Geddert has done, as well as the bonkers Karolyi depositions from May 2017. Whooo boy.

We finish with previews of regionals and the CWG, and feedback about nightmare award ceremonies, in order to cleanse the palate.

F. Beam routine of the week

The most famous beam routine in the world this week belongs to exactly 1 second of Simone Biles doing gymnastics.

Because of “LOOK OVER HERE AT THE SHINY,” USAG did an instragammity today of Simonay Biles’ current progress in her training, and it’s obviously excellent.

On beam, we see a fab bhs + loso + loso series, along with that damn barani and a wolf turn 3.5 for some reason that may or may not have been an accident.

I say that because wolf turn difficulty is capped at three turns, so anything more than that is not credited as a different skill.

Beyond beam, we see Simone do an Amanar (into the pit with a mat) that already looks pretty realistic and a Maloney on bars. So she’s going to be fine.

The time frame for her summer return looks believable based on these little bits of training.

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12 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – April 6, 2018”

  1. Well ignore the Lauren Johnson/vault question in the Regionals post… UGA will need a huge floor result to be still be relevant when they get to the halfway point because the chances of vault going 49-plus are now a long shot – though Oakley up first is better than Vega as her form is the best of the first three. Wonder if they’ll risk Snead going for the 1.5? She’s sat it a couple times this year. Also Dickson has a tendency to take a rather significant hop back on her full which they can’t afford now.

    I wonder if Vaculik could be thrown in as a “sixth” vaulter in case disaster strikes on one of the Top 5… A 9.7 from Vaculik is better than counting a 9.2 or 9.3.

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  2. I wonder why Jordyn has never said a word about Geddert. He was her coach for many years. Does she think he is abusive? Or not? It’s hard to be neutral about this issue.

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    1. Grace Williams (senior at Nebraska) was also coached by Geddert. I remember him being so thrilled when she won the 2011 Nastia Cup and then Jordyn went on to win the American Cup the next day.

      Jordyn has spoken up regarding the evil non-doctor, but Grace has never said anything – I wonder if she’ll make any comment after she graduates (assuming it’ll be this spring, though she does have another year to complete her studies).

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    2. It’s a really interesting question. I remember when everything went down with Marvin Sharp and wondered if Bridget Sloan would say anything about her time with him, but it took her a long time (over a year) before she gave the IndyStar interview. It’s possible Jordyn is still processing everything that happened to her, or it could be that she had a different experience with him because of her talent and success and has conflicted feelings.

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  3. In randomness, did you see how some of the Indian gymnasts at Comm Games were deducted for not wearing matching leos, and other were deducted for not wearing the National icon badge thingy. Sheesh.

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    1. It wasn’t random though. The COP clearly states that in team competition the same leotard must be worn. It also states that they must wear the national emblem. The also must wear their BIB number. I am surprised that the other team of athletes did not get deducted for not having identical uniforms. I can’t remember if it was Cayman Islands, or Jersey that didn’t have the same leotard in the team competition. (I think it was Jersey) Granted there were just two girls from each of the countries, but they are representing their country in the team competition and should be wearing the same leotard.

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      1. They were not competing as a team it’s 4 up 3 count. They were competing for an individual spot in the all round. They did the qualifications for individual spot at th e same time. So they could hve dress differently

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  4. I could be wrong, but I slowed down Simone’s wolf turn to .25 speed and it appears that it is only a triple. if you pause at the exact moment the frame starts, you can see her push off with her left foot from the side of the beam. But great recap Spencer, I owe my gymnerd life to you once again

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