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.
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.
USAG says they did not lie to Congress because they were asked about use of NDA's in investigations, NOT
settlements. Will Congress agree considering yesterdays OCRegister story revealing 3 NDAs (including Maroney's)? State & criminal's name redacted to protect victims. pic.twitter.com/0nTEm6Td99
— GymCastic (@GymCastic) April 6, 2018
D. Oh, Georgia
Georgia can’t catch a break this year. Senior Lauren Johnson tore her Achilles in practice 😢 pic.twitter.com/TUpfQI3zZi
— GymNewstics (@gymnewstics) April 6, 2018
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.
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.