To open the competition, everyone had to run out at ill-timed intervals while being shouted at by the Horned Nightmare Cat, so everything is going fine in the world.
Anyway, here’s what else happened on day 1 of finals.
8th place – Emily Thomas (GBR) – Thomas had qualified in second place but fell on her Tsuk full here, dropping her to last.
7th place – Sara Peter (HUN) – Peter intended a layout Tsuk full as her first vault but tucked it and hopped well out of the area, putting her down below the others on difficulty and execution despite a strong second vault.
6th place – Ahtziri Sandoval (MEX) – Sandoval stumbled backward with two large lunges on her opening Tsuk full, which took her out of contention in this final.
5th place – Tijana Tkalcec (CRO) – Tkalcec opened with a fairly nice front handspring pike 1/2 that had her in medal contention, but a large lunge back out of her FTY with some crazy legs on the block and a pike down put her in 5th place.
4th place – Laurie Denommee (CAN) – Denommee started with a reasonably NCAA Yurchenko full with just some knees and a small step back, but a more significant hop back on her handspring pike 1/—in addition to a straddle on the table—saw her finish just out of the medals.
3rd place – Victoria Mata (MEX) – Mata performed very well in this final, executing a high handspring tuck 1/2 as her first vault with just a small hop, followed by a FTY with laudable distance and shape. It was her execution (the best in the final) that allowed her to survive lower difficulty and still medal.
2nd place – Gabriela Janik (POL) – Janik’s opening handspring tuck 1/1 gave her a slight difficulty edge, and she did well to show a clean tucked shape at the end of that vault. She did have a multi-step stumble backward on her Tsuk full second vault but was able to use her few tenths of difficulty advantage to stay toward the top.
1st place – Yeo Seojeong (KOR) – Yeo’s victory here is a lovely example of everything wrong with the vaulting code. She had the weakest performance of the final, taking a huge stumble backward with multiple lunges on a DTY, followed by a hands-down fall on a rudi, and yet managed to win gold exclusively because of her massive D-score advantage over the others.
8th place – Henji Mboyo (SUI) – Mboyo struggled on three landings in the final, including a very deep double Arabian final pass with a stumble backward, which put his E score into the low 7s and out of contention.
7th place – Manrique Larduet (CUB) – Manrique showed some of the strongest passes in the entire final, namely his opening front 2/1 + full and his final double Arabian, but it was a disastrous 2.5 + front tuck full attempt, complete with butt-scraper landing and a crossover stumble, that ruined his E score here.
6th place – Tomas Kuzmickas (LTU) – Kuzmickas had an impressive, clean routine going until the 3/1 final pass, where he came in short and had to put his hands down. Finishing 6th despite the fall is a testament to the quality of the rest of his set.
5th place – Robert Tvorogal (LTU) – Tvorogal performed an exceptionally clean routine, the highlight being a nailed double front opening pass, but he was verrrrrry lean on difficulty. In fact, one of his passes was just a whip + layout, so he was never going to contend compositionally.
4th place – Marco Rizzo (SUI) – Rizzo performed well enough and showed competitive composition, but he was just a little too hoppy on too many landings to get into the medals, most notably on a double front 1/2 out with three little bounces. Or, as our dear Doddering Old Fool on the Olympic Channel said, “A treble hop. Like stones skipping across Lake Geneva.” Sure.
3rd place – Rayderley Zapata (ESP) – A strong showing for Zapata, with an excellent run in the middle of his routine that featured a stuck double front pike 1/2 out followed immediately by the tucked version with an identical stick. He had a few too many deep landings on other elements, and lower difficulty than the other medalists, but a good routine.
2nd place – Takumi Sato (JPN) – Sato had a very typically Japanese “you’ll never see me at worlds, but I’m dominating this world cup” showing with high difficulty, useful combinations, and mostly solid landings—either stuck or with small bounces. Though I do take issue with that wonky twisting axis.
1st place – Jorge Vega Lopez (GUA) – OK, first of all, Doddering Old Fool pronounced Jorge as “Yorg,” and we can’t let that go. This was not Vega’s strongest showing, with too many hops, bounces, and slides on landings, including a front 2/1 that went a little crazy, but his massive difficulty ushered him to victory. (In fact, his execution was just 5th-best here.)
8th place – Joe Fraser (GBR) – Fraser was the only two-fall victim in this pommel horse final, putting him in last place after he came off on a Russian travel and then fell again almost immediately after restarting.
7th place – Sofus Heggemsnes (NOR) – Heggemsnes didn’t actually fall in his routine, which was a miracle in itself because of the sheer number of losses of rhythm and leg form as he went. Those multiple form breaks were enough, however, to drop his E score into the 6s.
6th place – Manrique Larduet (CUB) – Manrique has wonderful ability on pommel horse, as we know well, with excellent speed and the potential for great rhythm, but an early travel blow-out resulting in a fall took him out of contention.
5th place – Zachary Clay (CAN) – Another who was going well and seemed right in contention, Clay showed excellent height and speed until the dismount, where he totally lost his handstand position midway through and had to drop off before completing his element. It still counted as a dismount, but far from the one he wanted.
4th place – Axel Augis (FRA) – A very clean showing from Augis with good extension was enough to put him into 4th place despite having the shortest routine in the final. It was only a lack of difficulty that kept him out of the medals.
3rd place – Koki Maeda (JPN) – Maeda should have won this final with his fantastic one-arm and flare work, a step above the others here, but he smacked his leg against the horse and had to come off toward the end. The rest was actually perfect.
2nd place – Zoltan Kallai (HUN) – When your top workers make mistakes, it opens the door for those who go through cleanly with comfortable height in their swing, and that’s just what Kallai did for silver, tying Maeda overall but taking second with his far superior E score.
1st place – Thierry Pellerin (CAN) – In the end, it wasn’t that close. Pellerin performed an exceptionally composed routine with no leg breaks at all, and while not a showy set (he even does the wussy dismount), it was complex enough to pair a D score in the 6s with his best-in-the-final execution for the win.
8th place – Stefanie Siegenthaler (SUI) – Siegenthaler fell on an attempt to connect a clear hip 1/2 out of a Stalder Shaposh, getting stuck and having to hop off. Ergo, 8th.
7th place – Gabriela Janik (POL) – Janik was not able to cast out of a Tkatchev toward the end of her set and had to rest against the high bar for several centuries before resuming, which gave her the lowest E score in the final and 7th place.
6th place – Isabela Onyshko (CAN) – The favorite in this final with the most difficulty, Onyshko was off from the start, having to save an opening clear hip 1/1 and then falling on the subsequent Tkatchev connected out of a Shaposh. The later Hindorff + Pak + Shaposh 1/2 combination was quite nice, though.
5th place – Laurie Denommee (CAN) – We’re into the realm of those who didn’t miss now, with Denommee getting through her routine but showing enough large straddles on Shaposh-family elements, as well as a bound forward on her dismount, to keep her pretty far off medal pace.
4th place – Ilaria Käslin (SUI) – Käslin should be pleased with her showing here, putting up an execution score consistent with the medalists. Her composition—with only a handful of D elements and the rest Cs, including the dismount—just kept her off the podium with 13.000. Or as Doddering Old Fool said, “13 dead.”
3rd place – Helena Bonilla (ESP) – A very strong routine from Bonilla earned her the bronze, showing off truly lovely height on a Shaposh and only minor breaks in leg shape and handstands here and there. She punctuated her set with a stuck full-twisting double tuck to make up a bars routine that Spain could certainly use right now.
2nd place – Filipa Martins (POR) – Martins also threw up a pretty set with her legs glued together on all her transition combinations. The Pak and Stalder shoot were particularly lovely. It was just a close catch on a piked Jaeger and performing only a double tuck dismount (with hop) that gave her silver instead of gold.
1st place – Ahtziri Sandoval (MEX) – This was the best bars routine I’ve seen Sandoval do, featuring a comprehensive collection of D elements (second only to Onyshko in difficulty) performed with crisp leg form and culminating in a stuck full-twisting double tuck. The height on the Gienger was particularly impressive.
8th place – Joe Fraser (GBR) – It wasn’t a strong day for Fraser, losing himself completely in a handstand and having to grab the cables with his feet to steady himself for an 8th place finish.
7th place – Yuri Van Gelder (NED) – Lambertus had one of the best routines of the final going, with extremely secure strength positions and very difficult composition. He would have medaled if not for his front double pike dismount with a giant multi-lunge stumble backward.
6th place – Takumi Sato (JPN) – Sato was perfectly fine in this final, the best part being the stick on his DLO 1/1, but he lacked the difficulty and was a little too high in some of his Maltese and cross positions compared to the best competitors in the final.
5th place – Rayderley Zapata (ESP) – It was a similar story for Zapata for the exact same score as Sato. He also stuck his DLO 1/1 dismount (though with a little too much pike in the air) but was not quite as smooth and horizontal in strength positions as Van Gelder or the medalists.
4th place – Fabian De Luna (MEX) – De Luna was another ringer in prime contention for a medal if not for the dismount. He was very secure in his Maltese work and had those nice horizontal arms in his crosses, but struggled on landing with two large stumbles back. That took away a medal, potentially even gold.
3rd place – Kentaro Yunoki (JPN) – Yunoki showed such smooth work in moving from strength position to strength position and, apart from a single somewhat archy handstand, had some of the best execution in the final. It was only difficulty that separated him from the top two.
2nd place – Andrei Muntean (ROU) – An excellent, controlled routine from Muntean got him the silver here, highlighted by his BUTTAH move from Maltese directly up to planche. Oh if only he hadn’t taken a hop forward on his double double dismount. That seemed to make the difference in the final standings here.
1st place – Manrique Larduet (CUB) – Oh those dismounts. Manrique’s actually perfect dismount, complete with stick, got him the victory here despite a slightly high position or two and a handstand hesitation. Manrique had enough competitive difficulty to be able to TIM DAGGETT EXPLANATION POINT his way to gold.