OK, so everything is terrible. Don’t worry about it.
After the death-by-a-thousand-pokes that is men’s qualifying day, the standings are official and we have learned that the odd team out is our dear Netherlands, finishing 9th. There were always going to be some potential stumbling blocks for this team, but a disastrous floor rotation would not have been super high on that list. Floor? That was supposed to be the good one. Instead, losing multiple points against its expected scores on floor is ultimately what took the Netherlands down, not just out of the medal conversation but out of the team final entirely. The Dutch men are basically the German women of this Euros.
In better news for Russia, it turns out they’re a lot better than everyone else. Like a lot. Russia qualified in first place by SEVEN POINTS despite being exactly as emotionally troubling on high bar as we all feared and expected. Russia ended up in 9th place on HB but won every other event, several by a significant margin, so it basically didn’t matter. We knew Russia was the best team here. We didn’t know Russia was the best team here by that much.
Great Britain did not have a perfect day en route to its second-place qualifying position— with a couple misses on vault and problems for Whitlock on floor—but even with a fully hit competition, it’s hard to see GB challenging the Russia we saw today. As things stand now, it appears Russia would need to have a super-duper-meltdown in the team final for Great Britain to take gold (not even just a regular Russia meltdown because that happened today on HB, and it was fine).
The Brits will retain silver-favorite status going into the team final since their qualification performance was still clearly better than anyone else’s, with the expectation that vault will improve in the final as well to boost the totals a little.
In the race for bronze, qualification provided few answers other than eliminating the Netherlands from the conversation. Germany qualified in 3rd and will therefore enter the team final with solid bronze hopes, knowing that things can go a lot better on high bar than they did today. At the same time, it is a potential concern that Germany finished just a point ahead of 4th even with a fully hit pommel horse rotation, which may not come around again until a green moon rises on the 4th solstice.
A depleted and largely written-off Switzerland nonetheless impressed by qualifying in 4th place, and Turkey will still very much like its medal chances after qualifying in 5th despite two misses on floor and a 10.8 on horse. Things looked quite dire for a while for Turkey, but in the end, it wasn’t much of a nail-biter thanks to some huge rings and vault scores. Also, who had Turkey in the pool as the #1 team on high bar? Anyone?
France, Spain, and Italy round out the qualification group, with France and Spain both expecting to improve on their qualification performances on Saturday to make a better push at a team medal.
The Oleg-less Ukraine team had a disastrous day, finishing 13th, and Romania’s day can be summed up by the fact that every other nation was identified by flag and name in the live scores, while Romania was just listed as
I mean it’s not wrong.
1. Russia – 259.427
2. Great Britain – 252.496
3. Germany – 246.094
4. Switzerland – 245.092
5. Turkey – 243.259
6. France – 242.996
7. Spain – 242.761
8. Italy – 241.128
9. Netherlands – 239.393
10. Israel – 238.692
11. Hungary – 238.593
12. Belgium – 238.528
13. Ukraine – 237.361
14. Norway – 236.728
15. Romania – 234.761
On to the events.
The surprise from floor qualifying turned out to be Whitlock missing the final, though his teammate Cunningham did pick up the slack to get in. Both of Israel’s floor stars (Dolgopyat and Shatilov) advanced to the final, Dolgopyat doing so in first place and in solid contention for a medal here against the Russians Dalaloyan and Nagornyy and Spain’s Zapata.
Also, who had Marcel Nguyen making the floor and rings finals, but not PBars?
On horse, Our Rhys took the first qualifying spot by a solid margin, ahead of both Belyavskiy and Whitlock. Whitlock had a few issues in his routine but has so much difficulty that he still qualified in third. Everyone hitting, those three should be your medalists, but our Croatian and Slovenia specialists (Ude, Seligman, and Bertoncelj) all made it into the final and will hope to spoil.
Unsurprisingly, it’s Petrounias and Tulloch leading the group on rings, though Colak qualified quite close to the two of them and will look to join them on a podium.
Medvedev of Israel took the first qualifying spot on vault, just ahead of Radivilov, Dalaloyan, and Lankin. Once again, all things being hit in the final, you would expect those first three to make up the podium, especially after Cunningham and Tulloch struggled and missed the final. Frasca of France also had a miss on one of his 5.6s but just edged Cunningham in the end because of D.
Excitingly, we have some athletes from unexpected countries in the vault final, including Valgard Reinhardsson of Iceland and Konstantin Kuzovkov of Georgia, so that will be fun. They went lower on difficulty, but also, you know, hit. So that helps.
There will be no PBars final for Marcel Nguyen or Ferhat Arican, which opens things up for the Russians Belyavskiy and Dalaloyan to look like even clearer favorites. I’d take Petro Pakhniuk for bronze, but Fraser, Onder, and Hegi will make a convincing argument.
The Netherlands’ lone entrant into event finals is Epke, who qualified first on HB. Oliver Hegi is the other most recognizable high bar prince in this final who will expect to medal. Ideally, James Hall should be in with a shot as well. Though if we’ve learned anything from the Challenge Cup circuit, it’s not to discount David Vecsernyes and his olde tyme dismount, despite his lower D, because he avoids those E pitfalls and always scores well.
It will be the juniors’ turn tomorrow. The senior men will follow with their team final on Saturday (8:00am ET/5:00am PT), and event finals will be Sunday (juniors at 5:00am ET/2:00am PT, seniors at 9:30am ET/6:30am PT).