The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Worlds 2018 – Women’s Team Final

Russia, China, and the race for silver. That’s what qualification told us today would be about, as Russia finished just .301 ahead of China. Those performances were very even.

But watch out for the parade of dark horses waiting around in the remaining spots if one of those two nations gets all…beam…on us. Canada had a phenomenal day to qualify in 4th, 1.3 behind China, and Brazil didn’t even have a phenomenal day (at least on beam) to qualify in 5th, 2.6 behind China.

Plus, our two best pre-event spoiler options, Japan and France, will be looking to improve on their qualification performances and get right in that mix. The order of finish for these contender looks exceptionally uncertain. They’re all so similar.

We’re in the “reading Simone’s tweets” portion of the broadcast. I note that Terry chose not to read the “I’ll be gucci girls” portion of Simone’s tweet. Shame. I really needed that.

We’ve added flamethrowers to the intros today. Because gymnastics. Apparently now.

More Simone Cheng timers in the warmup.

We’ve seen Akhaimova crash in the warmup, so that’s fun. Sarah Jantzi is about to jump out of her pants in the crowd.

Rotation 1

McCallum – VT – solid DTY, pretty much her usual, bounce back this time, though. Typically also gets deducted for distance.

Maggie Haney is going to get deducted for theatrical non-modest makeup I guess now.

14.533 for McCallum. A miss first up from Barbosa on beam for Brazil. Sigh

Chen – UB – stalder Shap to Pak, lovely – toe shap to gienger, hit, dead hang – E piro to piked jaeger, also a little close – ling 1/2 – FTDT, a little short with hop forward. Awesome beginning, a couple things cropped up toward the end, but good.

13.6 for Alexeeva for her Yfull.

Hatakeda – BB – front tuck, small hop – aerial to straddle to wolf – side aerial to side position, small lean – side somi, large break with a couple swims but pulled it back – switch to switch 1/2 – double pike, bounce back.

Hop back on DTY from Hurd, also doing her usual, but more controlled than sometimes. 14.633.

14.100 for Chen.

Melnikova – VT – DTY – OK, hop back, more leg crossing – no trouble

14.300 for Melnikova.

Biles – VT – She has posted the Cheng, which is what she does – bounce back, more uncontrolled than she has been on it, but obviously great – it’s her timer now, and it was a bit of a timer bounce-back landing.

15.5 for Biles.

Akhaimova – VT – rudi – she goes for it but puts her hand down. Near tears. China, you’re welcome. Hers was the solid one in qualification, but she also struggled int he warmup that day, as well as today.

13.233 for Akhaimova. Russia scores a point lower on vault than in qualification.

Brazil and France have both moved into the 13s for their second routines after falls from the first person.

Kim Bui, representing Explosion at the Bumblebee Factory, on FX – split jump 1/1, a little short of split – DLO, secure landing, legs apart – split 1.5, nice height to get it around – double tuck, bounce back – switch – switch 1/1 – does well to save her 2.5 to front tuck since she was pretty off line – double pike, small slide

14.466 for Luo on bars.

MDJDS – FX – DLO 1/1, juuussst keeps it in bounds – a little short with a bounce forward – full in, very good, small slide back – switch 1/1 – wolf double – front loso to double tuck, excellent – double pike, a little hop to the side. Strong.

13.6 for Saraiva and 13.433 for MDJDS, so they’re pulling it back together with their later routines, but DJDS can do a lot better.

Ana Padurariu falls on her pak. So I guess we’re not in qualification anymore…

Murakmi – BB – switch mount, good – front pike, small slide back – bhs loso – switch ring, secure – side aerial, solid – front tuck, excellent – double pike, small hop. Great job.

Big 13.766 for Murakami on beam. 12.866 for Padurariu on bars.

LTT – UB – stalder shap to Pak, lovely – Toe Shap to gienger, well done – ooooooof, she can’t get into her third E pirouette in a row, knee break, pause, empty swing, and less difficulty than she wanted. That’s going to end up being close to a fall.

Look back at Hurd’s DTY that we saw in the background earlier. Yep, hop back on DTY. Her usual.

13.400 for LTT. Outrage about how high her score is, but honestly it’s about a point lower than her capability, so she got hit for a fall-equivalent as expected.

Black – UB – toe shap to Hindorff, strong – piked hindorff, good – piked jaeger, hit – oooh crap, can’t cast out before her Pak, not close to handstand, major break. Surprising for Ellie. Sticks dismount.

13.566 for Ellie. Also fairly charitable for her empty swing, but also about .500 lower than we would expect, so not too weird.

After 1

USA – 44.666
China – 41.966
Russia – 41.133
Canada – 39.498
Japan – 39.165
Germany – 38.399
Brazil – 38.366
France – 38.065

So basically, everyone is having trouble except the US. The fall from Akhaimova the most significant development of the first rotation.

Devastating rotation for France.

Rotation 2

Olsen – BB – aerial, hit – bhs bhs loso, check – switch to switch 1/2, secure – onodi – illusion, hit – bhs bhs double pike, hop back, hit.

12.333 for Olsen.

Melnikova – UB – inbar full, a little late – inbar Shap to pak – Toe shap 1/2, small leg break – inbar 1/2, good – piked jaeger, a little legs there – orphan 1/2 turn – hesitation in toe full to FTDT, a typically little hesitation for her in the middle of that toe full, not a big deal

And Zhang Jin has fallen on beam for China. The rest of the medals go to nobody!

Barbosa – FX – whip to full in with bounce back – piked full in – straddle jump 1.5 – back 1.5 to front full, some legs throughout but the landings are secure – double pike, step back. Good.

Just a 12.500 for Zhang.

Valentina cam. She looks like a bundle of rainbows.

Hahaha just kidding, she’s furious.

14.166 for Melnikova.

Hurd – UB – inbar to stadler full to tkatchev – Ricna to pak, nailed – stalder shoot – inbar 1/2 – inabr full to FTDT, deep landing on dismount this time with a lunge forward. Still 14.433, which is basically the same as the first day.

Teramoto – FX – nice finish on the double L, will get it – two whips to 3/1, awesome – front 2/1, small hop – 3.5 turn, so she’llget the triple, high split leap full – 2.5, step forward, leg crossing – switch ring – split leap 1/1 – double pike, solid, lowish. Good routine.

Chen – BB – large break on her layout series, leg-up wobble – but hit – aerial to split to stag jump – side aerial, falls, oh CHINA. Switch to split ring jump – split ring leap – pretty good 3/1 dismount, high, hop back, all the way around.

McCusker with 14.500 for a hit on bars.

Huge 13.800 for Flavia on floor. Just 12.833 for Chen on beam.

Mustafina – UB – stalder full to toe Shap to pka to toe shap 1/2, awesome – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, nailed it – toe full to stuck FTDT – aggressively awesome routine

DJDS – VT – DTY – large bounce back but huge vault, big height.

Padurariu has fallen again on beam after also falling on bars. Oh Ana.

Biles – UB – weiler 1/2 to Shap to tkatchev, good – toe full to piked tkatchev to pak, also solid – one short handstand – Shap 1/2 – double double tuck, small hop. Not her absolute strongest with some tight cast handstands and the hop on dismount, but, you know, 14.866.

Murakami – FX – triple turn, falls out of it a little at the end – double double tuck, small slide back – DLO, strong, small hop – 2.5 to front full, also just small hop, most great form on these twisting skillsswitch ring – split 1.5 – double L turn – double pike, great. Another strong set.

13.766. Tim is pre-emptively outrages that this scored lower than Flavia even though he didn’t see Flavia’s routine.

Japan’s like, “Oh, everyone is falling? I see.”

13.766 for Tingting on beam rights things a little for China.

After 2

USA – 88.465
Russia – 83.799
China – 80.965
France – 79.931
Germany – 79.164
Japan – 79.097
Brazil – 78.499
Canada – 78.397

Russia taking those Chinese falls on beam. Expect Japan to move up after doing vault in the next rotation.

Rotation 3

People have been rewriting history a little about 2010. In 2010, Mattie Larson missed floor in qualification and was still put into the lineup in TF. Now, Martha bitched about it afterward and blamed it on the other coaches, but it still happened.

Luo – FX – double Y, close – double tuck, step back – triple turn – front tuck through to 2/1, stuck – switch ring 1/2, with the late 1/2 turn like they’re “supposed” to do – double pike, low but secure – split ring –

McCusker hits beam. 13.733.

We’re seeing a little bit of the downside of the alternating format with the extended bars prepping.

Hatakeda 14.033 for her vault. Small hop back on 1.5

Chapry – toe full to Shap to Pak, beautiful toe shap 1/2 – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger – flings out her DLO, short with a big hop – great on the bars themselves

13.500 hit for Alexeeva on beam.

14.433 for Saraiva.

Eaker – BB – switch to split ring, arm wave, not bad on the position from this angle – Y spin – aerial to split ring jump – side aerial loso loso is actually perfect – split leap to side somi, super smooth – switch ring, small adjustment before bhs – switch 1/2 to Korbut, won’t get all her CV there – switch to switch side with an arm wave – bhs bhs 2.5 with a hop.

Eaker goes 14.333 and only missed a tenth in CV, so basically equivalent to qualification.

China gets in the 13s with a 13.333 from Zhang on floor.

Oooof, looks like a fall from Teramoto on vault.

Mustafina – BB – bhs loso – acro series queen now – aerial, small check – split to wolf jump – double turn, great – switch ring – onodi, also solid – split ring – not a lot of connections here but great individual skills – side aerial – side somi – double tuck, two small steps back – she does go over time.

13.266 for Mustafina.

Biles – BB – wolf triple, super solid – sissone to wolf – barani, hit with arm wave, usual landing psoition – bhs loso loso – switch to switch 1/2 with a check – doesn’t connect to back pike – front pike, huge break and grabs the beam to steady herself – aerial to split – bhs bhs full in, hop back. Largest error for the US today. Simone is going to burn everyone.

Saved it to keep the US streak alive. They haven’t fallen in a team final since 2010.

Chen – FX – split jump 1/1 – 3/1, nice, just a small hop, all the way around, one of her better 3/1s – triple turn – 2.5 to front pike with a hop forward, keeps it in bounds – switch ring – double tuck, hop back. Good one, and they needed it.

13.733 for Simone.

Bossu – Ub – inbar full to stalder shap 1/2 – inbar – inbar 1/2 – to piked jaeger, slightly awkward catch – pak – toe Shap 1/2, great legs together – double front, stuck. Excellent.

Murakami – VT – DTY, hop back, great power, her normal

Simakova hit beam for 13.166

After 3

USA – 130.264
Russia – 123.731
Brazil – 122.165
France – 121.396
Germany – 121.396
Japan – 120.430
China – 120.064
Canada – 117.862

The first two spots look set unless there’s a disaster for Russia. But bronze is OPEN. Brazil could legit hold onto this. If they do bars like in qualification.

But Flavia is going to have to hit bars.

France is right there because they have Melanie and Marine. Japan needs a big bars score. China ends on vault, so even though it’s not a strength, the scores are bigger.

Rotation 4

Mustafina – FX – full-in, stuck – split jump 1/1 – 1.5 to front 1/1, usual knees, a little hop – triple turn – split leap – switch ring, nice – double tuck, stagger bounce back – double Y, falls out of it a little at the end but I think completed two rotations.

13.066 for Mustafina.

13.133 for Mai on bars. They needed more than that. As we watch Charpy just stand there. I cannot you guys.

Charpy – BB – nice loso mount – bhs loso, secure, feet – wolf triple, hit – wolf double, also secure – side aerial, also solid, it’s the feet on everything, but very secure – nice split jump side though – aeiral to split to bhs – double pike, didn’t get much on that dismount, short with a lunge forward

Hurd – FX – double double tuck, struggles this time with a bounce back OOB – DLO, more controlled, small hop – gets split 1.5 around but a little bouncy on landing – fornt layout to front 1/1 – Ferrari – split jump 1/1, also a little bouncy – double pike, suuuuuper short with a lunge. That one more reminiscent of selection camp

14.433 for Zhang on vault.

Voss – BB – nice bhs loso loso series – because this is the routine we need to be seeing right now in the bronze medal race – sure – side aerial – switch to switch 1/2 – aerial – full turn, check – side somi – 2.5 step forward, good hit

Canada is done with 161.644, a couple points lower than qualification.

Liu JR goes 14.366, so China finishes with 162.396, nearly 3 points lower than qualification.

Barbosa – UB – stalder shap to tkatchev – Ricna to Pak – Toe Shap to bail, oooof, has to correct on bail and recast, and then again, knees all over the place, multiple recasts on low bar – toe full – 1/2 turn – DLO, hop in place.

Oh Jade.

Huge 13.600 for Voss. Awesome.

Liu JR – VT – we see her DTT, large hop back with some crazy legs

13.100 for Akhaimova on floor. Russia doing just fine.

McCallum – FX – double double tucked, good – front lay to front 1/1, a little hop – wolf turn double – switch ring – switch 1/2 – 3/1, a little short and staggered with a hop – double tuck, step back, fine.

OOOH Melanie fell on beam. NO ONE FOR BRONZE.

12.833 for Teramoto on bars. Well, Japan didn’t need that.

Everyone is like, “Oh China, don’t worry about all those falls. Here’s your bronze.”

Saraiva – UB – looked like she clips her feet on piked tkatchev and how did she not even react to that – Shap to tkatchev, close – finishes double front, large bound forward

Melnikova – FX – excellent double L to double turn – DLO 1/1 twist, lands fully OOB with a pike down – secure landing on DLO and well done with that because she did not get great height on that one – double wolf – front tuck through to double tuck, a little deep, hop back – double Y, close – double pike, super short with a stagger forward.

Russia keeping things interesting.

12.966, still enough to pass China.

Boyer – BB – aerial to split to tuck jump 1/2 – ro to layout 2 feet, super secure – switch to switch 1/2, nice – L turn to full turn – side aerial, hit – split leap to side somi to split jump 1/2 from side – she’s on today – double pike, small hop. Great.

Sadly she would need a 15 for this one.

12.466 for Flavia.

Biles – FX – Moors, huge bounce back, both feet OOB – Biles to stag, fine, a little uncomfortable on landing – split leap 1.5 – front 1.5 through to full in, good – wolf double – split leap 1/1 – double double, great, small hop.

I’m sure Simone will tell us that she had the worst day ever. It wasn’t. And it doesn’t matter.

Andrade – UB – toe Shap to stalder full to tkatchev to Pak – great – annnnnd she overbalances a cast handstand and falls – Brazil totally fell apart

So um yeah. That’s it.

The medals will be the US, Russia, and China. So everything went exactly to plan, right?

Ah ha ha ha.

So many of the other teams will be kicking themselves because they could have caught both Russia and China with hit days. Canada had two falls and came less than a point from a medal.

Russia’s silver medal score here would have been 5th place in qualification.

USA – 171.629
Russia – 162.863
China – 162.396
Canada – 161.644
France – 161.294
Japan – 160.262
Brazil – 159.830
Germany – 159.428

The way today went, pretty much every team in the final will be thinking they could have medaled if only they had hit today.

And yet, USA, Russia, China. Same old, same old.

We saw TF get to everyone. Even the US was three points weaker than in qualification.

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