The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Worlds 2018 – Women’s All-Around Final

It’s the Simone show.

After that, we think it’s the Morgan show.

After that, it’s the 78 people show? Murakami? Melnikova? Black? De Jesus Dos Santos? Derwael?

The mysteries we face…

Olympic Channel telling us who might win. It might be Simone. Breaking news from Tim: the Doha Pearl has not passed yet.

“Tim, you’re going to give the update on Simone’s urinary tract. OK Cool? Cool.”

To add suspense, the broadcast is trying to figure out whether Simone will do the Biles or the Cheng.

Rotation 1

Murakami – VT – DTY – good power, medium hop back, solid direction, nice and expected. Probably best DTY we’ll see today, no leg crossing. 14.566

Hurd – VT – DTY – strong, a little bit of legs, fairly small hop back, better control than she used to have. 14.600.

Biles – VT – she has posted the Biles – HOLY CRAPITOLY – she fell on the Biles. Short. Sat it down.

I mean…she’ll still win…but…wow. Didn’t get basically any block.

14.533. So she’s basically tied with the others.

Flavia got a 13 on bars. That’s a good bars score for her.

Luo goes 14.400 on bars.

Black – VT – handspring layout full – excellent! Stuck-ish – some legs, some knees – small slide back in salute.

Melnikova – VT – DTY – not controlled – large bounce back and then 78 other little hops after that – some legs in the air but not too bad. 14.166.

13.366 for Moors on floor

Derwael – FTY – hop back, clean, normal. 13.566

Melanie’s bars score comes in at 13.500. She ca get higher than that, so that won’t help her pace a ton.

Axelle – FX – falls out of doubel Y, won’t get that – split leap 1/1 – strong DLO, small slide forward – front tuck through to double tuck – switch ring – split leap 1.5 – really deep on piked-full in, sort of lands in a ball shape and hops forward – double pike, dances out – oh Axelle, you treasure – but that was not her strongest

Golgota – gigantic break on her switch leap mount – “The hope of an entire nation” – a million steps on that mount but an amazing save – bhs back lay-pike, check – front tuck, check – side somi, another leg-up break – side aerial, large lean, significant breaks on every skill – double tuck was nice, small hop

11.566 for Golgota.

Luo – UB – Shap to pak, gorgeous – toe Shap – good finish on E piroettes – piked jaeger, solid – DLO, stuck, nice – Tim and Nastia freaking out about her last 1/2 turn, but not a big deal

Downie – UB – front toe 1/2 to toe shap to Hindorff, nice – toe full to piked tkatchev to pak – toe Shap – flings out DLO a little with a hop, but a really good one! 13.900

Valeri is here with Flavia, but you can’t see Flavia in the shots because she’s so small, so it looks like he’s just lurking around

After 1

Hurd – 14.600
Murakami – 14.566
Biles – 14.533
Black – 14.4
Luo – 14.4
Melnikova 14.166

Rotation 2

IMPORTANT CHALK CLOSEUPS

Luo – BB – switch to split ring to bhs, lovely – ro off to layout 2 feet, leg-up wobble, but kept her toes pointed in the wobble, so points for that – breaks a mixed series out of aerial – onodi to stag, strong – side aerial, check – switch ring, pretty good – double pike, locked leg with a lunge back

Hurd – UB – inbar Shap to stalder full to tkatchev, hit – Ricna to Pak, well done – stalder shoot – inbar 1/2 – inbar 1/1 to FTDT, small step back – basically the identical routine she’s been doing the whole competition

Moors – VT – handspring pike 1/2, big bounce back

14.333 for Hurd.

Biles – UB – weiler 1/2 – toe Shap to tkatchev – toe full to piked tkatchev to pak – toe Shap 1/2, solid – double double tuck, small hop. So year, she’s going to be fine…? 14.725.

Mori – VT – so this is a lot of look – full, small hop back –

Good 13.733 for Melanie on beam.

Chen – BB – ro layout to 2 feet – step to the side but kept it on – aerial mixed series, good, small check at the end – switch ring to swingdown – switch to split ring – this is much nicer than her previous beams – split ring leap – 3/1, gets it mostly around, hop back

Ellie Black fell on bars for 12.900. What life is this?

Melnikova – UB – inbar full – inbar Shap to Pak, lovely – toe Shap 1/2, leg break – inbar 1/2 to piked jaeger – short on orphan 1/2 turn – toe full to FTDT, small hop – fine, some handstands, some legs

Nina – UB – Nabieva (or as Tim said, “Na-beaver”) – Derwael to Yezhova to shap to Bhardwaj, nailed – Shap 1/2 – toe full to FTDT, stuck. Awesome again.

15.100 will shoot Nina up the standings obviously

Ellie – BB – front tuck, stuck – switch to switch 1/2, nice – bhs loso, huge break with a swim, saves it – double turn with leg-up wobble – side aerial – 2.5 stuck! Some really nice moments but probably too many large breaks to save the E score.

Murakami – UB – toe shap to gienger, a little low but hit – piekd jaeger, fine, a litlte close – jaeger, hit – toe full to bail, a little short – FTDT, stuck.

Saraiva – BB – ro bhs mount – ro layout to 2 feet, perfect – full turn – split leap to split – bhs loso three series and falls – WHY LIFE WHY – aerial to split ring – so upsetting, the rest of this routine is exceptional – split ring leap with a small wobble – double pike, bounce back

DJDS – BB – front pike mount, strong, arm save – front pike, also secure – bhs layout to 2, stuck – switch to split – switch 1/2 – aerial to sissone to bhs – side America, super secure – this is great – double tuck, bounce back

After 2
Biles – 29.258
Hurd – 28.933
Derwael – 28.666
Melnikova – 28.599
Chen – 28.166
Murakami – 28.132

Rotation 3

Biles – BB – wolf triple – sissone to wolf, solid – LORD, falls on barani – say it with me now, THAT DAMN BARANI – strong on bhs loso loso – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike – front pike, huge break, leg-up wobble – aerial, breaks connection to split jump – bhs bhs full in – bounc eback.

The thing is…her score is still going to be high

13.233 for Biles.

Chen – FX – split jump 1/1 – 3/1, small hop – triple turn, good – 2.5 to front piiiiike?, small hop – switch ring – double tuck, small hop  – split ring – switch 1/2 – she’s having a much better day

Teramoto – VT – rudi – hits it this time, hop back (reminder to Tim that they can’t credit this vault as piked, that doesn’t exist in the code, they just have to deduct for the E)

Melnikova – BB – front tuck to split to straddle, super – switch ring attempt – bhs loso, strong – aerial to split ring – Nastia thinks these ring positions are hideous trash – side somi – split ring leap – Nastia having a coronary embolism about it – double pike, hop back. Super solid routine. Few checks.

Ellie Black’s 13.600 on beam should help get her back a little closer.

13.466 puts Melnikova into current 2nd, 4 tenths behind Simone.

Long wait for this score on the broadcast as Nastia launches into the next rendition of the “I hate these ring positions” in D minor. More of this, please, Nastia.

Derweal – BB – loso mount, some feet – bhs loso, check – aerial to split, lovely – side somi, check – switch to split leap – wolf triple, a little sluggish but a nice lean – double wolf but at least puts some choreo in between? (stab eye) – gainer full, hop forward, really nice routine

13.733 for Nina! She’s one tenth behind Simone. Trouble for Nina’s medal hopes will be her lower D on floor.

Golgota – VT – DTY, smaller hop back, some legs throughout

Murakami – BB – switch – aerial – switch to split – front tuck, lowish with an arm wave – bhs loso, solid – switch ring – side aerial, also hit – isn’t that her second front tuck? Was one a pike attempt? – full turn – double pike, hop back. Good.

13.666 puts her currently 4th, but her floor ability puts her squarely in medal contention.

Barbosa – VT – step back on DTY, good one, some knees

Hurd – BB – back full, leg-up break but saves it – side aerial, way off and grabs the beam – bhs loso, hit – aerial to split to straddle – switch – side America is good – full turn – switch ring – double pike, stuck. The second 1/2 was great.

Simone and Morgan are sharing some FML laughing right now.

12.933 for Hurd. She’ll be in 4th heading to floor.

These top five are all in it for medals going to floor.

DJDS – FX – DLO full, right into the corner, just like in TF, small hop – full in, short with a lunge to the side – switch 1/1 – wolf 2.25 – front loso to double tuck, slide back – double pike, bounce

After 3
Biles – 42.491
Derwael – 42.399
Melnikova – 42.065
Hurd – 41.866
Murakami – 41.798
Chen – 41.199

Will be tough for Nina to keep a medal place with the way Hurd and Murakami can score on floor, but not inconceivable at all.

Rotation 4

Chen – FTY – pikes it down, hop back

54.632 total for Chen. Good day. She goes ahead of Ellie Black with that.

Melnikova – FX – can she endurance it? – double L to double turn, will get it – DLO 1/1, keeps it just in bounds this time – switch ring 1/2, sigh – DLO, step back OOB – wolf 2.25 – front tuck through to double tuck, a little short – double Y is good – grab your rosary beads for this dismount – she hit it mostly! – a little short with a stagger step.

Much better than TF, but not as good as qualification

13.633. A little high for me.

Derwael – FX – switch ring – split leap 1.5, around, should get it – 1.5 to front full, a little slide – double Y, probably credit – wolf 2.1175 – doubel tuck, a little slow but gets it around – lunge back – lovely.

13.300.

HOLY CRAP SHE’S AHEAD OF MELNIKOVA BY .001

Saraiva – VT – DTY – really good height, small step forward

14.566 for Melanie on DTY, just behind Derwael and Melnikova.

Murakami – FX – falls out of quad spin, ended up doing like a 4.75 or something – doubel double, small bounce back – nails DLO – 2.5 to front full, a little short with a hop back – switch ring split leap 1.5 – L turn double – double pike, hop back. Good one, mostly good landings, that spin will hurt –

14.000. She’s in tears but she’s in first even with that turn.

What is actually happening?

Tim and co don’t know the score yet and are giving Nina medals already

Luo – VT – full with a hop back

Hurd – FX – double double, good, small slide – DLO, the same little pike but a super controlled landing – good switch ring – split 1.5, probably gets it – front lay to front 1/1, a little short with a slide – Ferrari – split jump full – double pike, stuck. This is going to be impossibly close.

13.866. Behind Murakami and into second. Didn’t get her full D score, and it’s the difference.

That means Nina and Melnikova will not medal after Simone goes.

We see the DTY from MDJDS, large bounce back

Biles – FX – Moors, bounces OOB again – Biles, no connection to stag, lunge forward – switch to split leap 1.5 – no trouble landing the full in, small hop – double double, great

15.000 for Simone.

FINAL:
1. Biles – 57.491
2. Murakami – 55.798
3. Hurd – 55.732
4. Derwael – 55.699
5. Melnikova – 55.698
6. De Jesus Dos Santos – 55.599

So there we have it. Simone wins because of course she does, but she did it with two falls, which will be fodder for the “bring back the 10.0” crowd. I myself am a little ambivalent about a person winning the AA title with two falls. Not as much because “she didn’t DESERVE it” or something…it’s Simone and of course she’s better than everyone else, but a sport where the result is actually inevitable is….meh. And Simone winning by this insane margin on this day proves that inevitability.

The rest of the medals kept this particular one from being meh.

But at the same time difficulty should matter. So I know there’s a lot of angst about Derwael finishing 4th despite having by far the cleanest day of the top five, but she vaulted a full, so she’s not going to be up there. It makes sense. And ultimately I think the placement of the remaining five makes sense. Hurd grabbed the beam, but Melnikova had a grabbing-the-beam-equivalent vault landing. Murakami fell out of a turn, but that’s not a HUGE deduction, comparatively.

Longines prizes to Melnikova and Dalaloyan.

 

%d bloggers like this: