European Championship – Event Finals Day 2

MEN’S VAULT

  • BOY HOWDY. You wanted drama? Here’s your drama.
  • The men’s vault final started extremely men’s vault-ishly, with Courtney Tulloch falling on both of his vaults. Scene effectively set. It’s like in distance running, when they have that one person go out in front and set the pace. Courtney definitely set the pace for this final.
  • He was followed by Nicola Bartolini who—and I cannot emphasize this enough—has an unlucky throat.
  • This is not just me being me. This is significant and influential information for the results because potential medalist Igor Radivilov was so distraught by having his Unfortunate Neck Tattoo title taken from him in such shocking fashion that he went on to fall on a Tsuk double pike, pushing him out of medal contention. He couldn’t even make it over to Luigi’s Couch of Horrors and had to sit in some stairwell about it that no one even knew was an option.
  • Note to all future events: You need a sadness stairwell in addition to the score couch.
  • Also fulfilling the prophecy of a preposterous men’s vault final was potential winner Artur Dalaloyan, who hit a glorious TTY as his first vault, but then for his second vault continued his assault on the Ri Se Gwang. And eyes. Yada yada yada, he definitely tucked it and shouldn’t have gotten credit, but DID, and also fell, and still sat in first place for a good long while.
  • I have produced a triptych to represent my thoughts about that:
  • It’s called “Unlucky.”
  • Dalaloyan was ultimately dislodged from first place by the simultaneously clean and difficult performance of Denis Abliazin who—you heard me—won TWO GOLD MEDALS at these European Championships despite being fully dead 14 minutes ago. And somehow that was the only non-crazy part of this final.
  • Competing last was Andrey Medvedev, who opened by drunkenly staggering back into dizzy oblivion on his first vault like that time you thought it would be fun to have a piñata at a party for adults and it went not great. On his second vault, however, Medvedev produced quite a nice front double pike.
  • And it got credited as tucked.
  • This was particularly ridiculous considering that Dalaloyan had just received credit for a pike shape on his tuck-burger, which meant the international peacekeeping organization called Coaches To The Rescue had to come in and submit an inquiry.
  • As far as I’m concerned, the inquiry consisted of just “GET EYES, BITCH” written in crayon. This inquiry was accepted, adding four tenths to Medvedev’s second vault score, and moving him from 4th up to 2nd.
  • Mixed feelings: On the one hand, the second vault was definitely piked and should have been credited as such in the first place. This was a correct inquiry. On the other hand, his first vault was not great, and his moving up to second meant both he and Dalaloyan’s fall placed ahead of Yahor Sharamkou of Belarus, who produced two clean vaults but ended up in 4th because of lower difficulty.
  • I blame the curse of Luigi
  • Jordan Peele and I are producing a horror film about Luigi the monkey mascot serial killer, out next summer
  • It’s called Unlucky

BALANCE BEAM

  • Oh, also, the British are good at beam now, you guys
  • Because you know when you were like, “Obvious favorite Alice Kinsella is going to be European beam champion, DERRRR”?
  • That happened. Good prediction.
  • Does this mean I have to stop talking about British beam and Danusia and Becky and the selection of the 2012 Olympic team? (Spoiler alert: of course it doesn’t. I will literally never stop.)
  • One thing that was aggressively predictable about this beam final: only four people hit.
  • Sounds about right.
  • With only four hits, it meant that Kinsella didn’t need a perfect beam routine to win—she had a pretty large leg-up break on her side aerial + loso + loso series—because nobody else had a perfect beam routine either. The rest of Kinsella’s routine minus that series error was the closest we had to exceptional in this final.
  • Kinsella’s only real challenger in the scores was Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, who didn’t have a break as large as Kinsella’s but had a number of little halting checks on quite a few skills that added up about the same. It could have gone either way between those two.
  • Lorette Charpy also stayed on the beam. ENJOY BRONZE.
  • The sadness here went to Ilaria Käslin, the only person in the final to hit a routine and not medal. She had a good argument for the cleanest routine of the entire final but didn’t get nearly her intended difficulty—stuck with a sub-5 D—which meant she couldn’t outscore Charpy.
  • Armrest for Ilaria Käslin, bye
  • Of those who fell, special credit goes to Pauline Schäfer, who coolly improvised a fake Okino when she found herself wobbling on her double spin. “Uhhhhhhhh…third one. I did a third spin now. Ssshhhhh.” Jordan Chiles is such a role model.

PARALLEL BARS

  • So…Oleg ti ti
  • We saw this in the pommel horse final yesterday, and it continued today in the PBars final when he just fully Rip Van Winkled during a pirouette and slammed himself straight into a nap on the bars. Get some rest and fluids, child.
  • Everyone else hit in a final that almost entirely came down to sticking dismounts. Our three medalists—Nagornyy, Pakhniuk, and Arican—all stuck, while Dalaloyan finished one tenth out of bronze with a hop on his dismount, and Onder finished two tenths out of bronze with a bound on his. If either sticks, he’s probably knocking Arican off the podium.
  • Pakhniuk’s competition started horrendously with a performance in qualification that only barely advanced to the AA, but he pulled it together with a solid competition in the AA final for a top-10 finish, and hit his ideal PBars for a silver medal here. An “I got you, Oleg” performance to salvage a medal for Ukraine.
  • In his set, Nagornyy did exceptionally well to pull back a pirouette that was listing starboard, but that was the only true issue in the routine. That allowed him to go over 9 in E score and use his top difficulty to take first place. #Nikita5ever. Don’t @ me.
  • This was definitely the least dramatic of today’s finals. It was close, but close based on…you know, the evaluation of hit gymnastics. Instead of who apolocalypsed the fewest apocalypses—or whatever happened on the other events.

WOMEN’S FLOOR

  • In case there was any doubt that this was the European Championship of Melanie…
  • DJDS took gold on floor with her strongest floor performance of the entire championship. She actually did go OOB on her FTDLO this time but made up for it by sticking the most wonderful full-in you’ll ever see.
  • Silver went to the glory that was Eythora. She did open her routine slightly disappointingly by not appearing in full costume. And, it must be said, did not conclude her routine by throwing a smoke bomb, transforming into a flying octopus, and disappearing into the spirit realm to become Our Lady of the Woodland Pond. Just saying. If we don’t hold even those closest to us to a high standard, then society will crumble.
  • But otherwise, great. Probably her best tumbling of the competition, and she got D credit for quite a few spins, which helped her stay close enough on difficulty to the other potential medalists to take silver with her execution and artistry.
  • The race for the bronze medal got a little dicey. Angelina Melnikova put together a performance similar to the AA final with some awkward landings—and a three-tenth OOB this time—but her superior difficulty was nonetheless enough to carry her to the bronze medal. I should also note that Melnikova has obviously signed up for an intensive course in Nabieva Studies (Nabieva 301: Advanced FML) and it showed in how fully done she was with this competition in the arm choreography at the end. A+. A real treasure.
  • The one medal favorite who did not get THE PRECIOUS here was Claudia Fragapane, who had some solid moments in her routine but came up short on a double Arabian landing with a multi-lunge stumble back (that she did very well to cover into choreography like it was Stumble Week tonight on Strictly, but it was nonetheless a major deduction that took her out of the medals).
  • Getting (can I say surprisingly?) close to a medal was Denisa Golgota, who performed a hit routine but had a FTDLO attempt that should have been credited piked, and also lunged to Narnia on a double Arabian, ultimately stepping out of bounds. She ended up tied with Fragapane, but with a higher execution score.
  • Special mention must be made of 6th-place finisher Jade Vansteenkiste, whose floor routine delivers all the insane Belgian realness we ever could have wanted since it begins with FLY BUZZING sound effects, and then I believe the storyline is that she…transforms into an enchanted lion and eats literally everything in sight?
  • Same.
  • Alice Kinsella also qualified to this final, but after just winning the gold on beam, this one was a little
  • Because no way in hell was she going for that stupid DLO at this point. I’ve already won beam, you cannot take my joy. Double pike mount, and you’re just going to deal with it.
  • So, uh, also the medal ceremony.
  • Luigi the Enthusiastic Terror Monkey has been doing little bits with bananas all weekend—handing them to winners, throwing them to people in the crowd, littering unacceptably. It has been horrible the whole time but was bound to get rougher, which it did when Melanie won the floor final, and then he handed her a bunch of bananas (along with giving only a single banana to Eythora and Angelina because 2nd and 3rd—TRY BESTER) and then picked her up. And everyone went, “Oh. [cringe to the moon].”
  • Because no one could have seen handing and throwing bananas at people getting awkward…? That didn’t come up in the meeting? Of course it didn’t.
  • This is going to be the thematic underpinning of Unlucky.
  • Also don’t pick people up. No adult wants to be picked up. Ever. That’s not a thing. Put me down.

HORIZONTAL (who you calling high?) BAR

  • As was anticipated, Epke Zonderland presented his best D to us in the final, going for his 6.8 routine (six tenths higher than he attempted in qualification) and doing it comfortably enough for an E score in the mid-8s, which gave him a solidly padded margin over everyone else. Once he went, this thing was kind of over.
  • The other medals were also pretty expected. Dalaloyan qualified in first, but none of him, Zonderland, or Srbic went for full difficulty in qualification. Once they all brought out their big routines, Zonderland and Srbic were always going to be favored to place ahead of him, which they did. But Dalaloyan kept it very close in 3rd place, just a tenth of D behind Srbic.
  • Carlo Macchini proved to be the Ilaria Käslin of this HB final, putting up the only actual strong routine that did not earn a medal. He was well short of the medalists on both D and E, but still a good hit.
  • The sad part of the final belonged to James Hall, who fell on his opening Cassina and appeared to wrench his shoulder at some point (he landed painfully on one shoulder, but was grabbing the other one). In a refreshingly non-MAG decision, he elected not to continue with the routine, scoring 1.500. But on the bright side, he did have the highest execution score of the entire final. So take that.
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9 thoughts on “European Championship – Event Finals Day 2”

  1. Well, Kinsella did win the Commonwealth Games title on beam last year (over world and Olympic event finalists like Black and Onyshko) so it didn’t totally come out of nowhere. Although I get your point.

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  2. Yesterday after poor Veerman fell in the UB final, Luigi plopped down next to her on the Couch of Horrors and slung his arm around her shoulders… I’ve never seen anyone look more uncomfortable than she did in that moment

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “It’s like in distance running, when they have that one person go out in front and set the pace.”

    Lol you’re referring to the rabbit. Tulloch was the vault final’s rabbit.

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  4. So glad someone else also pointed out the entirely lackluster arm choreo at the end of Melnikova’s routine! It literally screamed ‘I almost stuck all my passes and have no fucks left to give.’ 😀

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  5. How did James Hall have the highest E-score in the HB final when he *literally* did one element? Which he did not complete. Is the E-score based on how nicely he tucked his Cassina in the air?

    The WAG vault EF is filled with fugly vaults that hurt my eyes. The MAG vault EF is filled with vaults that make me fear for their lives. The vault scoring needs to punish terrible execution much, much, much more severely. Otherwise, we will continue to have people flinging themselves around chasing that big D-score. That is the top scoring problem that needs to be addressed ASAP.

    Ukraine brought home a medal. And it wasn’t Oleg or Igor Radivilov. That was certainly unexpected. I wish Oleg didn’t feel the need to compete in every world-level competition after only training for two weeks. If he plans to compete in European Games and Universiade this summer, I’m going to kidnap him and hold him hostage.

    I gaped in horror at a monkey handing MDJDS a bunch of bananas. I know the monkey handed bananas to other people, but … seriously? I mean…yeah… it’s pretty bad.

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    1. Judges could only deduct for one skill, of course he got the higher E score. He also got 8 points of neutral deduction for short program, so…

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    2. the thing though is that james performed only two skills (which caused the 8 point ND) and they deducted 1.2 points from him – 1.0 from the fall, so it means they still somehow found two tenths to deduct from like a giant and the form of his release in the air lol. it’s actually kind of harsh if you think about it.

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