The Most Difficult Bars Routines in the World

A D-score analysis of the most difficult bars routines of 2019 so far. Just because.

Routines are arranged in descending order of D score, and I haven’t included elements like casts and giants in the D-score breakdowns because snoozer.

Nina Derwael – 6.7

Nabieva (G)
Downie (F)
Derwael-Fenton (F) + Ezhova (D) + Stalder Shaposhnikova (D) + Pak (D) + Van Leeuwen (E) = 0.6 CV
Toe-on full (D) + Full-twisting double tuck (D) = 0.1 CV
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.7
D-SCORE = 6.7

In this group of highest D routines, Derwael is performing the most difficult individual elements (the only one getting 4.0 for her skills) and is in a tie the second-most connection bonus at 0.7—so kind of a recipe for the lead in the D-score race. She’s the only person in the world right now performing 3 elements rated F or higher on bars.

The only category in which Nina doesn’t reign is in most connection value gained on bars, a title that belongs to Fan Yilin.

Fan Yilin – 6.5

Piked-Stalder 1/1 (E) + Komova II (E) + Pak (D) + Stalder Shaposhnikova (D) + Gienger piked (D) = 0.6 CV
Piked-Stalder 1/2 (D) + Healy (E) + Ling (E) + Fan (D) = 0.3 CV
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.9
D-SCORE = 6.5

What’s remarkable about this routine is that Fan is done in just two sequences of skills, requiring just two cast handstands—the lowest of any routine here. Most have four different sequences of elements, meaning four cast handstands and that many more opportunities for deductions.

Fan has no skill in her routine rated higher than E, but she gets up to second-highest in difficulty through connection bonus, which at 9 tenths is clearly the best of the bunch. The only downside is that she has to add in an extra element (9 elements of D or higher in this routine when only 8 can count) to get that CV total, which is another opportunity for deductions.

Sunisa Lee – 6.4

Nabieva (G) + Pak (D) + Maloney (D) + Bhardwaj (E) = 0.5 CV
Van Leeuwen (E)
Giant 1.5 (D) + Piked jaeger (E) = 0.1 CV
Full-twisting double tuck (D)
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.6
D-SCORE = 6.4

With Derwael, Sunisa Lee is the only other one performing a G element. That allows Lee to get up to this 6.4 plateau despite having the lowest CV of all the gymnasts reaching 6.4, with 6 tenths in bonus. The rest are at 7 or higher. Lee is also the only one in this 6.4 group performing an isolated dismount with giants beforehand. For now.

Elisabeth Seitz – 6.4

Maloney (D) + Ricna (E) = 0.2 CV
Piked Jaeger (E)
Downie (F) + Pak (D) + Van Leeuwen (E) = 0.4 CV
Toe-on full (D) + Full-twisting double tuck (D) – 0.1 CV
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.7
D-SCORE = 6.4

No one’s composition is exactly identical here, but they all have the same general idea (except for Fan). The same basic style and type of skills and Van Leeuwens, just in different orders. What’s interesting about Seitz’s routine formulation is that she saves the most highly valued portion of her routine—the most difficult single element and most important CV sequence—for the second half of her routine when most gymnasts try to get that out of the way at the beginning. Continue reading The Most Difficult Bars Routines in the World