The Most Difficult (Attempted) Beam Routines in the World

In today’s edition, I’m working through the highest D scores that have been attempted on beam in 2019 (and we’ll get to the issue of getting credit for them in a moment).

As such, there may be other gymnasts who have attempted 6.4+ routines this year, but since they got awarded a 0.6 or something, they didn’t make the radar.

Kara Eaker – 6.8

KARA EAKER
Switch split mount (D) + Split ring leap (D)
= 0.2 CV
Y spin (C)
Front aerial (D) + Split ring jump (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Split leap (B) + Side somi (D)
= 0.1 CV
Switch ring (E) + Back handspring (B) + Korbut (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch side (C)
= 0.1 CV
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Back 2.5 (D)
– 0.1 SB
Acro – DDDD – 1.6
Dance – EDDD – 1.7
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 1.1
Series bonus – 0.4
Total D – 6.8

Eaker received credit for the full difficulty she attemped at Classic this year with her 6.8 en route to that 15.400 total.

Her basic value—that is, if she got credit for no connections in her routine and just the skills—is 5.3, which is on the lower side in this company and means she is exceptionally reliant on hitting connections with appropriate rhythm in her routine. Kind of her thing.

Eaker’s 1.5 intention of 7 separate combinations of skills earning bonus is the highest in the world, with even the Chinese connection queens typically going for five.


Ou Yushan – 6.8

OU YUSHAN
Back dive candle mount (D)
Front handspring (B) + Front tuck (D)
= 0.2 CV
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B) +
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch ring (E) + Split ring (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Full turn (A)
Side somi (D) + Split jump 1/2 from side (D) + Straddle jump 1/2 from side (D)
= 0.4 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off (B) + Back 2/1 (C)
Acro – DDC – 1.1
Dance – EDDDD – 2.1
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 1.2
Series bonus – 0.4
Total D – 6.8

Ou has to count her dismount, which is a C, and that takes her difficulty down by a tenth because it means she cannot count her side somi (D) as one of the acro skills. Otherwise she would be at 6.9, the highest being attempted in the world.

Ou has the two single most valuable combination being done by anyone in her routine, the side somi to two side leaps, connecting three D elements for 0.2 for each connection and a tenth for series bonus. It’s a tough one to get credit for, but she did in this case.

In this routine, Ou has the highest connection value being attempted in the world at 1.6. Her base difficulty without connections is just 3.2, so she’s even more reliant than others on getting that combo credit.


Guan Chenchen – 6.7

GUAN CHENCHEN
Switch split mount (D) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off (B) + Layout (E) + Split jump (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Sissone (A)
Korbut (B)
Front handspring (B) + Front tuck (D)
= 0.2 CV
Front aerial (D) + Straddle jump (B) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Split jump 1/2 from side (D) + Straddle jump 1/2 from side (D)
= 0.2 CV
Full turn (A)
Round-off (B) + Double pike (E)
Acro – EEDD – 1.8
Dance – DDDD – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 1.0
Series bonus – 0.3
Total D – 6.7

Guan has a number of different routine options, and we’ve seen this particular 6.7 routine pop up only at Chinese nationals. The routine she attempted this month at junior nationals moves that initial switch 1/2 combination series and eliminates that orphan Korbut, which brings her down a tenth in intended D but seems a more comfortable arrangement overall.

Compared to Eaker’s routine or Ou’s routine, Guan has a bit more skill difficulty and is going for a bit less in connection value, with 1.3 total in connections instead of 1.5 and 5 distinct bonus sequences instead of 7.


Simone Biles – 6.6

SIMONE BILES
Squat through mount (A)
Wolf turn triple (E)
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back pike (C)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D)
Split jump 1/2 from side position (D)
Sissone (A) + Wolf jump (A)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Double-twisting double tuck (I)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Acro – IDDC = 2.0
Dance – EDDC = 1.6
Composition requirements = 2.0
Connection Value = 0.6
Series Bonus = 0.4
D-SCORE = 6.6

The double double routine puts Biles up at 6.6, with composition that’s quite different from the two above since Biles doesn’t rely as much on connections. Her basic score with no connection bonus for this routine would 5.6, and even that would never happen because quite a bit of Biles’ connection bonus is from series like the 2 losos and the dismount, where it’s a true rebounding series and therefore not really a subjective rhythm thing in the same way. If she doesn’t fall on those series, she’s getting the bonus.

Five tenths of Biles’ difficulty here is what I’d consider “whatever the rhythm happens to be on the day” difficulty, whereas a full point of the difficulty in Eaker and Guan’s routine could be lost if it’s a pause-y kind of day, even in an overall hit routine, and 1.4 could be lost in Ou’s routine.

Biles has removed some of the highest value acro skills from her routine this year like That Damn Barani and the front pike, though especially when the new dismount is in, you don’t really notice.

Interestingly, even with the new dismount in, Biles is not showing the highest total skill difficulty on beam this year. At 3.6, her value from elements is close to the highest, but not the highest.


Jade Carey (yes that Jade Carey) – 6.6

Jade Carey – Beam
Forward roll mount (B)
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout (E) –
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Split leap (B) + Side aerial (D) –
= 0.1 CV
Switch side 1/2? (E)
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back tuck (C)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Full turn (A)
Gainer back handspring (B) + Switch side (C) + Split jump 1/2 from side (D)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Double pike (E)
= 0.1 SB
Acro – EEDD – 1.8
Dance – EDDC – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.7
Series bonus – 0.5
Attempted D – 6.6

I’m kind of obsessed with this hilarious “throw it all against the wall and hope half of it sticks” composition strategy. I don’t think anyone, even Jade or Papa Carey, expects this routine ever to receive close to 6.6 in competition, but they’re like, “well let’s see…” The most awarded so far this summer for this routine has been 5.8 from Classic.

To me, Carey is doing a switch 3/4, which is not a skill in the code, so I’m guessing the idea is that this is a switch side 1/2?


Tang Xijing – 6.5

TANG XIJING
Round-off layout stepout mount (E)
Round-off (B) + Layout (E)
= 0.1 CV
Switch leap (C) + Split ring jump (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch ring (E) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.1 CV
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Double stag (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Split ring leap (D)
Full turn (A)
Round-off (B) + Back 3/1 (F)
= 0.2 CV
Acro – FEED – 2.0
Dance – EDDC – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.7
Series bonus – 0.2
Attempted D – 6.5

The most we’ve seen Tang receive this year is a 6.4—for the above routine—but she’s going for 6.5. In the embedded routine, she wouldn’t have received connection for the double stag, which takes away a tenth in series bonus.

Tang’s routine is somewhat different from many of the other Chinese gymnasts in this post because she’s getting more from skill value (3.6, the same as Simone) and less from connections (“just” 0.9). I mean, she only has one back handspring tacked onto the end of a combination to get series bonus. Was that a try?


Qi Qi – 6.5

QI QI
Side split mount (A)
Back tuck full (F)
Switch ring (E)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Layout (E)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Split ring jump (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Front aerial (D)
Split ring leap (D)
Full turn (A)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Back 3/1 (F)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Acro – FFED – 2.1
Dance – EDDC – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.5
Series bonus – 0.3
Attempted D – 6.5

Qi Qi is also going for a 6.5 in this routine (which she hasn’t received this year), but she is reigning triumphant in skill value with 3.7 coming from elements, the most of any gymnast in this list. She’s the only one here going for two F skills.

It’s worth remarking upon that the majority of gymnasts with big beam difficulty are not going for a bunch of individually difficult elements. Most of them are maxing out at E and not doing back fulls or Arabians or G dismounts. It’s all about connection value.


Li Shijia – 6.4

LI SHIJIA
Side split mount (A)
Switch leap (C) + Split ring leap (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D)
Front handspring (B) + Front tuck (D)
= 0.2 CV
Switch ring (E) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.1 CV
Front aerial (D) + Split ring jump (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Split jump 1/2 from side position (D)
Full turn (A)
Round-off (B) + Double pike (E)
Acro – EDDD – 1.7
Dance – EDDD – 1.7
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.8
Series bonus – 0.2
Total D – 6.4

Can we talk about China’s categorical “no wolf turns” philosophy and how that should be given more praise? Always remember, you don’t need to do wolf turns as long as you tack some pretty back handsprings onto the end of whatever skill you’re doing. It’s the better cynical option.

Li is one of just four gymnasts in this group that isn’t counting any C elements in her routine, which keeps the difficulty up even though more of her connections tend to be a bit suspect.


Liu Tingting – 6.4

LIU TINGTING
Back dive candle mount (D)
Front handspring (B) + Front tuck (D)
= 0.2 CV
Switch leap (C) + Split ring leap (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch ring (E)
Front aerial (D) + Split ring jump (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Full turn (A)
Split leap (B) + Side aerial (D) + Split jump (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off (B) +  Back 2/1 (C)
Acro – DDDDC – 1.9
Dance – EDD – 1.3
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.9
Series bonus – 0.3
Total D – 6.4

With that 2/1 at the end, Liu Tingting also has to count a C dismount, but her composition has only 7 elements of D+ value anyway, so she would have to count a C regardless. There’s not a better skill that has to be dropped because of the dismount-counting rule.


Riley McCusker – 6.4

RILEY MCCUSKER
Jump to side split  (A)
Wolf turn triple (E)
Wolf turn double (D)
Split leap (B) + Front aerial (D) + Straddle jump (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Layout (E)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Back tuck (C)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Double tuck (D)
= 0.1 SB
Acro – EDDD – 1.7
Dance – EDDC – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value 0.6
Series bonus – 0.5
Total D – 6.4

McCusker is going for a 6.4 and received her full difficulty at Classic. She has a series ending in a Korbut, which is very Chinese of her, but she also has a series ending in a back tuck, which is very American of her. The Americans tend to put back tucks and back pikes that they don’t intend to count for difficulty on the end of their combinations for series bonus, while Chinese and GAGE gymnasts tend to favor back handsprings and Korbuts.

It’s often not possible for the US gymnasts to put back handsprings on the end of their series in the same way because they’re already using up all of their allotted back handsprings in mid-routine acro series and dismount combinations.


Sunisa Lee – 6.4

SUNISA LEE
Side split mount (A)
Wolf turn triple (E)
Split jump (B) + Sissone (A)
Front aerial (D)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Layout (E)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back tuck (C)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch ring (E)
Split ring jump (D)
Round-off (B) + Double tuck (D)
Acro – EDDD – 1.7
Dance – EEDD – 1.8
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.6
Series bonus – 0.3
Attempted D – 6.4

Lee’s routine could be as high as 6.4. In this particular instance, she received 6.2—I imagine she wouldn’t have received the back tuck out of the switch 1/2, accounting for the loss of 2 tenths—and 6.2 is the highest we’ve seen her get so far this year.

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50 thoughts on “The Most Difficult (Attempted) Beam Routines in the World”

  1. For Sunisa (much like simone) she only has a few tenths tied up in “rhythm” connections, just the .3 total from the switch/switch 1/2/back tuck, everything else is rebounding acro series. Basically, if she doesn’t fall on a series she is getting a 6+ which is a HUGE d score that is relatively reliable, with several areas for upgrades she has done in the last year. (ie jumps after the front aerial, double pike dismount that she was holding back with this year because of injury which she may not need to push it with)

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  2. I like that we are encouraging connections and interesting skills on beam but some of these compositions are straight up nasty. Like these skills are not meant to be performed together. Best composition is Qi Qo, Riley, and Tingting

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  3. Sorry you can have the 1000 connections, and a huge high D score, but then to finish it off with a NCAA double twist in Elite 2019, feels super dirty to me! Like a full course meal with a trash desert!

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    1. Agreed!!
      I feel the same about full turns. Let’s count the turns in the D score too! (and downgrade wolf turns of course, else everybody would attempt THEM which is even worse).
      Even I could do a full turn on a beam (and I trained only a few years as a kid in a terrible rural club), so I’m very unimpressed.

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  4. When I watch some of these routines and then think about examples of execution scores we have seen so far this quad, it is truly crazy that there is very little difference between the Chinese and everyone else. The beauty of movement, amplitude, flexibility, body position, etc. isn’t really rewarded enough for me. Rather than an execution score out of a 10..0 why can’t we have scoring for every skill based on reaching 100% as the standard, so someone that attempts a switch ring (E), we score that element as 100% of E if it’s perfect like many of the Chinese gymnasts or 70% of E if it is like Eaker. Do that for every element and do the rest of the scoring the same, so in the case of Cara Eaker, if she were awarded perfection for every element her score would be 6.8 but it would more likely be a 5.1 which would be an average of 75% on all skills. I think that would be better.

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    1. Because it sounds like a mess and a way for people to not understand what in the world is going on.

      The judges already have clear directives on what should get credit, what should credit with deductions, and what should not get credit. We have gotten rid of originality and virtuosity so.doing it “extra good” doesn’t get you anymore than doing it well

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    2. I agree that the Chinese aren’t being properly rewarded for their skills, but I think this problem could be solved if the judges would get stricter about splits, layouts, ring skills. The top Chinese athletes nail those positions every time, but I constantly see other gymnasts getting credit for skills that should be devalued

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      1. I would like to see judges be as harsh about leap angles/ring positions as they are about rhythm deductions. It would be pretty cruel to devalue some of these borderline dance elements, but it’s also pretty cruel to take constant tenths every time a gymnast pauses to prepare for performing a skill – especially since the pausey gymnasts perform those skills SO MUCH BETTER on the whole. I think a slightly stuttery routine in which the gymnast actually hits 180, actually hits the ring position, or actually keeps their layout position straight = better gymnastics, and it bums me out that the Code and its current interpretation doesn’t agree.

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      2. “It’s worth remarking upon that the majority of gymnasts with big beam difficulty are not going for a bunch of individually difficult elements. Most of them are maxing out at E and not doing back fulls or Arabians or G dismounts. It’s all about connection value.”

        Yes! And THIS is why beam is so boring this quad!!

        None of these gymnasts is even attempting the hardest skills in the CoP!! (except Simone’s dismount)

        Give me a layout full, give me a Patterson dismount!
        I couldn’t agree more with the people who complained that judges are too strict with pauses. I don’t mind a pause if the gymnasts attempts something exciting afterwards!
        On the other apparatuses gymnasts are pushing the hard skills enveloppe, but on beam almost no one goes higher than an E, wtf?
        Go Qi Qi and Simone for the gold medals!!

        I also agree with the people commenting that Kara is overscored on her jumps/leaps. It’s not even only a USA versus China thing ; look how Sunisa’s back leg flies UP TO THE SKY in her ring skills! (Morgan’s is usually great too). Kara can doo a perfect ring on floor, so it’s not a flexibility thing. Why bother going for a deep head release on beam and risk a wobble if you are not being deducted on form anyway?
        Ring skills are valued highly, so they must be deducted accordingly, or it doesn’t make any sense.

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    3. That’s what Escore is for.

      Also bear in mind that while the Chinese perform their series and elements beautifully, they lack rhythm in between. The routine as a whole is choppy, with robotic preparation for the elements (beautifully executed though they are once they get started) and for me, painful to watch.

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  5. If Kara could just squeeze out an extra half twist in her dismount, she’d shoot up to a 7.2 D score… That alone would make up for missed connections within the routine and would put her in the stratosphere if she connected everything…

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  6. What I’ve noticed in both of these posts is that the majority of the gymnasts do the same set of skills (with a few variations). The COP is huge, so I don’t understand why they aren’t using it. I know some of it is because the skills aren’t always valued properly, or they aren’t worth the risk, but man am I tired of the same old stuff. I just want someone to go Sanne Wevers on me on occasion.

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    1. I’m still waiting for someone other than Sanne to do a mega turn connection for tons of difficulty,connection, and series bonus. Some dream sequence like:

      Double L turn + Single L turn + double turn + Y turn + Illusion Turn + full turn.

      Along with counting 1 E, 2 Ds, and possibly 2 Cs if needed, the connection value would be 0.5 (C+A turns get 0.1) and series bonus would be 0.3 (3 separate series of minimum B+B+C).

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      1. Me too! I want more unique beam sets (like this)

        Switch split mount + front aerial + split jump + sissone 0.4 CV
        Double L turn + 1.5 Y turn + Side somi 0.5 CV
        layout stepout + Rulfova 0.2 CV
        Back uprise + bhs stepout + bhs stepout + gainer 3/1 0.3 CV

        6.8 SV

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    2. Well, one excuse is that coaches themselves are good at teaching specific skills, so they tend to try those first and to focus on skill progressions that lead to those skills. A great coach has a wide repertoire and can find the right skills for each gymnast, but people do have strengths. Supposedly this is a problem that especially plagued/plagues the Chinese National team.

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  7. I can see the switch side half(?) in yes that Jade Carey’s routine (😆) getting credit as a switch half. If that happens, it looks like she’ll lose .5- .2 in skill value, .3 in connection/series.

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  8. Yeah, beam isn’t nearly as cool as bars at the moment. Half of these routines are snoozeville and shouldn’t even be fully credited anyway. Kara’s routine is everything the code should be working against, tbh. Sti better than floor though.

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    1. Completely disagree.
      Kara moves quickly and efficiently on the beam, she has beautiful movement. Her ring leaps may not be of “Chinese quality,” but it’s still damn good and she’s more fluid than the Chinese.

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      1. I just don’t think that nice arm choreo and a little between-element dancing demonstrates the same skill level as actually performing the skills correctly. I like Kara’s fluidity, but not at the expense of the actual gymnastics. Kara’s routine would be incredible if she did the things she’s credited for, but she’s not, and I don’t think the code/judges should encourage doing a poor job on the actual gymnastics.

        It’s like doing a mediocre book report in elementary school yet getting an A because you put in in a clear plastic binder cover. The actual content should be judged more. (Also I feel pretty confident that Eaker could quickly learn to do her skills correctly if they were devalued once or twice).

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      2. Thank you, third anon (I am the first anon, wordpress logged me off before hitting post). Kara does the bare minimum to slip by the judges, and it annoys me that it works out. Her composition is absolutely dire and should see her E score plummet just from all the unnecessary skills she does (why does she do a Y turn, for example? doesn’t count for difficulty, doesn’t use it for CV, nothing – she could be doing a full turn and have a cleaner routine). And let’s not even get into her ring shapes because I am done talking about them for the rest of the quad. Her movement quality isn’taall that either. If i were in WTC I would look at her routine and say “Okay, for Paris we make sure this doesn’t happen again”. She wouldn’t have this many defenders, or get scores this high, if she wasn’t American. i stand by that.

        Also, a corollary, but I am 100% against the thought of some people above that a simpler dismount or sticking with just a full turn is bad. It’s smart, it’s cleaner, I want clean and smart routines. I don’t want difficulty that is stupid. Kara does a harder turn, but it’s unnecessary and really not smart of Al and Armine to include it, so I am against it. Huge praise for the Chinese coaches for getting such high Ds with back 2/1 dismounts, which look clean and nice and consistent. The best of both worlds for a routine, difficulty and cleanliness.

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      3. @beamscoring
        I’m not fluent enough in CoP to know this, so I’m curious: would it make sense for the Y turn to serve as a backup difficulty boost in case she misses another element?

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      4. @Anonymous
        Absolutely not. She already has three C elements that she doesn’t count because she counts only D/E elements – the layout stepout, the switch leap and switch side. That Y turn is the most useless inclusion I have EVER seen in a beam routine.

        And the switch leap + switch side is kind of silly, too – she does it for a measly tenth, she could be doing A+A for a backup dance series like a good American, and she’s always risking not getting credit for any of it anyway because she performs a downgradeable switch ring beforehand, which in the case of a downgrade turns the switch leap into a repeated skill and removes both the CV tenth and makes it ineligible as a dance series. That is if her mount series even is eligible as a dance series, because the code and the help desks are not clear on that. If it isn’t, then switch leap + switch side is her only dance series and she is in constant danger of losing a CR… god, her routine is a total camel.

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      5. I *think* at one time, Kara was attempting to connect her mount leap sequence to the Y turn for yet another triple series. I don’t think she ever did it or got credit, maybe they keep it there as a placeholder in hopes to do that in the future? I agree that as long as they are not attempting to connect it, she should just do a simple turn since she often over-rotates the Y turn so gets a deduction,

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      6. Pettily returning to this post to say I was entirely right about her routine, even if nobody will read it lol. VINDICATION. The judges DID make sure her routine won’t happen again.

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  9. Explain the allotment of back handsprings thing? Is the back handspring somehow uniquely permitted to be repeated and get connection credit each time, but only a maximum of 2 or 3 times or something?

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  10. I much prefer the constant back handsprings to the wolf turns. They may be ubiquitous but at least they’re pretty and they’re over quickly if you don’t like them, unlike back to back wolf turns which take upwards of ten seconds to finish

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    1. Look at most of these routine construction and you know how much crap there is for this quad’s code of points. So much overuse of pointless skills just to squeeze a few more 0.1s out of the air. Difficult and astounding skills like back 1/1 or standing Arabian basically disappears and replaced with ridiculous connections without rebounding.

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      1. I believe that the hardest beam skills are undervalued (Arabian and back tuck fulls should be Gs and layout full should be an H). However, the benefit of individual difficult skills is that there no chance of them being devalued due to missed connections. Additionally, many highly valued connections contain skills that don’t count towards the 8 counting skills. These extra skills can get execution deductions just as with any counting skill.

        Of course the trouble with difficult individual skills is the fact that they are very difficult and risky. So there is a trade-off between longer connections with a higher chance of being devalued and short individual skills with a higher chance of falling.

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  11. Would love to see a little graph of highest score in 2019 for these and/or average top 3 of the routines (an avg if they hit scenario). Not just D score, but combined D&E. A lot of these are great, but what are the chances they’ll be on podium if they hit when stacked against everyone else?

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  12. People forget, but other than Simone, Jade is likely walking away with the most individual medals and she’s the only guaranteed person at the Olympics in the US. She’s immensely improved from last year and there’s almost a year left to go next level. She very well could clean up her execution on beam and be in medal contention.

    I’m still absolutely Simone, Sunisa, and Kara for Tokyo locks, but Jade’s biggest competition is really her teammates, the fact she’s unquestionably going to be there makes her a dark horse for snatching all the wigs, especially if her teammates falter.

    I also like her I’ll wreck you and cackle vibe.

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    1. I see Jade more like a cat jumping up onto a surface very quietly, without drawing your attention, and then systematically knocking items to the floor while you wonder where she gets the nerve to disrupt your belongings so flagrantly.

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    2. FX, VT, AA and BB medals aren’t actually very far fetched due to the 2 per country rule and her being able to qualify for all in Tokyo.

      The beam seems unlikely at the moment, but the rest could happen today. If you can hit 56 total you’re absolutely in contention for an AA medal and Jade is of the few that’s proven this year she can do that.

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      1. She added competitive D scores on bars and beam, as well as (slightly) improving her form on those events as well. That is a pretty big improvement. In 2016 she was a JO gymnast, in 2017 she was a 2.5-event elite, and in 2018 you could feel how new and tenuous her AA program was for her.

        Clearly you’re annoyed that her performance value on FX is so terrible, and that’s fair, because it really is, but like it or not Carey is one of if not the most improved gymnasts from the past few years.

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  13. I’m going to step up in favor of Kara as well. I think quality of movement throughout the entire routine IS an important component of the routine. Frankly, I find the criticism of her approach a bit ridiculous given the constant complaints about artistry. Furthermore, she does the aerial+loso+loso series, so she is doing difficult skills.

    To be fair, I personally don’t really care much about rings. She’s not the only gymnast people complain about with them, and I don’t really notice it with any of them. But at the same time, none of those other gymnasts get lambasted for it the way she does, so I also think people are ridiculous in how much they go after her specifically for that one skill type.

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    1. I hear people complain bitterly about rings for everyone who is not hitting ring positions and still getting credit for it – Kara just gets it the most because she does it the most AND still gets medals and team spots on the basis of these partially-completed elements getting full credit. And it’s pretty easy to confirm on video whether someone is hitting their ring positions or not (compared to confirming whether someone got their switch full all the way around).

      Obviously it isn’t Eaker’s fault – it’s the judges’ fault. If someone underrotates a DTY so that it’s a 1.75, it gets devalued. If you’re not doing the full ring position, your leap or jump should be devalued. Why should that be any different just because Eaker is graceful in her movements between her skills?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I personally think Kara is a lock in Tokyo, because of her difficulty and medal capabilities, whether that is on or off the team doesn’t matter. Though she is one of the only 4 US girls to hit 57 in AA competition.

    As far as consistency, there’s about a 1/3 chance the most difficult routines have a major error if you look at the meets the past 4 years. It is more likely than not for a miss on at least — qualification, team final, AA or event final. Kara, Riley and Simone are no exceptions. What sets them apart is that if they miss, they typically still end up with a strong score. Heck, Simone walked away with bronze after her miss in Rio and she’s currently sitting as #8 in highest beam score this year.

    No individual is really that needed on team USA for them to win gold. Even if Simone up and retired, they’d still walk away with the gold with enough padding for a few falls too.

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  15. I’m in love with this comment section

    WE NEED MORE Sanne wevers’ type of routine AND SIDEWARDS SKILLS!!
    My dream combo is Side back handspring + side stretched jump+teza (impossible, but worth dreaming)
    Guys have you seen Konnor Mclain? She has a back 1/1 and an arabian in the same routine
    Is there any chance for ou yushan to make the team next year? I love her gymnastics so much
    She should change her side somi combo to a better dismount….
    Dream 2019 world champion on beam: Li Qi

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