The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Live From Worlds – Men’s Podium Training 2

And so we gather for one final day of podium training before the real things with the numbers parts begin. This one doesn’t start slowly, with both the US and Japan, as well as the representatives of Ol’ Canadia, in the first subdivision of the day.

Subdivision 5

Modi is leading off for the US on floor – a little bouncy on his landings but not too bad, solid routine, no major deductions.

Wiskus is 2nd – comes up a little short on a double double – also a little more bouncy than he would like but nothing individually major, like a little hop on a 2/1 and things like that he’ll want to cut out

Yul a little bouncy on his punch randi but a lovely stick on his second pass and double front 1/2 out, and the next pass, and the next pass -3/1 final pass, just a little down with a shuffle, but the middle of that routine was vintage Yul

Meanwhile Kaya hit a lovely PH routine and Japan is working through without error there.

Mikulak going 4th – double front pike, stuck – combo double front, also stuck – stuck third pass – 1.5 to front full, stuck – hop back on 3/1, oooooh he was so close to a full stuck routine, but that was effing stellar. Don’t waste it.

Howard going up 5th so he won’t work in competition it looks like – sticks his double front pike – small shuffle on double front 1/2 out – double tuck 1.5 with a lunge forward – a couple sticks but also issues like not sticking his 2/1, but sticking his double Arabian dismount. You know, US MAG things.

Bower up 6th for the US as the alternate – didn’t have his sticking shoes on this one, but Sam is yelling “Show it off” a lot, which helps. Really struggled on 3/1 with lunges.

Kaya is going up for Japan again just to play around with bits and pieces and how to pommel. Mostly Japan just went up 5-and-done and hit all of them, and now they’re just perfecting their indentical hairstyles. And also pommel horse.

Far away so struggling to differentiate the Tanigawas from this distance, but one of them (I believe Kakeru) just did another lovely PH set. No falls in full routines in that entire rotation, just intentional hop offs when working pieces.

In rotation 2, Akash Modi will start it off dor the US on PH – really efficient routine until the dismount, where he dropped a leg awkwardly but pulled it out. Akash feet and hip angle, but good.

They have Wiskus up second on PH before Moldauer and Mikulak – so does that mean Wiskus is in line for the third TF spot over Modi? – Hit from him as well.

Moldauer up third was lovely on the horse, he got a little sluggish at the very end and muscles up a final handstand, but hey, through two events he’s looking much more comfortable than at selection camp

First fall of the rotation comes from Sam, who gets off line on his handstand pirouette and has to hop off. Yeah, now he keeps getting up, doing like one circle, and hopping off. He doesn’t seem comfortable with it.

Behind PH, a member of the Japanese team just did the most fantastic stuck double double rings dismount.

Sam tries to go again on PH and gets a lot farther but falls again toward the end after getting sluggish on some Russians and losing his leg shape –

Sam gets up a third time, does a few circles and then hops off. So no complete hit routines for him in this rotation.

Save for Sam having some problems on PH, the US has looked good through two events, and Japan looks very comfortable.

Interested to see the status of Japan’s vault here in the third rotation. They’ll really want a good double pike out of Wataru and Kas 2/1s out of Hashimoto and Kakeru to have that competitive slate of 5.6 starts.

They started playing around with the rotation lights as one of the Slovenian athletes was trying to work a pass on floor and he’s PISSED.

So far for Japan we’ve seen one splatted double front pike and a few solid Kas 1.5s, with steps forward ranging between small and medium.

Nice stuck rings dismount from Modi. Moldauer to follow, then it will be Mikulak and Howard. Moldauer works through cleanly, just didn’t get the dismount landing he would want, Tim would have a shit fit about it.

Daiki Hashimoto hit his Kas 2/1, just a little forward and a lunge to the side.

Good rings from Mikulak, stuck.

Crap. We saw an attempted handspring pike double front 1/2 from Japan on vault – not close – crashed to hands and knees.

Trevor Howard very smooth in his rings routine until the end when it all fell apart, really struggled to hold his final handstand position and then sat his dismount. Well, that was unexpected.

So Wiskus won’t compete on rings as he went up after the main four, not much surprise there. Solid routine though, near stick on his 1.5-twisting double tuck, step back. Bower also gets his chance, goes over on a handstand back-to-back times and has to swing back up and then is like…um, I’m done and rings is stupid bye.

Hashimoto went back up for another Kas 2/1 toward the end of the rotation and sat it down.

Howard went back for an isolated dismount and hit it.

Internet out in the arena, just to warn you.

Slovenia is like BYE TIME FOR TEAM PICTURES during this, the fourth rotation of 6.

So, US to vault, Modi with a good Kas 1.5. Sam follows with a near stick. Wiskus gets great distance on his but lands short with a large bounce back.

Well hello Trevor Howard with a Kas 1.5 instead of the Roche.

Bower sits a Kas 1.5. Not sure what’s up with him, but he’s not have a great time in podium training here.

Moldauer finishes the run with a beautiful stuck Kas 1.5.

Mikulak sticks a Kas 1.5 on his second attempt, while Wiskus sits his down. You know, the things that happen. Bower does pull around his second attempt.

Howard is putting on his PBars pants now, so looks like no double front?

Kamoto is going on PBars for Japan – he has some handsand problems on a stutz but the tippelt to healy is lovely and the double front 1/2 out was nearly stuck.

Now everyone’s going up and sticking double front 1/2 outs. Like one after another.

LOL. Kakeru just got up on the Pbars looking so serious like, “this is going to be the best routine anyone has ever done” and then immediately hopped off like “OK good that was all I needed.”

Word is that Wataru didn’t get up for PBars after that vault landing in the previous rotation. Potentially huge development.

On to rotation 5, good PBars set from Yul

Also, Akash got a haircut and it’s really short and freaking me out.

Kaya catches his Yam 1/2 on HB well – he had a close catch on a tkatchev to mixed grip but otherwise a good one.

We’ve seen PBars from Moldauer and Wiskus, both hit – and now it’s Akash – stuck full-twisting double back dismount. Well now.

Sam is after Akash, and it was brilliant, including another stuck dismount. One of his good ones. So also looks like Howard is the one who will not go on PB as he is competing 5th.

Howard struggled on a peach to one rail attempt and ended up at horinzontal and was nearly able to push himself back up because rings. But alas no.

Kakeru just did this fun thing in the floor warmup where he almost landed on his head.

Yul did a clean opening HB routine for the US – no Kovacs I believe – hop forward on dismount.

Wiskus caught his Cassina with two hands and everything – but he did fall on his regular Kovacs after doing the harder ones successfully.

Wiskus resumed and the rest was very nice, including a stuck double double layout.

Hashimoto stuck a 3/1 at the end of his floor.

Akash with the crazy legs here and there but not extreme – struggles mightily on his double double layout, large lunge.

And as he does that Kazuma Kaya is like “HOLD MY LANDING” and nearly gets sucked into a tornado on one of his passes.

Sam – Cassina is caught just a little close, good Kolman – layout tkatchev – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – no Liukin in his main runthrough routine. We’ll see if he goes back and works it later in the rotation. Great except for hop on DLO 2/1.

Kakeru double front pike 1/2 out is still triangle shaped on landing but he didn’t come as close to hitting his head this time.

We have another ankle stinger of a landing for Japan with Yamoto on FX but he’s able to keep going.

Sam went back up and did the Kolman, but no Liukin and now he’s taking his grips off.

So, subdivision done, I think the US will be pleased. They had two struggles on key routines – Sam having issues on PH and Trevor on SR – but as long as those things were flukes, then this group looks like it can fulfill its potential because the supporting routines were largely secure.

After the first couple rotations I would have said that everything was just ducky for Japan, but that Wataru vault situation concerns me. We saw some more troubling moments in the later events. He’s out here on the floor just sitting in his warmups now. Daggett is lurking around him like Mrs. Kravitz trying to figure out what’s going on.

Subdivision 6

It’s China time in this session. Comparison time with Russia.

Sun Wei has come out in a full winter coat and gloves. It is 900 degrees in this arena.

Sun Wei startings things off for China and is a little bouncy but fine and his haircut s not working for him. Xiao goes 2nd, very strong landings -stuck 3/1 to finish. Good.

Lin is 3rd – a little hoppy, some corkscrew legs in twisting – but solid routine. Deng goes 4th – similar to Lin, an awkward landing here and there, a bounce on the double double – a little deep on a front 2/1 – but good. Would like a few more sticks in competition, but China will be relatively happy with those four routines.

Sun Wei is really Jessica Yamzoning it up and leading off on PH as well for China, and aside from leaning tower of Pisaing through his dismount pirouette, it was a good set.

As has been established, Zou Jingyuan isn’t just PB. He puts up a strong PH in the second spot, especially impressive are his quick hand placements on Russians and the fact that he doesn’t suddenly look like he’s working through pea soup on that.

Well Xiao got a flat tire almost immediately on his set in the third spot and came off. I hadn’t even looked up from updating the post yet. He comes off again on resuming.

Haven’t seen Lin up on the podium to work horse. Yeah, now Deng is taking his turn. it gets a little crazy in the leg tucking in the middle but he endures. Lin has spent this rotation on the bench.

Anyway, China is on rings, and it’s rings. Xiao hit. Deng Shudi did a nice set. They’re allowing You Hao to go up and be like, “Me rings.” Although he had a very weak dismount on his set.

Get ready for some Chinese Kas 2/1s! Lin just attempted one that was…not great. Xiao’s is solid, hop to the side. Deng lands super deep on his attempt with a lunge to the side. Sun Wei’s form was the best of the bunch, but he sat it down.

Lin’s 2nd one was better, landed with a large lunge back though. Xiao stuck his 2nd attempt. Very good. Deng barely pulls out his 2nd, lunges back and a little “I meant to not land it” dance. Sun’s 2nd one is lovely, great form and direction and a small hop back.

I’m concerned about exactly half of the Chinese vaults, so nothing new there.

Emil Soravuo is up for Finland now on floor – really nice double double, love watching him on floor.

China has been alternating Lin and Zou as to who sits off events so far, so it will be interesting to see what happens with PBars and the lineup. Probably no answer there today since it looks like all five are going to warm it up.

Some nice landings fro Marios Georgiou warming up floor. Annnnd he did a 3/1 so short that he ended up with his head on the floor and just stayed there for a while.

Deng is starting on PBars and from our angle his hands look so crazy when he catches his arm skills, like they’re octopus tentacles about to be jettisoned. He nearly sits on the PBars on a Tippelt but toherwise good.

Sun Wei up second with a very clean routine, including a stuck double front 1/2 out. Looks like Xiao will be next, then Zou of course, so Lin would seem to be the odd one out again. Honestly, at this point, do you swap him out for You to at least give you a rings?

Guess what happened next? Zou did a literally perfect PBars routine. Try to act surprised.

Oooooh news. Paseka has been determined as the alternate for Russia, which makes no sense to me, especially with how little Spiridonova did yesterday and how solid Paseka’s vaults looked.

Nice stuck double double dismount from Xiao in the final rotation on high bar.

Lin sits down his HB dismount.

Subdivision 7

Let’s get to this British team, shall we?

Giarnni vaulted an excellnet handspring randi – nearly stuck.

Very nice Kas 1.5 from Fraser, good distance nad direction, controlled landing.

Cunningham hasn’t been attempting real landings on his vaults yet, rolling out of them.

Oleg in his leg warmers just survived a solid floor routine, good twisting form. Endurance was fine. Although now he’s pulling down his pants with his hands on his knees, so you know. Oleg stuff.

Fraser sits down his second vault attempt.

Cunningham does his first real attempt at the Man-Biles, lunge forward, a little less control than he would like.

Ukraine’s done with floor after just 15 minutes, which is probably for the best. Although Igor is popping around getting ready for vault while he has a chance. Only Tulloch getting up to do some vault work for GB now.

In rotation 2 – we have Oleg going on PH – who goes through his routine cleanly and successfully, just got a little slow here and there in a somewhat un-Oleg fashion, but good.

Carlos Yulo is doing floor PT with a full shirt and shorts on, and he’s my hero. Very clean work, and of course that fast twisting we know him for – only small hops on his landings – double front pike 1/2 out is so good.

On and yes, Skinner is the alternate. It’s not where I would have gone with these six, but you can see it, especially if Skinner was struggling as much in training as when I saw her vault that first day. But again, now you have a situation where Grace McCallum is on the team to do VT/UB, and Leanne Wong is at home. It continues feeling like this team wasn’t really thought through – i.e., the ramifications of including Skinner in the 6 and then not using her. Handcuffed your options there. So now you’re using a gymnast as a vault/bars person, despite her not being the best vault/bars person in your options.

Oh and Scheder is out and Schaefer is in. TWIST.

In rotation 3, we have Yang Hak Seon vaulting. We have the Brits on HB, where they are making Giarnni do it and he already peeled off on a Kovacs. Pretty piked Kovacs though, but he’s having a time trying to stay on.

We’ve also had a hilarious rings dismount fall from one of the non-famous Ukrainians.

Whitlock’s return to high bar is successful, some deduction trap late pirouettes and he’s like “releases can eat my butt” a little short on double double layout dismount with a lunge.

Igor playing around with a hit.

Excellent handspring 3/1 from Yang Hak seon. He was sitting down the entirety of the rotation and then got up to do that.

Someone for Korea is rocking back and forth in the fetal position.

Haven’t seen a full second vault for Yang, but I didn’t see all of his runs. I’ve just seen Tsuk timers. Now he’s having a long coach chat and is sitting down again. This is like a whole soap opera of a vault PT.

We have a replacement mat being carted in for rings as it appears the previous mat has been broken. I don’t KNOW it was Igor, but also…

Yang does a Kas double and sits it and then stays there in a heap of depression.

Whitlock is sitting in the chairs as GB gets up to warm up floor.

Cunningham follows Hall on FX – very good double double layout – a couple small landing troubles but also a couple sticks – nearly holds the stick on his 3/1, good.

Giarnni follows – stuck double front pike 1/2 out – stuck double double tuck also – short on double front pike with a hop back – double arabian 1/2 out with a little step – hand down on 3/1 final pass. It was going so well until there.

Oleg landed a dragulescu in a little ball.

Igor just working double fronts right now.

Oleg literally just tiptoed backward out of his last Dragulescu attempt. After that he tried a…something…and just kind of died in a heap on the mat.

Igor hit a double front pike with a hop –

Koudinov on HB in this rotation, but he didn’t do anything crazy.

Dom Cunningham is now going up and introducing himself to all the floor judges and shaking hands with them. LOLOLOL.

Tin is next on HB – Stakder tkatchev and tkatchev, layout tkatchev and tkatchev 1/2 – good finish position on tak 1/2, layout tkatchev 1/2 – DLO 1/1, stuck. Pretty. Stellar.

In rotation 5, we have the Ukrainians on PBars and Brits on PH. Fraser has a fall on his first horse attempt.

Max is up on the podium by pommel horse but is currently sitting on the grouo Wicked Witch of the Westing it behind the scoreboard.

He went through his routine very cleanly and normally and has continued working parts since then.

Oleg hit PBars but did land very short on his dismount with a large lunge.

Petro Pakhniuk has sure been doing a lot of one giant swing and then squatting on the PBars for a while.

Subdivision 8

It’s time for the Netherlands men to show up. They did not do any kind of dance, and Bart and Casimir’s hair colors are both normal. Hrmph. Someone is starting slowly. Michel Bletterman obviously the alternate due to no tattoos.

Bartitude fell on his first pass of his floor turn, obviously. The rest was strong once he got that out of his system. He’s not happy with most things, I think he’s saying he can’t see and also his kneecap is coming off and also he’s dead.

Switzerland having a good time on HB – Yusof Braegger and Hegi all went through with hits.

Casimir was a little short on his front double pike with a bounce back, having a few iffy passes but a fine hit.

Very nice Dragulescu from Davtyan in the second rotation.

We also saw Bart sucessfully survive a PH routine, although he took two steps on dismount.

Davtyan attempted a nonspecific Kas vault as his second and landed exactly sideways on the mat.

I don’t mean to alarm you, but Ri Se Gwang has exactly no tape on either leg. Where am I?

Ri keeps inviting everyone in his vault rotation to go before him. Like, get out of here peasants so I have room to do real vaults and probably die.

Ri keeps sitting down double front pikes, which is interesting. I’ve been watching this rotation for 19 minutes now, and I haven’t seen him hit a vault. Which probably means nothing becasue Ri.

Filling in the end: Epke is in the group for PBars and just hit a fine set, a few leg things.

Finishing off podium training – Bart was looking great on HB but decided not to dismount, followed by Epke, who did his big-boy routine and it was excellent, save for a lunge back on landing.

%d bloggers like this: