The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Live from Worlds – Men’s Team Final

Following the inevitability of yesterday’s US win and the thrilling “who’s the least splatty” preposterous of the race for the other medals, it’s now the men’s turn to try to deliver an equivalent level of delightful nonsense—but to the race for the gold medal.

Heading in, three clear countries have separated themselves in qualification—Russia, China, Japan—and it would be a major surprise were even one of them not to medal. Those are the three. But the race among the three of them? It’s live, with not enough separating them to feel confident that the qualification hierarchy will be maintained. A single dire rotation changes everything. And even Japan, which seemed a clear #3 entering worlds, will be buoyed by how close it came to China even while not getting the hoped-for contribution from either Tanigawa.

Unfortunately, it looks like Ukraine is throwing the team final again to focus on individuals, despite qualifying in 4th, by not using some critical routines—like Oleg on PB.

Russia and China did not walk out with their alternates. All the other teams did. No one did a little dance, which is a shame.

Rotation 1

Stretovich – FX – double double, bounce back – double front 1/2, out, stuck , nice – front 2/1 to front full, stuck – 2.5 to rudi, small hop – 1.5 to 1/2, stuck – 3/1, only a small hop.

Kaya hits PH

Modi – VT – larger bounce forward on his Kas 1.5. I’m interested that he’s vaulting over Wiskus. 14.200

14.400 for Kaya. 14.300 for Stretovich.

Lin – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, small hop – 2.5 to front 2/1, way OOB, both feet – double front pike, small hop – front full to randi, so nice – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, little hop. It was ALMOST his qualification performance, but that major OOB will hurt.

Moldauer – VT – Kas 1.5 – small hop forward, great form as always

Beautiful PH routine from Kakeru. 14.533

Nagornyy – FX – triple back, small hop back, nice – double front pike 1/2 out, smallish bounce – front 2/1 to double front, great, small hop – 2.5 to full to 1/2, awesome form, small bounce – full in final pass, nice landing – 14.900

Mikulak – VT – small hop forward on his Kas 1.5, good, best of the trio. 14.200. I had it better than that.

Baumann is gaining quite a bit of swing on rings, but he stays in handstand until he steadies and then sticks his dismount.

Xiao – FX – punch randi, hop – 3.5 to 1/2, stuck landing – double double tuck, a little short with a hop – stuck 2/1 – 3/1, excellent and stuck. 15.033

Hashimoto hits a third PH routine for Japan. Very strong rotation for them. 14.466. 43.399 for Japan.

Dalaloyan – FX – front lay to double front pike 1/2 out, bounce – 1.5 to randi, small bounce – front full to double front pike, large lunge – double double tuck, little hop – 2.5 to front full, knees, a little slip – 3/1, bounce back. Did not have his sticking shoes on that one.

Oleg – PH – hesitation in his handstand curcle but he keeps going, good save – loses his legs a little on a one-pommel circle – just pulls around his intended dismount pirouette at the end, and in rushing, doesn’t stick the dismount. 14.500

Still waiting on the score for Dalaloyan. 14.633.Russia improves on qualification.

Deng – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, perfect, stuck – front full to randi, lands entirely OOB just like Lin – another small hop on third pass but keeps it in – double double, a little down and hop to the side – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, lunge back. Some problems for China in this rotation.

So China goes 43.333 on floor to Russia’s 43.833, an event that China won in qualification. China currently trails Japan’s 43.399. The trio is already establishing a lead.

Rotation 2

Guy, don’t shout “LADIES BONGOS” at the crowd.

Gischard pretty large lunge forward on Kas 1.5

Sun wei with a little leg break on one pommel – great russians on the end of the horse – very smooth magyar and sivado and a solid routine overall. 14.200

Hall – VT – stuck his Kas 1.5! Very nice.

Stretovich – PH – very slow handstand circles but controlled well – and the rest of the routine is very strong. Good.

Braegger sits down a vault –

Kaya with a bit too much of an angle on his first maltese – good cross position – great stick on double double layout. 14.366

Moldauer – PB – nice healy – peach to peach 1/2 with a an arch, pulls it back – diam – tuck elements are both solid – double front 1/2 out, a bit deep with a hop forward. Fine.

Zou with another hit on PH. Super clean. 14.683.

Giarnni – stuck handspring 2.5! Awesome vault.

Nagornyy – PH – gets really sluggish on his russians on the end of hte pommel but works through them for a hit routine, some hip angle some mushy legs, but a hit. 14.166

Hop back on rings dismount from Wataru.

14.833 for Giarnni with a 9.233 E score. Not nearly enough E score separation on vault.

14.300 for Wataru

Modi – PB – peach to diam to bhavsar, hit – tippelt, smoothly up to handstand, healy, diam to stutz, held well – goes for the dismount today, small hop. Form things, but good.

Xiao working with tremendous speed and cleanliness on PH – no problems like in qualification. Really strong PH from China, which they needed this time. 14.900

Kamoto – SR – maltese lowered to cross, nice cross position – good planche held for 78 minutes – layout salto but generates quite a bit of swing into the maltese – handstand positions very secure – double double layout, stuck. Nice. 14.766

Belyavskiy – PH – had a loose back moment on a russian travel but the rest has looked clean, finished well, China will certainly move ahead after two, but Russia did the hits too. Russia will expect to be the better team on rings and vault.

Mikulak – PB – healy, good – peach 1/2, walks and some arching – tuck 1/2 and front straddle to swing are nice – bhavsar, excellent – tippelt, moothly done, stutz, good – double front 1/2 out, stuck. He had that one moment on the peach 1/2, otherwise stellar.

Wow 15.200 even with an error. Almost like he should be in the PB final or something. Sigh.

After 2:
China – 87.116
Japan – 86.831
USA – 86.266
Great Britain – 85.898
Russia – 85.665
Switzerland – 82.365
Taiwan – 81.432
Ukraine – 80.898

Russia lost a few tenths there compared to qualification, while China gained 2.5 points. Huge deal.

Rotation 3

Nagornyy – SR – finishes with small hop on double double tuck. 14.533

Kaya – VT – Kas 1.5 a lunge forward and toward the center

Modi – HB – yam, quite piked – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, good – tak 1/2, good position – tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – double double layout, small hop. Good one. 14.016

Great Kas 2/1 from hasimoto, awesome

Deng a little low on double double layout but hits, small hop. Had some handstand hesitation in there – 14.533

One hesitation from Baumann on PB in handstand, lowers a little quick on his Stutz – double front 1/2 with a hop

Dalalolyan – SR – excellent maltes and cross positions – so flat – small hesitation swinging up to handstand, second one is better – double double tucked, hop back – 14.666

Wataru hits his double front pike with a hop forward. 14.833

Radivilov – VT – a little short on Drag with a hop

Wiskus – HB – catches Cassina – Kolman, hit with legs – catch close on kovacs and has major elbows swinging out of it, keeps going – tak 1/2, OK – double double layout, stuck.

Stuck rings dismount from Sun Wei. 14.233. This is where they lose a little on D to Russia.

GRM double front 1/2 out PB dismount, a little short with a hop

Lee CK – HB – very late on his tak turns – layout tkatchev – tkatchev – double double, stuck. Nice finish.

Abliazin with a large lunge back on his rings dismount, not his strongest set but a hit 14.533

Good PBars for Yusof, just lunge back on double pike. 14.500

Mikulak – HB – Cassina, good – Kolman, caught – layout tkatchev – tkatchev t- tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2 is late – stalder with a little tightness – double double layout dismount, stuck. 14.666

Tang with lovely height on his releases again – sticks double double layout.

After 3:
1. Japan – 130.705
2. China – 130.482
3. Russia – 129.397
4. GB – 128.864
5. USA – 128.481
6. Switzerland – 124.598
7. Ukraine – 123.197
8. Taiwan – 122.546

Rotation 4

Xiao – VT – short on his Kas 2/1 with a large lunge forward, not the landing China wanted.

Fall on a layout tkatchev for Yusof

Stretovich – solid Kas 1.5, small hop forward, nice.

Moldauer – FX – randi, stuck, lovely – front 2/1 to front full, just a little short with a hop – doubel arabian 1/2 out, small slide – nearly goes OOB on his side pass but no flag – 3/1, bounce back. A little more hoppy than he was in qualification but none of them large. 14.400

Sun Wei with a bounce back on his Kas 2/1, but stronger finishing position

Two steps back for Whitlock on his doubel double layout dismount on HB. 13.066

nagornyy – VT – stuck dragulescu, excellent, just the cowboying to deal with, the rest was fab –

Lovely bhavsar from Kaya double front 1/2 out, stuck. Awesome.

Deng sticks his Kas 2/1, very nice, some form but perfect landing.

Dalaloyan – VT – bounce forward on double front pike this time. 14.966 somehow

Hall – HB – just does catch his Cassina – kovacs, good – Kolman, nice swing out of it – yam – tak 1/1, great position – double double layout, step back. 13.916

Wiskus stuck his final four passes on floor, good routine. 14.266

Kamoto really crooked on a diam and hasn’t really found hiw way back, lots of mushy and rushed vertical positions on stutz elements – second half is much more solid – double front 1/2 out, managed to stick it somehow despite I believe clipping the rail on his way down.

Braegger catches too close on his Kolman and can’t swing out of it, lots of form and a correction the other direction.

Mikulak – FX – double front pike, college stuck – 2.5 to double front, medium hop – front 2/1 to front tuck full – 1.5 to front full, stuck – 3/1, little hop. Still a few too many hops, but obviously much better. 14.666

Kakeru – PB – healy – peach 1/2, dolif – front straddle to arms – stutz – bhavsar, nice – double front 1/2 out got a little hairy, low with a boucne back, but he landed it

Fall for Fraser on HB.

After 4:
1. China – 174.481
2. Japan – 174.037
3. Russia – 173.829
4. USA – 171.813
5. GB – 168.512
6. Ukraine – 165.429
7. Switzerland – 164.531
8. Taiwan – 163.978

Save for Japan being ahead of Russia at this point (Japan going to HB and Russia going to PB means advantage Russia), this is business as usual in terms of expectations coming into the day.

Russia is going to need to catch China in this rotation to have a real shot.

Rotation 5

Kaya – HB – nice position on tak 1/2 – layout tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – german giants to stalder – tak 1/1, really nice position – flat yam – double double layout, stuck

Hit pommel horse from Modi

Nagornyy – PB – peach to one, healy very nice – peach 1/2, OK – makuts, nice – diam and diam 1/2, so smooth, well done – double front 1/2 out, stuck. Excellent routine. 15.300. Huge.

Lin – PB – double back to arms, good – peach 1/2 with a hesitation, some elbows – log swing diam was a little late – nice bhavsar – tippelt, clean – double pike, small slide back

Moldauer was going through very well but couldn’t dismount as intended, just pressed up to handstand and finished

Extremely late tak 1/1 from Hashimoto on HB – double double layout, hop forward

Dalaloyan – PB – diam to stutz, good – tippelt and sits on the bars! Artur! front straddle is good – stutz – double tuck 1/2 out, stuck, awesome, sucks about the tippel. Eeesh 13.966

Xiao – PB – stutz, just a little short of vertical – double back to arms, good – stutz – lovely kitck out on his next double back element – front straddle to arms – some elbow hesitation on handstand – tippelt, double pike, bounce back. Not his very strongest, but will give them an advantage now compared to Dalaloyan.

Giarnni sat down on floor

Kamoto – HB – tak 1/2, good – Cassina, caught – Kolman, got it – layout tkatchev, solid – tak 1/1, late but not terrible – yam – double double layout, very deep with lunge forward

Just 14.100 for Xiao. Looks like China let Russia back in after all.

Belyavskiy – PB – peach – diam a little short – tippelt, nicely done – bhavsar, great style – stutz to one is a little archy, he’s having some mainor handstand position troubles, but double front 1/2 out is stuck. It works. 15.133.

13.966 for Mikulak on horse.

China needs a normal Zou hit now to avoid Russia being able to come back on HB.

Zou – PB – makuts work is ideal – diam, right on – frotn straddle to swing, perfect – bhavsar, excellent – tippelt, no trouble today – healy – double front 1/2 out, stuck. So there’s that.

16.383 from Zou means Russia is going to need help from China in this final rotation.

After 5:
1. China – 219.622
2. Russia – 218.228
3. Japan – 216.194
4. USA – 212.612
5. GB – 210.378
6. Switzerland – 207.197
7. Taiwan – 306.878
8. Ukraine – 205.328

Rotation 6

Sun – HB – fall on layout tkatchev. Here we go, potentially the opening Russia needed. layout tkatchev 1/2, hit – DLO 1/1, hop back. OK now. 12.766

Kakeru – FX – doubel front pike 1/2 out, excellent, stuck – front full to randi, small bounce – double front 1/2 out, still pretty triangel shaped, bounce back – 2/1, stuck – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck – 3/1, bounce back

Hop back from Moldauer on double double tucked on rings. 13.833

Stretovich – HB – tkatchev to layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/1, good – layout tkatchev 1/2 – double double layout, small step back. 14.666

Russia moves ahead of China by a half point after 1 routine.

Deng – HB – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1, very late – DLO 2/1, stuck. 13.841. Eesh. China losing the plot.

Hashimoto falls on floor

Stuck rings dismount from Mikulak

Dalaloyan – HB – layout kovacs, lovely – kovacs – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2, good – tak, nice – DLO 1/1, stuck landing. 14.366

Russia now has a lead of about a point on China.

Lin – HB –

kaya with a great stick on double front 1/2 out – double front pike, large bounce – front 2/1 to front 1/1, small hop –

Lin – HB – he’s a bit late on his tak 1/1 – Kolman is nice – layout tkatchev 1/2 – yam, nice – double double layout, nearly sticks, small step.

Max falls on PH. Well, I supposed better to get it out of the way now

Howard nearly falls on rings dismount

14.500 for Lin. That means Nagornyy needs a very manageable 13.500, which he will get with any kind of hit.

Nagornyy – HB – yam – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1, fairly late – tak 1/2, same – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – double double layout, stuck, and that will do it

Well deserved on the title for Russia. They were the better team today, even without Sun falling on that inital HB routine they still would have deserved the win, though it would have been a lot closer. I thought they might have thrown it away when Dalaloyan sat his tippelt, but they endured.

It will be China for silver, and then Japan for bronze, as we expected. The US team met expectations with their performance in the team final, followed by GB, then Taiwan getting a tremendous 6th place, followed by Switzerland and a Ukraine team that phoned it in.

1. Russia – 261.726
2. China – 260.729
3. Japan – 258.159
4. USA – 254.578
5. Great Britain – 251.611
6. Taiwan – 248.243
7. Switzerland – 247.038
8. Ukraine – 246.593

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