The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Live from Worlds – Women’s All-Around Final

The Simone Show has rolled into town for another year, and while no one has any doubts about the gold-related results (although I am interested to see what she goes for in terms of vault and beam dismount from a strategic perspective), the other medals should be a serious race.

Sunisa Lee has the highest scoring potential of the remaining contenders and will be considered the default for silver, but she doesn’t have a mistake-proof margin over the best of the field, so she’s going to have to hit. Heading in, the consensus has been that Melanie DJDS enjoys the best shot of the non-Americans to get a medal, and I agree, but it will be an “any given day” situation between her and the likes of Melnikova or Li Shijia or Ellie Black being all Ellie Black and taking advantage of the mistakes of others.

We already have some news about the field, where Liu Tingting has withdrawn from the final and been replaced by Tang Xijing, who was originally 2-per-ed out. Tang will rotate in Liu’s spot, so she’ll be in the vault group with the leaders.

“[German] [German] [German] Simone Biles [German] [German] [German]” has been our in-arena intro to the competition so far. I mean same.

“Lights on for this guy.” Lukas SetNewSigns is here for every day of finals singing about putting political signs in your front yard or something.

One-by-one intros because AA final, so we’re not going to get any choreography, especially because Eythora isn’t even in this final so what’s the point?

Germany has its chalk umbrella out in prepping the bars, and then it was immediately dropped, defeating the purpose entirely.

Rotation 1

CA pouring out one for Grace McCallum in her PA intro.

Simone is working the Cheng in her warmup.

Teramoto – BB – wolf double, hit – double turn, minor check – aerial to split jump straddle jump, solid – onodi, strong – switch – side somi, very secure – bhs loso, right on – side aerail, only the smallest movement 2.5, small step

Melanie – VT – nice DTY, good chest position and direction, medium bounce back. 14.633

Seitz – UB – Maloney to Ricna, solid – piked jaeger, hit – Downie to pak to stalder shap 1/2, good, struggles a little to cast out with some muscles – full to FTDT, small hop. Nice start. 14.866

Lee – VT – one of her strong DTYs, small hop, some legs and chest position, but better landing control than MDJDS, so will be interesting to compare scores.

Black – UB – Maloney to hindorff, good – Chang, solid – piked jaeger to pak, good rhythm, some crazy legs on pak – VL, a little leg break – some handstand positions but not too bad – toe on tuck 1/2, stuck. Ellie did Ellie. 14.133

Biles – VT – Cheng goes out 8000 million feet as it did in the team competition, still a fairly large bounce back but will be a huge score of course. 15.233

Nina – UB – nabieva – DF to yezhova to shap to pak to van leeuwen, glorious – toe full to FTDT, small hop in place. Great. 15.200

Great DTY for Li Shijia, basically stuck. Doesn’t have the height and distance of the others, but great landing.

Good double front for Godwin on FX, just a little short on DLO but a small hop – front full, dances out – double pike, short with a lunge. 13.233

Villa – UB – stalder shap to tkatchev, good – ricna to pak to maloney to bhardaj, excellent – van leeuwen, hit – front giant full, has to shift over for her dismount, double front, hit. Some moments where she was close on a release and struggled to get to handstand on the next cast, but otherwise solid. 14.333

Tang Xijing short on DTY with a lunge forward.

Voss – BB – bhs bhs loso, only a small lean – looks like she got her split leap full around – aerial to split bhs, good,, split position was lovely – side somi, strong – near stick on 2.5. Good. 13.866

Akhaimova – UB – channeling a stained glass window in her leo – inbar full to maloney to giant full to tkatchev, falls on TKatchev – the stained glass window has shattered

Melnikova – VT – DTY – solid distance but also a pretty large bounce back, and leg form to take, so this shouldn’t be among the highest DTY scores we’ve seen but close. 14.433

Iorio – BB – large break on loso mount but keeps it on the beam – side aerial, small clench correction – switch to split leap, lovely – bhs loso loso, held solidly. 12.666

Flavia – UB – piked tkatchev to pak, butt scraper as always but hit – toe on to maloney to tkatchev, same but hit – cast 1/2 actually good vertical – double front, pace forward, got through it. 13.300

Lovely stuck 2/1 from Cintia to finish her routine. 12.600

Steingruber – BB – switch mount, hit – aerial, solid – front tuck, leg-up check but not too big – bhs loso, small lean correction – front pike, another check but saved it, possible tuck credit – switch to side somi, large lean and bend but stays on – switch 1/2, not bad 180 position but feet – gainer “layout” 1/1 off the end, small hop. I mean, it was as terrifying as Steingruber’s beam is, but no fall. 12.800

Varinska – FX – 1.5 through to 3/1, step to the side, crazy legs – double L, started to lean but I’d give it – 2.5 to front tuck, bounce – split leap full, around – switch ring, nice – split ring leap – memmel turn, nice – double tuck, stuck. Nice. I’d give her D turns, so that will be important for the score. 13.400

Friess – BB – wolf to split jump – round off layout, only a small check, some foot form, but good – front tuck, very solid – switch – switch 1/2, just a bit o position – lone back tuck, solid – wolf single – double tuck, hop back

Moors – FX – Podkopayeva, a little shuffle back this time, no connection – front 2/1 to front full solid landing, some knees – double attitude turn – switch ring , pretty – split ring leap 1/2, not even bad – split jump 1/1 – 2.5 combo loses form a little. Lovely of course.

After 1:
1. Biles – 15.233
2. Derwael – 15.200
3. Seitz – 14.866
4. DJDS – 14.633
5. Lee – 14.466

Rotation 2

Black – BB – switch mount, solid – double turn, nicely done – front ruck, solid – bhs layout, whipped as usual but secure, also as usual – switch to switch 1/2 to bhs, solid rhythm, not hitting the position on the switch 1/2 – side somi, smallest arm correction – 2.5, medium hop forward. 14.000. She’s on.

Kinsella’s landing on double pike was a little jarring, otherwise hit routine. 12.933

Deep Y1.5 from Hatakeda, bounce forward. 13.800

Lee – UB – Nabieva – to pak, got crazy in the legs, hit the mat with her foot, couldn’t cast out of it, and she’s off the bars – the rest of her routine is glorious of course – FTDT, small hop forward. 13.133. Eesh.

Derwael looking exceptionally solid on beam – stuck gainer pike full dismount. 13.733

Voss has an awkward landing and pops OOB with several hops

Biles – UB – weiler 1/2 to maloney to tkatchev, good – short hs on high – toe full excellent into piked jaeger to pak – toe shap 1/2 – double double tucked, basically stuck, a quiver of one foot. Just a couple handstands, one of her stronger bars routines. 14.733

Iorio – FX – 3/1, bounce, some legs – memmel into illusion – double pike, short, bounce forward – switch ring – split leap full – front full, bounce –

Villa – BB – keeps her tuck full on the beam today – leg up check but hit -but then she falls on a wolf turn double!

Visser decides to do just the full on vault, short witha hop forward

Li Shijia – UB – piked jaeger, a little low but good – rcina to pak, some legs, a bit of mescling out – maloney to gienger, hit – toe on – full, loses form, keeps going but has a totally tucked giant after that – FTDT, deep but solid. Stayed on the bars but between that full turn and some other muscled cast problems, it will be like a fall. 13.366

Steingruber – FX – awesome split leap 1.5 – DLO 1/1, super strong, small slide back – DLO, stuck – some feet on switch full but around – double tuck, solid – double pike, step back, would be NCAA controlled step – excellent routine.13.633

Akhaimova – BB – step on front tuck mount – falls on her layout series, she’s done with this meet

Tang – UB – Maloney to pak, lovely form – VL, a little low but fine – healy to ling to front giant full to piked jaeger, great – cast 1/2, late – DLO, stuck landing, really good

Friess – FX – double arabian, well controlled landing – split leap full – full in, bounce back, she has legs together technique in these passes through –

Flavia – BB – bhs mount to split jump to swing down, good – layout, super solid – split leap to sissone – bhs loso loso, right on – switch ring, perfect in the air of course but the first break in the routine, bend at the hops – aerial, small check – split ring jump – side somi, step to control it – split ring leap, the only acceptable one – double pike, small hop. Nice.

Melnikova UB – inbar full to toe shap to pak- van leeuwen, only a bit of legs – inbar 1/2, pulls it around with a little pause – hits piked jaeger – another pause trying to get over on her toe full into her dismount, she does it again but two pretty significant issues there. 13.900

Seitz – BB – switch leap mount, strong – front tuck, small check -bhs back pike, step, but mostly solid – side somi, hit with arm wave – double turn, controls it – switch to wolf – side aerial – punch frotn layout full, small hop. OK, so that was basically her best beam routine in years. 13.233

DJDS – UB – Falls on her Galante. MELANIE. Redoes the skill and hits, in Pak – Maloney to bhardwaj and she comes off again – she finishes the routine successfully, small hop on DLO 1/1, but that’s a two fall routine. No coming back from that.

Derwael is like LA LA LA at this point.

After 2:
1. Biles – 29.966
2. Derwael – 28.933
3. Tang – 28.699
4. Melnikova – 28.333
5. Black – 28.133

Rotation 3

Biles – BB – wolf turn triple, fast and secure – aerial to split to straddle, pause before split, broken connection – bhs loso loso, right on – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, nice and well connection – side aerial – split jump 1/2 from side position, medium lean – bhs bhs FTDT, no double double today, a little short with a hop. A third good hit. 14.633

Hit DTY from Voss.

Derwael – FX – split leap full, good – double tuck, hop back – of the Belgian routines, this one doesn’t really work for me – leans out of her Memmel turn a bit too much – pulls around her wolf triple well – 1.5 to front full, little slide – switch ring – split leap . 13.500

Near knees down vault from Iorio

Great rudi from Steingruber, small step back, leg form, but will score well.

Li SJ – BB – switch to split ring leap, broken connection in bhs – side aerial, lovely – fhs to front tuck, small step forward – switch ring to bhs, a little pause – aerial to split ring jump – a little pause again, wondering how the D score will look because a lit of these series are borderline – full turn, little check – double pike, large stumble back, multiple lunges. That won’t help. 13.700 is quite high for me. And it was upped to 14.000 after inquiry. Now it’s REALLY high for me.

Good control on FTDT from Villa, though he wolf turn double attempt got crazy, def only a single. Her next one is also a little weak, hand down to slide it around – double tuck, a bit short – 12.566

Hit rudis from Friess and Teramoto as well. I love that this 3rd-group vault rotation is casually amazing.

Varinska – BB – shap to pak to maleony to clear hip full, very late – tkatchev 1/2 to jaeger is hit, lots of form but hit – toe full to FTDT, small hop

Bounce back on DTY from Kinsella.

Tang – BB – loso mount, perfect – round off to highhhh layout, lovely – switch ring to split ring jump to bhs, lovely – switch to split ring leap, pause before bhs and a leg-up check – full turn – aerial to split to stag ring, solid – 2/1 dismount, bounce back and another step. 14.600

Moors – UB – Shap to pak, only a bit of legs – toe full, a bit late – Van leeuwen, solid – clear hip khrokina, hit today – toe pike 1/2, small hop. Nice. 13.266

Visser – UB – stalder to stalder shap, but falls on a shap 1/2 attempt. I mostly blame the guy who tripped down the entirety of the stairs right next to bars as that was happening. She’s really struggling with another break here.

Very long waits on BB and FX for the scores for Tang and Akhaimova.

Melnikova – BB – switch leap mount – bhs loso series, nice control and extension – aerial to split to straddle – bhs 1/1, off line but pulls it back – wolf double, super solid – side somi, controlled well – split jump 1/2 from side, excellent – ro double pike, medium hop back. Who is this woman who’s good at beam now? 14.000

Saraiva – FX – whip to DLO, pretty solid, small hop forward – switch leap full, lovely height – full in, lage bounce back, does well to keep it in bounds – 1.5 to front full – memmel turn well controlled, worried she dropped a little early but good control – double pike, step back -13.933

Melanie hits her front pike on beam today but with a leg-up check – another fairly large check on her layout – double tuck, bounce back. 13.500

Seitz – FX – double arabian, short with a step 13.300

Lee – BB – wolf triple, very well controlled – split to sissone, nice – aerial, clean – bhs bhs layout, two small steps but keeps it on the beam – switch to switch 1/2, large break on switch 1/2, leg-up wobble – side aerial to loso loso, right on – switch ring, a little arm wave – split ring jump – double tuck, deep, bounce back. Stayed on but some major deductions in there13.833

Black – FX – popa, solid – front full through to 3/1, hit, smalide back, a little under on rotation – 2.5 throguht to double pike, also a bit short but pulls it out with a hop – straight jump 1/1 through to switch – front 2/1, a little under with a hop to the side

13.533 and into 6th place.

After 3:
1. Biles – 44.599
2. Tang – 43.299
3. Derwael – 42.433
4. Melnikova – 42.333
5. Li – 41.799

Rotation 4

Li – FX – 3/1, bounce back, some leg position – 2.5 to front pike, solid – popa, nice extension – switch ring – double tuck, lowish, lunge back – double pike, another bounce – 13.300

Villa – VT – great stick on her DTY, just some knees in the air, but awesome vault. 14.700

Varinska nearly off on her series but saves it.

Tang – FX – 3/1 to punch front, landed that triple full fully 2.75 and did the punch front sideways, but whatever, 2.5 to front pike, solid – triple turn – double tuck, bounce back – switch ring – 2/1, small slide. 13.600 is quite high.

Quite the day for Tang Gutsu.

Flavia just a tad short on DTY, step forward

Seitz – VT – really nice DTY, she had a great day, small hop back, some knees, but chest up and well completed. 14.600

Moors – BB – switch to split ring jump, feet but hit – fhs to front tuck, step forward, kept on the beam – smooth aerial –

Melnikova – FX – DLO 1/1, small hop back – double L turn to double turn, good – DLO, very floaty, small slide back – switch ring 1/2 – front tuck through to 2/1, small hop – wolf turn triple – memmel turn, questionable credit with that finishing position – double pike, bit larger slide back, nice routine. 14.066. Into 2nd behind Tang with Biles and Derwael still to go.

Black – VT – she did the rudi! And it was a bad idea! She looks like she hurt her angle is struggling to get off the mat. Landed short in a total ankle cruncher, didn’t fall though. She’s in 3rd now behind Tang and Melnikova

Derwael – VT – quite the large bounce back on her full today, interesting

MDJDS comes back with a hit on floor, though did go OOB on her third pass.

13.600! Not enough for Nina. She’s in behind Ellie Black.

13.500 for MDJDS on floor, and she’s into 16th place. SIGHx50

Lee – FX – double double, a littl deep, hop to the side – DLO, pretty solid, just a little piking at the end, small movement – pulls around her triple wolf and double, a little slow – 1.5 to front full, small hop – switch ring – double tuck, a bit short, hop forward. Three hit events for her today, but she needed four. 14.200 is a little highf ro that one for me.

Godwin finishing up on beam – bhs back pike series, secure – aerial – switch to sissone – wolf turn double – double pike, small hop. 13.366

Biles – FX – triple double, bounces way back and OOB – Biles, another lunge forward, just did say in bounds, no connection – wolf double, fine, a little over turned – full in, no trouble – split leap 1.5 awesome – double double, another bounce back and OOB. Because staying in bounds is for losers. 14.400

FINAL:
1. Biles – 58.999
2. Tang – 56.899
3. Melnikova – 56.399
4. Black – 56.232
5. Derwael – 56.033

You know, like you predicted the silver medalist would be.

Oh, I couldn’t see the Simone mic drop from my angle. Being places is way overrated you guys.

Today, an acro team called either Dreaming Jet Collection or Dreamy Jack o Lantern is performing Sad Musical Chairs for us before the medal ceremony

Ellie Black on crutches for the award ceremony. Saddest.

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