The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Live From Worlds – Event Finals Day 1

Today, we’ll be treated to four thrilling event finals, and also rings. Actually, rings is exciting this time because we still don’t know who the three Olympic qualifiers will be from this final (among Colak, Ait Said, Petrounias, Lodadio, and Tovmasyan, who will compete in the 4th-8th spots), but also…it’s rings.

On floor, the top qualifier was Dolgopyat, but it’s difficult to bet against the Russians (or Xiao) after their floor performances yesterday where they were all like, “my 15 is the 15ier 15 than your 15 which was only 15esque in its 15ness.”

On horse, the great Whitlock/McClenaghan/Lee battle of 2019 is on, which means it could end up the most entertaining of all today’s finals.

For the women, the story of the vault final will be whether Simone feels comfortable throwing out the Biles, or whether she sticks with the Cheng and relies on her superior execution to deliver the title despite her finishing behind Carey in qualification. Hopefully, we’ll also be treated to the Yeo for the first time at worlds.

On bars, Nina will of course be the favorite, but Spiridonova and Lee are close, and I’m waiting to see whether Lee decides to try to connect her Van Leeuwen for some extra tenths—also whether Downie decides to throw ALL OF IT out there because why not.

So today should be a good one, and also rings.

The medal ceremony distribution will be after the first two events, and then again after the final three.

The zoo that is open warmups is ongoing. Mostly it involves Dalaloyan sitting in the fetal position near floor looking pensive.

Yeo hit the Yeo, a little help on landing but if it were real she would have stood it up. Akhaimova just landed some manner of indeterminate vault fully sideways, so that was cool.

We’ve seen Simone warm up a nearly perfect Cheng with just a hop up in place, but no Biles as yet. And she’s heading back to the warm up gym now.

So, we’re about ready to begin, which means it’s time to set our new signs for the day. We’ve been here so long that Set New Signs is almost starting to make sense.

OK, here we go. We’ll begin with the floorsies.

MAG FLOOR

Nagornyy – FX – triple back – stumble backward this time, both feet OOB – double front pike 1/2 out, small slide – front 2/1 to double front, solid – 2.5 to 1/2 to back tuck full, stuck – 2/1, stuck – FTDT, stuck. Nice ending. The first pass was a little “I just won the all-around last night, monkeys,” which means it shouldn’t hold up in a field like this.

14.166

Dolgopyat – FX – front double tuck 1.5, very solid, stuck – only small step on his second pass – double double, little movement – 2.5 to front 2/1, another small hop – 1.5 to rudi, side pass, stuck – double arabian 1/2 out, stuck. Great job, some hops but enough sticks at the end that the score should be competitive.

15.200. Huge number.

Kim HS – FX – 3.5 to front 2/1 – double front pike 1/2 out, nearly stuck, a little low, small movement – 2.5 to randi, small hop in place – double front tuck 1/2 out, super low, chest down and has to hop forward – 1.5 to half, solid – yeesh, falls out of a wide-arm handstand – 3/1, a little short with a hop. Great difficulty, but lots of landing issues, and the double front tuck 1/2 out will hurt.

13.833

Lin – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, hop back – 2.5 to front 2/1, holds onto the stick with a little squat – double front pike, hop – front full to randi, stuck – good quick russians – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, stuck. Great finish, but the routine in qualification that got him into this final was sort of best-ever for him, and this was not as strong.

14.700

Dalaloyan – FX – front lay to double front pike 1/2 out, stuck – front full to double front pike, short but corrects with only a little hop back – 1.5 to randi, stuck – double double tuck, stuck – interesting that the clock started super late on this routine, not until he landed his first pass – 2.5 to just a tuck 1/2, stuck – 3/1, can’t quite hold the stick with two little steps back. Some amazing passes, but also some errors here.

14.800, up ahead of Lin but behind Dolgopyat. About right.

Xiao – FX – punch randi, stuck with arm wave – 3.5 to 1/2, also stuck with arm wave – double double, stuck, a little down – 2.5 to front 2/1, he’s got the arm wave and no leg movement down – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, a little short with a hop forward. Nice routine. Should be in 2nd place for me, but I could see 1st.

14.933. Surprised it was as far below Dolgopyat as that, though. I figured like a 15.1 or something.

Yulo – FX – glorious DLO 1/1, small hop back – double front pike 1/2 out, basically sells the stick – 2.5 to randi, so quick, small step – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck – 2/1, stuck – wide-arm press handstand, just a little bit of angle but fine – front full to front 2/1, stuck – 3/1, small hop to the side. Great routine. He’s a star.

For me that should be a medal, but not quite as strong as Dolgopyat in first place.

OOOOOH. 15.300. I didn’t think they would go there, but I’m not mad about it.

Cunningham – FX – double double layout, nice, small hop – double front 1/2 out, jarred landing and hands down – double double tuck was nice and stuck – I don’t think he has quite the form in his passes to make a mark in this field even with a hit, but nice to see him back at it – 3/1, shuffle back

GOLD: Carlos Yulo (PHI)
SILVER: Artem Dolgopyat (ISR)
BRONZE: Xiao Ruoteng (CHN)

No Russian medal on FX.

Intros now for the women’s vault final.

Women’s VAULT

Downie VT 1 – She’s opening with the DTY – really strong one for her – only a small slide back, nice direction.

14.600

Downie VT 2 – Here we go with the Cheng – hits it again – bounce backward – some definite piking but really only loses her leg form at the very end. It’s good.

15.033

14.816 AVG

Biles – VT 1 – She has posted the Cheng – bounce back and to the side, though not quite as large as some of her Cheng bounces this week – looks like she just stayed in the area.

15.333. Not huge for her. She can score better.

Biles – VT 2 – Amanar – nearly perfect – just a small hop – everything great obviously. I anticipate Daggett telling you that should score a 15.700. I don’t know it, but also I know it.

15.466

15.399 is the average. No one should be able to touch that.

Qi – VT 1 – solid DTY, bounce back, looks all meh next to Simone, but nice form, legs right together – will get hit for amplitude and distance

14.600 is the score of the day for DTYs

Qi – VT 2 – lands her rudi a little hunched over with a step to the side, so I’d have her in behind Downie. Stays in the area with her step, though

14.700.

14.650 average and into 3rd place

Yeo – VT 1 – She has posted the Yeo – let’s see how this goes without a spot – ooooooof, lands it short and collapses to the side, hand down. Well drat.

13.933

Yeo – VT 2 – very nice height on her DTY, some knees, bounce back, but she gets the pop

14.433

14.183 aaverage and into 4th place

Olsen – VT 1 – DTY – I love that she starts vault with Alabama beam hands now – secure DTY, small slide back – the knees and whatnot

14.600. I told you! Every DTY is 14.600

Olsen – VT 2 – Cheng – somehow manages to land that crazy Cheng securely, with just a step to the side – but it’s basically fully tucked at the end, so watch the E score.

14.866. Quite high for me

14.733 average and into 3rd. Her Cheng was clearly weaker than Downie’s, so she couldn’t really go higher.

Moreno – VT 1 – struggles to control the landing on her rudi, a large bounce back and then another significant lunge

14.466

Moreno – VT 2 – really strong Kas 1/1, basically stuck, just a little shuffle of the feet, some knees and not the most distance we will see

14.800

14.633 average

Akhaimova – VT 1 – all over the place on her rudi but lands it with a large lunge back, deductions for piking and leg shape

14.700

Akhaimova – VT 2 – Struggles to control her Kas 1/1 as well, deep landing and a lunge back to save it, and an additional step. That means Downie is set with a medal here.

14.033.

14.366 average and 6th place

Carey – VT 1 – Cheng – bounces back on her Cheng but mostly solid, legs on the block, and then some slightly mushy knees and feet in the air, but will be a solid number

15.166

Carey – VT 2 – Amanar – struggles on her Amanar – large lunge to the side and out of the area, knees and a deep landing that caused the big lunge

14.600 for vault 2. We have a problem when that Amanar with a deep landing and big lunge to the side is scoring the same thing as solid DTYs.

14.883 average puts her into 2nd. That’s wrong, it should be Downie in silver.

GOLD: Biles (USA)
SILVER: Carey (USA)
BRONZE: Downie (GBR)

Medal ceremony part 1 now. Meanwhile Simone has 23 world medals and three golds so far here.

On to pommel horse!

HORSE FINAL

Tommasone – PH – nice position on initial scissor ip to handstand except for some feet – has a bit of that Whitlocky hollow position through his magyar and sivado – gets through Russians on the end (some knees) and dismount, solid routine.

14.833. Nice score.

Whitlock – PH – has the step down onto the horse initially when going up to handstand on one pommel – the rest is his normal, but interesting early error – great flare travels, solid russian work – nailed dismount

15.500. That won’t be controversial at all. No siree.

Belyavskiy – PH – lovely smooth one pommel work – really loses his leg form on a russian travel going into full straddle but pulls it back…for a while before he comes off the horse. His hand just fully slipped off the side of the horse. First fall of the final.

13.566

Kaya – PH – hesitation in initial handstand travel with an elbow bend but keeps it going – very precise scissor up to handstand – solid quick russian travels – composed flare work – gains a little bit of pike at the very end, but good routine

14.866

Hashimoto – PH – good save early but he comes off not long after – travel over the pommels and can’t keep it on the horse – redoes the skill and gets it – the rest of hte routine is cleanly performed, especially the flare work

13.333

McClenaghan – PH – lovely initial scoissor to handstand work – clean on one pommel – great line maintained throughout this routine – comfortable between the pommels – this is really excellent work. he hit. For me, that was stronger than Whitlock, but I have doubts about the judges’ willingness to go there.

15.400. Disagree. 6.4 D score for Rhys compared to 7.0 for Max made the difference.

Lee CK – PH – everything he has ever done is perfect, obviously – unmatched flare work and a hit routine. What more could we ask?

Judging delay here, as they try to make up what skills Lee did.

15.433 and into 2nd place. 6.5 D and 8.933 in E.

Zou – PH – really clean routine, little to take – he gets a little low on his russians on the end of the pommel, and just in comparison to the last few he has the misfortune of being shorter than them so the line looks less dramatic.

15.000

Shiao – PH – his hit in this routine means we had just 2 falls among the 9 routines in this final, which is pretty “good” but totally not what we’re here for, guys. You think we want to see you all hit? Strong performance here. It was a surprise that he got into this final, and he basically replicated that qualification routine here.

14.733

GOLD: Whitlock (GBR)
SILVER: Lee (TPE)
BRONZE: McClenaghan (IRL)

I would have palindromed this podium.

UNEVEN BARS FINAL

Melnikova and Spiridonova did the introduction and are now running right out of the arena and…back toward the warmup gym I would presume?

Biles – UB – weiler 1/2 – maloney to tkatchev – toe full to piked tkatchev to pak, strong – van leeuwen, caught well – handstands close – double double tucked, stuck landing. Great. Just her usual form moments.

14.700 is lower than her Q score even though this routine was better, which is interesting.

Downie – UB – stalder full to stalder shap to hindorff, nice – downie, hit – Tweddle to yezhova to toe shap 1/2, good – FTDT, two small steps back – she hit in a final!

15.000! Huge.

Lee – UB – Nabs, hit to pak to shap to bhardwaj – shap 1/2, solid – 1.5 is pretty late this time into piked jaeger, just a hair short on FTDT, small hop.

14.800

Seitz – UB – maloney, great into ricna, nice – slight muscle up before piked jaeger, good – downie to Pak and can’t swing through, has to come off – finishes with a stuck FTDT

13.566

Melnikova – UB – inbar full, good finish – Komova to pak to toe shap 1/2, so pretty – great handstand on high – inbar 1/2, small hesitation into piked jaeger, very short on orphan 1/2 turn – toe full to FTDT, stuck. Really good routine.

14.733 and currently into 3rd place ahead of Simone.

Liu – UB – stalder shap to pak , pretty – maloney to gienger between the bars, nice – healy – front giant – ling, ling 1/2 pretty late I expect they’ll take a bunch there – DLO, a bit short, bounce forward.

14.400

Spiridonova – UB – inbar full, kind of late – Komova to pak to van leeuwen, very floaty – pikled jaeger, quite clean – better hs position on 1/2 turn – toe full to FTDT, just a bit deep with a lunge back. Expect that to knock Melnikova out at the very least, but we’ll have to see how it compares to the others. I’d have her 3rd place right now.

14.633. Surprised by that a little. They really got her for the dismount, but the rest was so nice. What do I know?

Derwael – UB – Nabs, hit – Derwael-Fenton to Yezhova to shap to pak to van leeuwen – perfect – toe full to FTDT, stuck. Well, there’s your winner.

15.233

GOLD: Derwael (BEL)
SILVER: Downie (GBR)
BRONZE: Lee (USA)

Really nice final. I also confidently assured the Olympic Channel crew this morning that Melnikova had a 0% chance to medal on bars, so I was less than a tenth away from having shame.

RINGS

Abliazin – Back for rings just in time to see Abliazin land a little short on his double double layout dismount, lunge forward

14.666 for him

Zanetti – SR – nice initial pull up to planche – these positions are quite flat and comfortable – as is the maltese, very secure – directly into cross – front roll into another horizontal cross – serious arch in handstand that he has to pull back – DLO 1/1, steps back

14.725 and ahead of Abliazin. Warranted for the first 2/3 of that routine, which were excellent

Klessing – SR – his facial hair looks like he has a permanent bloody nose. Also he did a rings routine. Solid maltese to cross, just a little more position hesitation in the planche than someone like zanetti – his maltese position is a little angled – also a large arch in handstand, but he does the triple back dismount and hits it with a step

14.166

OK, now it’s Olympic qualification time. Top 3 of the next 5 go to the Olympics.

Colak – SR – pull up to planche, nice – roll to maltese, very flat position – smallest swing in planche – a little angle in his maltese out of tucks – good lower to cross – roll up to cross – a little short on his handstand but muscles there in the end – double front pike, stuck. Nice.

14.933

Lodadio – SR – pulls right up to pklanche – lower to maltese, very nice flat position – tucks and pikes, toll to cross, a little low and has to pull it back up a hair – hollow position on planche – next cross position is more secure – small hesitation in hs – double twisting double tuck, stuck.

Unlucky is very pleased

14.900 into 2nd place, just missing Colak. I’d think both those scores should get through though. The routines warrant it. But also Petrounias.

Petrounias – SR – pulls up to planche – a little tilt in maltese position, second one is better – loose back moment in handstand – swings to planche, great – cross, a little high? – roll to cross – pikes up to a more secure handstand, double double tucked, step back.

14.733. I think it’s right. He’s Petrounias, but that was not as good as Colak or Lodadio. Two to go. Colak is through to the Olympics.

Tovmasyan – SR – up to planche, rolls to maltese – small arch in hadnstand but stays secure – lowers a tad into position on his matlese after tucks and pikes – generating some swing and hesitation in final handstands – DLO 1/1, lunge back. That wouldn’t be among the Olympic spots for me.

14.200, out of the Olympic spots. Lodadio is in.

Ait Said – SR – love the smooth way he rolls from strength element to strength element – gets caught a little bit in his pikes because the tucks, odd – maltese was strong – the hold positions are nicely horizontal, but now he’s wobbling in a handstand, and that may just be enough, but he sticks his dismount, and we know how rings can be a sticking dismounts competition.

14.800. Woooooof, he’s into the Olympics and knocks Petrounias out. That will be controversial. I figured it would go to Petrounias.

GOLD: Colak (TUR)
SILVER: Lodadio (ITA)
BRONZE: Ait Said (FRA)

%d bloggers like this: