The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Live from Worlds – Event Finals Day 2

It’s the last day! Five more finals to deal with. No remaining Olympic qualification spots on the line today, as it has all been decided, but we do have what should be tight races for all most. I mean, Simone’s winning floor. But otherwise!

For the men, we have the race against death that is vault, when Yang Hak Seon’s handspring 3/1 probably gives him the edge, but you never know who will have limbs on any given day. On PBars, we’ll be treated to the weirdness that is a final without Zou, Verniaiev, and Mikulak, which opens the medals to a whole mess of people. And on high bar, Tin, Tang, and Sam will go at it in the race for the “Epke’s not taking this one!” title.

The news on the women’s brigade is that both of the inquiry victims have been allowed back into their finals, Kara Eaker after the withdrawal of Ellie Black (high ankle sprain) on beam, and Brooklyn Moors after the withdrawal of Nina Derwael (already won a gold, beyotches) on floor. Basically, my preview of floor is Simone, but the remaining medals are open to be won by quite literally anyone in the final. And my preview of beam is as follows: beam is beam. We’ll see who is still standing at the end of it.

Tingting is here in the arena for the open warmup on beam. There was some question about whether she would be pulled for Chen after they pulled her from the AA, but she’s here warming up.

Simone is here working the Biles into stag to try to make sure she’s getting the connection, with varying levels of success.

Man Body Chuck

Yang – VT 1 – handspring 3/1 – oooooof, hand down, nearly got there, but it’s a fall. Well, we’re open for business now. 13.733

Yang – VT 2 – Kas 2/1 – gorgeous twisting form, nice height and direction, a small hop back – that’s a comfortable vault for him. 14.900. 14.316 average

Radivilov – VT 1 – Dragulescu – very nice, small hop to the side – major cowboy and some feet of course, but just that small adjustment on landing. 14.833

Radivilov – VT 2 – Tsuk double pike – lands short on this one with a hop forward, so opened the door with that landing. 14.666. 14.749 average into 1st.

Dalaloyan – VT 1 – I mean he barely trots for this TTY – a little forward, hop to the side, looks like he just did stay inside the area. 14.933

Dalaloyan – VT 2 – handspring double front pike, a mostly nice one but a large lunge forward there – has the position in the air and didn’t botch it this time, but that lunge will take some tenths away. Should still be ahead of Radivilov. 14.933. 14.933 average and into 1st.

Dragulescu – VT 1 – Dragulescu – stuck it. Well now. That’s the best Dragulescu he has done in YEARS. Just a bit of cowboy, perfect direction. 14.966.

Dragulescu – VT 2 – Goes for the ro 1/2 on 2/1, crossover lunge to the side – a little under rotated, to the point that it will be a question for credit – form to take as well. 14.283, did not get the intended D score. 14.624 average

Nagornyy – VT 1 – stuck dragulescu! It was a very take-that-marian vault – has the cowboy, not quite as extreme as Radivilov’s. Very solid landing, just some chest position. 14.933.

Nagornyy – VT 2 – Tsuk double pike, just a little hop in place, a little forward, feet flexion, but great. That’s first place for me. 15.000. 14.966 average and into first. Close but correct.

Shek – VT 1 – he has the difficulty planned to get big numbers – well, that’s the end of that – tsuk double back full right to his face. 13.933 is the score you get when you fall.

Nikita’s cringe face was everyone.

Shek – VT 2 – handspring double front pike 1/2 out, well he’s going for it and landed that one, large lunge back. 15.000. 14.466 average

Cunningham – VT 1 – Shewfelt and it’s nice in the air – hop forward – good direction. 14.566

Cunningham – VT 2 – round off 1/2 on, 2/1 – once again nice position in the air, small hop forward, feel like he’s not getting rewarded enough for E. 14.566. 14.566 average and 5th place.

Le – VT 1 – handspring 2.5 and it’s mostly pretty – nice quick twisting, just a bit of legs, especially toward the end – lunge back. 14.666

Le – VT 2 – Kas 1.5, hop forward, not going to be the difficulty necessary to get a score in this final. 14.400. 14.533 average

GOLD: Nagornyy (RUS)
SILVER: Dalaloyan (RUS)
BRONZE: Radivilov (UKR)

It’s our second Russia-Russia-Ukraine podium

On to the beam final


Li SJ – BB – switch, with a check and two arm waves – split ring, another check before bhs, fighting it – side aerial is nice – front hs to front tuck, perfect – switch ring to bhs, a little pause but might get it – aerial to split ring jump to korbut, nicely done – she has found her way now – split jump 1/2 from side – double pike, beautiful toe point in it, medium hop back, over time as well.

Good routine, lovely second half, wonder how much that really tentative beginning will hurt her. 14.300

Padurariu – BB – candle mount – wolf triple and can’t hang on. Well, she hangs on to the beam to do an excellent salto, but that’s not really part of it, fall – side aerial to loso loso and a second fall of the routine – switch, solid – aerial to split to bhs, smoothly done – wolf to sissone – 2/1, bounce back.

Voss – BB – bhs loso loso series, very solid, just some knees – split leap full, leg-up break but keeps it on – side aerial, bend at the hips – switch to switch 1/2, lovely switch and nice as far as switch 1/2s go – aerial to split to bhs, too slow for CV for me – check on full turn – side somi, solid – 2.5, hop forward. She was fighting it throughout but stayed on. 13.266

DJDS – BB – front pike mount, hit with hop forward – punch front pike, nailed – bhs to layout, stuck, great form on bhs – split jump 1/2 from side, nice – switch 1/2, fairly short of 180 – aerial, small arm wave correction – switch to sissone, nicely done – overturns full turn a bit – double tuck, bounce back. She’s back. That was nice.

13.666 and into 2nd place. Just 5.2 D score given.

Liu TT – BB – candle mount – front hs front tuck, pulls it out with a leg-up break – thought she would have a fall there but she saved it – split to split ring to bhs, solid – switch ring, small leg-up correction – aerial to split ring to bhs, great – split leap to side aerial, check – 2/1, hop back. I preferred that one to Li’s, but we’ll see how much that wobble on the front tuck takes away. It was pretty big.

MDJDS submitted inquiry on that low D score. Got a 3 tenth bump in D score to 13.966. Makes a bit more sense, that new score.

14.433 for Liu TT and into first. I’m good with that.

Eaker – BB – switch mount, no connection split ring leap, would assume no credit, as was the problem in Q – y spin, just a little correction – aerial to split ring jump to bhs, beautiful – side aerial to loso loso with just the smallest arm adjustment – split leap to side somi, leg-up break, keeps it on the beam – switch to switch side, lean forward – this is the most artistic beam routine of the final – bhs bhs 2.5 dismount, deep with a little hop.

Now, let’s watch the D score.

14.00 and into 3rd place. 5.9 D score given. They’ve been consistent that they’re not happy with her ring positions.

Biles – BB – wolf triple, right on – aerial to split to straddle, very quick in combination – bhs loso loso, very solid – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, she’s right on today – side aerial – split jump 1/2 from side, a bit tight but secure – bhs bhs full in, no need to do the Biles if they’re only giving it one tenth more I suppose, hop back. Some things to take of course, but that should surely be the leader. She’s been nailing beam this week.

15.066. The most reacty we’ve seen Simone about a score coming up in a long time.

Saraiva – BB – bhs mount, lovely – round off layout, and falls. Oh Flavia – split leap to sissone – bhs loso loso – switch ring perfect of course – as is the split ring – hit a side somi sandwiched in between them – double pike, excellent, small hop. Of course the rest was pristine. 13.400

GOLD: Biles (USA)

Eaker ends up in 4th place. Wonder if this will inspire them to get rid of that split ring leap and go back to the drawing board and recompose this thing a little bit so that she can get close to the D score she’s attempting. Another instance where the softness of previous judging led to a worlds surprise. It’s like they had not encountered the idea of the downgrade avalanche that would happen if she lost the initial split ring attempt until now. Can’t imagine the level of hostage video they’re going to produce with Kara Eaker now.

PBars Final

For Lukas Dauser’s intro picture, he’s literally just reaching his hand under his shirt? That has to be among the weirdest ones.

Sun – PB – peach 1/2, several hand placements – peach, a little horizontal initially – double back to arms, good – front straddle, solid – bhavsar, hit well, good distance and swing – tippelt, smallest hesitation up to handstand, but good – struggles in his healy with a larger hesitation – double front 1/2 out, a little short with a hop

His pads have some sort of pig wearing a baseball cap on them and CHINA.


Onder – PB – peach to one, quickly to healy – peach 1/2, pretty solid vertical position – front straddle to catch in L, solid – stutz, nice – double tuck 1/2, stuck. Excellent routine! 14.983. Big score.

Kaya – PB – healy – peach 1/2, quickly done – peach – front straddle to arms, solid – bhavsar, smoothly done – tippelt, nice elevation over the PBars – stutz to one, kips back up, a little sluggish up to handstand and brushes his feet on the rail – double front 1/2 out, smallest movement.

14.966. Very close, but I think correct. I had Onder a little stronger.

Fraser – PB – peach 1/2 a little short of hs – swing to one, lovely control in handstand – his tuck to arms elements are well done and a crowd pleaser – stutz – front in, 1/2 out, just a little forward with a step. Nice routine. A couple things he didn’t have in some of his other routines this week, but good work.

15.000. he does repeat the Q score and is into first.

Xiao – PB – diam pretty late – and then stutz initially a little short – double back and healy nice, 1/2 with some hand placement – the salto elements are well done but a few of these handstands have been imprecise this time – tippelt – double pike, bounce back.

14.966 and into 4th. Just surprised it was that close. That one wasn’t as strong for me. It’s a third of a tenth separating the top 4.

Arican – PB – does a good job holding his peach to one, into healy – peach 1/2, small arch with an extra walk- Makuts, worked through – stutz, just a bit of feet this time, – diam is nice – double front 1/2 out, stuck. Great finish, but a couple handstand things like Fraser this time. We’ll see if it shows up in the score.

14.900 and 5th place. One tenth out of the lead.

Dauser – PB – peach to one, a little quick but good – diam, solid – tutz, a little angle – can’t hold onto a Makuts attempt and comes off the rail. The German media director for the event who was sitting net to me for the last few routines is OUT OF HERE. He finishes super cleanly, great diam – double front 1/2 out, hop back. Seitz and Dauser both fell in their finals. 13.833

Pakhniuk – PB – diam 1/2 and smashes his leg on the rail swinging through – continues the routine, but congrats Joe – frotn straddle to arms, nice – healy, clean – stutz to one and back, solid -front in, 1/2 out, stuck. The leaders both had major errors in there. 14.200

GOLD: Fraser (GBR)

We’ll need to work on the picking him up technique. One tenth separated the top 5.


Melanie – FX – DLO 1/1, just a bit of piking, bounce back, keeps it in bounds – full in, good control, small step back – switch ring, pretty – switch full, around – wolf 2.25 – front loso to double tuck, steps back OOB – double pike, pretty solid, shuffle back. That OOB though.


Akhaimova – FX – DLO 1/1 with a large bounce back and OOB – DLO, U-shaped but fine, small step back – double L, close but maybe a little short – double arabian, some cowboy, step back – wolf triple with FEELINGS ARMS to mask any wobbling – wolf double – full in was good, chest up, small shuffle back – split leap full, fine. 13.500 and 2nd place.

Popa – FX – pretty DLO, a little out of control, lunge back and then another step – whips through to full in, a couple small hops – switch ring to split leap full, nice position on both – gets her triple Y spin around – just a front full third pass – double pike, solid, small slide. Best so far.

13.800. Disagree.

Lee – FX – double double tucked, her usual, chest a bit down and a hop to the side – DLO, some arch but fine amount, slide – wolf triple to wolf double, solid – 1.5 to front full, short with a hop back – switch ring to split leap full, lovely positions – double tuck, just a tad deep, small movement. Good.

14.133 and into 1st.

Melnikova – FX – DLO 1/1, a little short with a hop – L turn 2.5 basically into double turn – DLO, pretty solid, medium bounce back – switch and switch ring 1/2, not horrible – front tuck through to 2/1, bounce back – leans her way through a wolf 3.267, she got that around through sheer will of elbows – double Y pretty close – double pike, nearly stuck, small slide. Wonder about the size of those landing errors.

14.066 and just behind Lee.

Saraiva – FX – whip through to DLO, holds that landing someho w despite being low – switch full is glorious – full-in, nice chest up landing, step back – split leap 1.5, definite credit – back 1.5 to front full, holds the stick just long enough – double Y to single turn, double y was close – switch ring, hit well – double pike, step back. One of her more composed routines landings-wise.

13.966 and into 3rd place. Just missed Melnikova.

Moors – FX – podkopayeva to stag, probably the best she has ever done it – front 2/1 to front full, some knees, a step – double attitude turn, pretty – she’s emoting everyone’s face off even more than usual – switch ring – split ring 1/2 is crazy but she does it as prescribed – oooooh Brooklyn! Crazy legs on her 2.5 to front full, and two little steps forward and the flag goes up.

Flavia is putting in an inquiry again. Just to keep things interesting.

Simone’s just like, seriously this wait?

Flavia’s inquiry has been rejected this time. She remains behind Melnikova.

13.600 for Brooklyn and into 6th place.

Biles – FX – triple double with a bounce back – Biles, tries to connect to stag which she was working on, and kind of does it but stags OOB – wolf double – front full to full in – solid, hop back – switch to split leap 1.5, borderline credit there – double double, stuck. Not her strongest until the final pass, which truly was her strongest, but it hardly matters.


GOLD: Biles (USA)
BRONZE: Melnikova (RUS)

Two individual medals for both Lee and Melnikova here. Biles with 5 golds, She goes to 30 on the worlds + Olympics combined standings. Latynina is at 31.


Srbic – HB – nice opening full pirouette – stalder tkatchev to tkatchev to layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 good – tak 1/2, a bit late – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1, not bad all considering – DLO 1/1, small hop back. Good routine. How significant will the no-stick become?


Tang – HB – Zou Li Min, fine – wonderful height on tam 1/2 and Yam, so much better than other people – layout tkatchev 1/2 – layout tkatchev – then misses an arm on his next release and has to come off! The Q leader is out. Double double layout, step forward


Lin – HB – layout tkatchev to a tkatchev, fine but looked close from our angle – Kovacs, good – layout tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/1, extremely late- yam, a bit close on catch – some late pirouettes that will hurt – double double layout, bound forward


Dalaloyan – HB – Cassina, well done – layout kovacs, sotrong – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2, good finish position – layout tkatchev – yam – double double layout, deeeeep with a lunge forward. It was basically perfect until the dismount.

14.533 into 2nd. Would have been 1st with a normal dismount.

Nory – HB – opening full pirouette a little late – tak 1/2 pretty smooth – layout tkjatchev to tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 hit – this is going excellently in the release department, jaeger layout 1/1 – I worry about some of these vertical positions – double double layout , small step. He has a characteristically subdued and respectful reaction.

14.900 and 1st place. Well now.

Hashimoto has his Kovacs release down – layout tkatchev and tkatchev hit – late full pirouette – and a very late 1/2 tak – double double layout, lunge back


Bull – HB – 1/2, a little arch but good vertical – misses his Kovacs, well drat – Resumes with the Kovacs again to immediate Kolman, hit – Cassina, hit – yam, solid enough height – DLO 1/1, holds the stick. The rest was strong.


Mikulak – HB – Cassina, good – Kolman, hit – Liukin, hit, just a bit of tform – tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, has to muscle out of it with a lot of elbows – tak 1/2 pretty late – double double layout short with a large bound forward. Not his strongest. Added the difficulty. Let’s see where he ends up.


Nory gets fetal position. Mikulak into 5th.

GOLD: Nory (BRA)
BRONZE: Dalaloyan (RUS)

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