The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Cottbus Live Blog – Finals Day 2

The final day of competition in Cottbus—and the final day of Olympic qualifying events until February of 2020—brings us the remaining five event finals.

Competition order:

Men’s VT: C Van Wicklen; Y Sharamkou; H Yonekura; I Radivilov; Tseng WS; Shin JH; A Nin Reyes; J Vega Lopez

BB: E Nedov; L Zimmerman; A Bachynska; S Scheder; U Ashikawa; D Varinska; A Sakaguchi; Li Q

PB: You H; B Bevan; F Arican; L Dauser; P Pakhniuk; A Likhovitskiy; V Poliashov; O Verniaiev

Women’s FX: A Radivilova; M Pihan-Kulesza; D Golgota; C Fragapane; L Mori; K Bui; A Bachynska; T Volleman

HB: C Van Wicklen; A Rostov; Hu X; Zhang C; R Leru; I Georgiou; A Nin Reyes; H Miyachi

Before we start, we have the “little boys doing the worm” portion of the proceedings once again. As is tradition.

Today, we’re beginning with dual finals, and then will end with HB by itself.

BEAM & MEN’S FLYING DEATH

Nedov – candle mount, held pretty well – bhs bhs layout, really solid, good height – aerial to split to sissone, comfortable – split jump 1/2 from side, lean forward correction – switch, very small check – switch ring, a bit low on the bag leg but secure – front tuck, solid – round off, double pike, short with a lunge forward, but nice hit routine!

13.366 to start

Van Wicklen 1 – opening with the Dragulescu – can’t get it today – stumble back and flops onto his side. Well, that puts a damper on his Olympic spot hopes – nearly falls into the cameraman and that lady sitting there, which seems safe. 13.333.

Van Wicklen 2 – Goes for the Kas 1.5 as his second vault and it’s solid – 14.233

13.783 average

Zimmerman – ro loso mount, well hit – bhs loso loso, only a small adjustment back – swtich to switch 1/2 to bhs, pretty good speed in that mixed series – side aerial, hit – full turn to immediate sissone, which is totally pointless for D score but fun – side somi, good – straddle 1/2 from side and it all comes apart, fall – 2/1, short, hop forward

12.433 and second place

Sharamkou 1 – really strong Kas 1.5 landing, only a small hop in place – some mushy knees to take – 14.533

Sharamkou 2 – he’ll also go for the Dragulescu as his second vault, but it goes excellently – nearly stuck, very strong, small step – the usual amount of cowboy and flexed feet. 14.966

14.749 average

Bachynska – good candle mount – fhs front tuck, step forward and a bit of arm wave adjustment – beautiful switch but hesitates connecting to switch 1/2 to split jump – aerial, check – pretty split ring jump to bhs, well performed elements, but lots of lost CV so far – split leap to side aerial – switch ring, gets the back leg quite high on hers, but once she does, the front leg has dropped pretty far – double tuck, a hair short with a step. No major breaks. Good.

13.300 puts her behind Nedov. She did get a 5.7 D though.

Yonekura 1 – He also opens with a Kas, but he goes for the 2.5, just a bit under-rotated with a hop to get facing forward, though will probably get credit for the VT – knees and whatnot. 15.100, and he did get credit

Yonekura 2 – handspring randi as his second vault, which is not nearly as strong – a staggering landing – multiple sideward steps and off the mat, but the difficulty will help a lot. 14.200

14.650 average and into 2nd place behind Sharamkou

Scheder – bhs loso and immediately falls. Lovely subsequent aerial and switch elements – side aerial, just a little lean – side somi, squeezes to avoid check – actually pretty split position on split 1/2 from side – gainer layout, short with a hop forward

12.300 for Scheder, 4th place

Radivilov 1 – Dragulescu – fairly solid but a hop from one side of the mat to the other on landing – I’d also say even more extreme cowboy and flex than Sharamkou as well. 14.766

Radivilov 2 – Tsuk double pike is quite nice – small hop back, great distance – 14.933

14.849 and into first place. Got Sharamkou on difficulty there.

Ashikawa – bhs loso series, so low to the beam but solid form and secure landing – split ring jump, lovely extension, may have been a Yang Bo attempt but I’d like to see a little more oversplit on front leg for Yang Bo – side aerial, strong – split jump 1/2 from side, comfortable – switch to sheep, non-horrible sheep – side somi, well held – double turn, overturns with a check, not a large check but her first seriously notable issue – 2/1 dismount is comfortable, small hop. That was exceptional.

13.700 and 1st place, well deserved

Tseng 1 – hits Tsuk double pike, medium-sized bounce back – just a tad off line, legs pretty well together, some feet – pretty piked shape 14.900

Tseng 2 – double front second vault, not as good – larger bound forward on a less difficult vault – better initial tuck form than the Draglescus though, so that’s worth noting. 14.266

14.583 average, 4th place

Varinska – bhs bhs layout series, very solid, just pikes down the layout a bit – switch ring, strong – switch to sissone, lovely positions – full turn, just does avoid a check – aerial to split ring to split jump where the split jump was the weakest skill with a back leg – side somi, nice – split leap to side aerial, non-phoned-in split leap, which I appreciate – 2/1, small step back.

13.533, second place behind Ashikawa

Shin 1 – Kas 2.5, great height on that vault – allows him to maintain non hidey twisting form throughout – large lunge back but hopefully a reward for the position in the air. 14.666 So not really.

Shin 2 – handspring front 2/1 second vault – lovely shape in the air again – another fairly large bound forward which will destroy all hope. 14.433

14.549 average and 5th place of 6 so far

Sakaguchi – side aerial to immediate loso – a little off to the side with a check – double turn, hit but a little under twisted – switch ring, secure – efficient wolf to split – aerial, short with a leg-up correction – split jump 1/2 from side – side somi, another leg-up check which she sort of does like a flamingo, which I’m enjoying – looks like she went for a 3/1 dismount and stumbled wayyyyy back and sits it down – almost dismounts into Courtney Tulloch

12.000

Nin Reyes 1 – Tsuk full in attempt and he’ll get credit for completing it because it looks like he just avoided knees down? But it was so low that it’s borderline, large lunge forward.

Fake Olly just said that Shin was “well hung” and we’re going to need to talk about that.

Pretty strong Dragulescu second vault for Nin Reyes – 14.800 for that and 14.754 for average and into second place. Not wild about that after his basically a fall on the first vault.

Li – switch mount, good – switch with a small check – round off to a huge layout with an equally huge break but keeps it on the beam – ooh tentative aerial, breaks a series intention, but lovely individual skills like that Onodi – she’s really fighting it on the balance and confidence though with these hesitation breaks – immediate straddle and split jump 1/2s from side position were nice – 2/1 dismount, super well stuck

Will her D score save the large break and all the rhythm issues?

13.400 and 3rd place for Li Qi. Eeenteresting world cup implications there.

But that was not a 1st-place level routine today.

Vega Lopez 1 – under-rotated on his handspring 2.5 attempt – feet facing to the side on landing – I wouldn’t give it – crossover step to get himself facing forward – so low on landing, all crunched over. 14.500 is wayyyyy too high.

Vega Lopez 2 – Pretty nice Kas 1.5 second vault – step forward – stmall step. 14.466

14.483 average and 7th place

Beam – 1. Ashikawa, 2. Varinska, 3. Li

Ashikawa wins beam! Here for it. Best routine of the day. Varinska in 2nd (presumably getting her points redistributed because she’s already qualified), so then Li would get 2nd-place points and Nedov 3rd-place points.

Vault – 1. Radivilov, 2. Nin Reyes, 3. Sharamkou

I take some issue with the podium because Nin Reyes basically-almost fell on his first vault and Sharamkou was stronger. Radivilov can;t get ranking points here, so Nin Reyes gets a big result, and Sharamkou will also love his points total. Does’t super help clarify the current mess that is the men’s vault standings, thoug, because Nin Reyes didn’t have any point so far. Yonekura (4th place) will then still feel kind of OK about his position, even if he’s not nearly in the impervious place many of the other leaders on men’s events from yesterday appear to be.

Whenever I complain that there isn’t enough gay representation in media, remind me that men’s acro pairs exists.

As far as the weird presents that medalists get at events, that glass globe is pretty cool. I want one.

WOMEN’S FLOOR & MEN’S PBARS

Brinn Jesus Christ. And I mean your hair, not the giant one on your back.

Radivilova – memmel turn, borderline whether she got two around, nice position – 1.5 through to 3/1, step to the side and OOB – annnnd sits her double Arabian – actually nice split jump 1.5 – double pike, staggered landing but solid – good leaps throughout, but you know, a fall.

12.100

You – double back to arms – and now the piked version – peach 1/2, hit – Tanaka (?) to straddle cut – I truly loathe salto elements on PBars, of which this routine is entirely composed, but he’s doing them accurately – they’re just too awkward and impossible to make not awkward, especially to arms – double front 1/2 out, stuck, great.

15.400 BYE EVERYONE.

MPK – 2.5 to front pike to immediate split – I know everyone loves this Pink Panther routine, but it’s…going to the well too many times? Like I’m fine with her getting a new routine now – double arabian, some cowboy to an awkward stag, but hit – quad turn attempt, will get triple credit – some feet positions on these splits – held-leg double L was a little short – Good hit routine but room to end up taking a lot on leaps and whatnot.

Also, there was a pink lemonade I had as a kid called Pink Panther, and now any time I think about Pink Panther I get a sour taste in my mouth because brains are so weird.

13.233

Bevan – I had some buffering problems at the beginning of his routine – but a good front straddle and tippelt in here – ooof, stutz and his legs go crazy, lots of hand adjustments and full tuck position to save it

14.200

Golgota – solid full in – chest up on landing, medium bounce back – double arabian step forward, bad angle to judge if it was OOB – attempted switch side full – falls out of held-leg double turn – double pike, pretty solid, some feet – double wolf – split leap full, some feet – double tuck and clatters down face-first in a Romanian artistic representation of Romania.

12.166

Arican – diam and stutz, nice – peach to one, healy down, peach 1/2 is not good, lots of leg form and hand adjustments – hits Makuts – stutz – diam – double front 1/2 out, stuck. The end was great. Certainly not his best because of the whole wild peach 1/2 thing.

14.666. He’s like ONLY A TRASH FOOL WHO’S NOT AS HOT AS ME WOULD GET A SCORE SO LOW.

Fragapane – DLO 1/1, supppppppper low, lunge forward, saves it – DLO to immediate wolf jump, ankle cruncher but aren’t all her landings – split leap full – switch 1/2, rushes that and there are position deductions – double arabian, a bit too deep but pulls it out – double pike, solid. A hit.

I feel like every time a gymnast goes on DWTS/Strictly, the gymternet is like “SHE’LL COME BACK A MUCH BETTER DANCER” and it never actually happens, but it kind of did with Fragapane.

13.366 and 1st place for the moment

Dauser – diam and stutz, good – Makuts – little arch in hs on high – comfortable with healy, nice vertical positions on all his pirouetting elements – front in 1/2 out with a bounce back. Good one.

15.166, 2nd place

Mori – whip to full in, bounces back and OOB – switch ring is nice – switch side 1/2, solid – memmel to illusion, memmel should get credit – 2.5 to front layout, legs get crazy in front layout – 3/1, some form, small step back, keeps it in bounds – switch full, around – she looks tirrrrred int eh corner at the end – double pike, short, lunge forward.

Lots to take there – not necessarily the “moving into first place in the Olympic standings” coronation she’d have been hoping for, but she is into first place for the moment. 13.400

Pakhniuk – slightly awkward on Makuts – peach 1/2 a little short of vertical – lovely amplitude and line on the little things – stutz to one and back, diam – double front 1/2, bounce back. Nothing too major, not his cleanest work.

14.766, 3rd place.

Bui – split jump 1/1, around, a touch of back leg – nice DLO, smallest slide back, keeps it in bounds – double tuck, bounce back – split leap full – 2.5 to front pike, stuck – switch – switch full – double pike, a bit short, covers it into choreo. Well, it was the best floor routine we’ve seen today easily, but was there enough D to move into first?

There was! 13.500

Likhovitskiy – peach to tippelt, good – some vertical positions could be a littel crisper – stutz is nice – double pike, step back. No major issues but not nearly the content of the others at this point for him.

14.233 and 5th place.

Bachynska – full in, just a bit short with a hop forward – double arabian, against just a hair short but a good landing – I’d give memmel turn – switch ring and split ring leap both pretty – double pike, a bit short, hop – nice expression in this routine – popped that double tuck right up, cowboyed more than you’d like to get it around but did get it around

And now she’s into first! 14.533. I’d have had Bui ahead.

Bachynska is still eligible for points, so she’s going to end up with 30 here and Mori with 25 once everything is redistributed, which means Carey can hold onto her lead on floor for the moment. (I had a dumb error in talking about that in the meet preview, Mori needed to win here to move into 1st.)

Poliashov – very crisp handstands on pirouetting elements, comfortably completed – just an extra hand placement on a peach 1/2 – lovely work on bhavsar – front straddle to double front 1/2 out, stuck, nailed it, excellent routine. That would be my leading routine but of course he’ll be 2nd.

15.366. So close! Into 2nd place.

Volleman – double tuck to front tuck, solidly landing, some legs aparts in doubel tuck – initial turn is a triple – 1.5 to front full, knees – held-leg double to illusion – 2/1, some legs, large bounce back – switch 1/2, solid – attempts quad turn or some such and falls out of it pretty dramatically – I’d also say that was a repeated element with the triple turn earlier. Shouldn’t challenge the top places.

12.833, 6th place

Verniaiev – peach 1/2 with 800 hand placements and a littel walking – the rest of it is lovely – his tippelt and bhavsar have sublime amplitude as always – toe point and control in stutz to one – double front 1/2, out, stuck. The remainder of the routine was literally perfect

15.400! Same as You, Oleg with better E.

Floor – 1. Bachynska, 2. Bui, 3. Mori

Bui ineligible for Olympic spots, so it’s Bachynska was 30 and Mori with 25, Carey will stay in first by a small bit. Bachynska staying alive in her quest for the Olympics with that 30-point result. Meanwhile, Romania is over. Fragapane with 20 points, but since she’s starting late, that doesn’t help a ton.

PBars – 1 Verniaiev, 2. You, 3. Poliashov

Oleg ineligible, but still significant that he defeated You when it comes to the intra-China tiebreak. You didn’t win this event. That means this result also works for Poliashov in his quest to…let’s be real…finish 2nd behind You, and then You gets kocked out because of one-per-country, and then the spot goes to Poliashov. That’s pretty much the plan at this point.

MEN’S WHEEEEEEEEEE!

Van Wicklen – Yam, some shape – Kolman is caught – layout tkatchev – tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – late tak 1/2 – DLO 1/1, stuck landing with an arm wave. Good routine. His finals thus far had not lived up to qualification, but that was mostly a case of did-what-he-could-do

14.033. Broke 14! An American!

Rostov – Cassina, hit, some crazy legs at the end – nice Kolman – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – large leg break on tak 1/2 – follows with actually really solid finishing position in the full turn, for a full at least – DLO 1/1, hop back. Good.

14.166, 1st place

Hu – Liukin, nice! layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, great amplitude – stalked tkatchev, too close – oooooof goes over the wrong way on a tak full (?) attempt – and he’s way off rhtyhm now – has another crazy-leg, wrong-way tak attempt and now rests against the bar to recorrect – DLO 2/1 dismount, small hop back.

12.733

Zhang – huge open Kovacs – Cassina and can’t catch, flops to the ground loudly –

China’s fabulous victorious run not really extending to today’s competition.

Zhang resumes with a good Kolman and layout tkatchev, very extra arms, which are the best part – tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2 that’s fine – 1.5 pirouette that’s a 1.5 pirouette – double double layout dismount, stuck

12.666

Leru – Liukin attempt and can’t catch – well this final has turned pretty splatty – I also feel like Fake Olly is overusing “unintentional dismount” at this point – resumts with tkatchev to layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, a little jerky swining out of final element there but otherwise good – tak 1/2 – layout tkatchev 1/2 – DLO 1/1 is pretty, and a stuck landing.

12.166

Georgiou – tak 1/2, late – Cassina, catches – Kolman, also caught, so it’s a win – layout tkatchev – tkatchev – tak – DLO 1/1, clean, step back – the cleanest routine of the final.

14.166, tied with Rostov, ahead on execution.

Nin Reyes – for a moment I thought it was absolutely preposterous that he somehow caught that sideways Cassina, but he didn’t really, he just swung through for a moment so that he could flop to the ground even more dramatically – Resumed, also had a crazy moment on a tak 1/2 but hit the rest – double double layout, hop forward

11.866

But now it’s Miyachi time. Certainly a huge opening for him to win as long as he stays on.

Miyachi – Double twisitng layout Kovacs and tuckecked Kovacs, hits them both – and he’s well ahead of my typing now, but he’s hitting all his crazy releases – stuck dismount. Obvious victor.

He could have played it safe and won. He did not. And he definitely won with that.

14.933 and he wins by a million.

What this means for Olympic qualification is that with Tin Srbic’s points being redistributed, Miyachi would have 90 to Epke’s 85, and Epke would need another win at a remaining event to get to 90 himself. Translation: This one isn’t over yet, but it’s definitely a 2-person race.

  1. Miyachi, 2. Georgiou, 3. Rostov

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