Women’s Olympic All-Around Final

So, um, ahhhhhh.

Simone’s withdrawal has turned the Olympic all-around final into a free-for-all where the most likely medalist is everybody in what is now the most open Olympic all-around final we’ve had in the non-10 era. The top 6 qualifiers were separated by less than a point on the first day. Hello, chaos, lovely to see you again.

Rebeca Andrade now enters as the top qualifier followed by Sunisa Lee, Angelina Melnikova, and Vladislava Urazova all bunched together. But we’re going to have to keep our eyes on most of the groups at all times, with people like De Jesus Dos Santos in the mix (especially if she scores like she did in the team final), and Murakami hanging out in that third group starting on beam.

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Men’s Olympic All-Around Final

First the news that Simone has withdrawn from the women’s AA tomorrow. That means that Rebeca Andrade will now enter as the top qualifier and that Jade Carey (!) will compete in the all-around as the top US gymnast who had been two-per-country-ed. This Olympics is just the weirdest.

Now to the men’s AA. Dare we hope that today’s action proves slightly less stressful than yesterday? Admittedly, that may be too much to ask for with Danny Death Wish rolling around here.

The big question is whether pre-event favorite and world champion Nikita Nagornyy will indeed fulfill the prophecy, or whether top qualifier Hashimoto Daiki has found consistency with his 88s in time to win a home gold medal. The smart money is probably also on Xiao Ruoteng for a medal, but I wouldn’t say no to an exceptional performance from Sun Wei to shake things up. As for Dalaloyan, I don’t imagine he’s going to be able to put together the floor routine to get himself up with the top athletes, but I also didn’t imagine he would still be able to walk, so…

Also Ellie Black pulled out of the AA so Lieke Wevers is going in. It’s fine. We’re all fine.

“The individual medals will be cracked open and handed out.” Oh. John. That’s not how medals work.

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Women’s Olympic Team Final

Well, this is going to be more interesting than it was supposed to be! The US women’s flat performance in qualification resulting in a one-point deficit to Russia has added layers upon layers to this one.

The US women should still be considered the favorites in this final because they performed so far below their potential level in qualification, compared to a Russian team that nailed the meet, and have much more than a point they can gain on that showing with even an average meet today. Also Russia has to hit beam again. But this is certainly not the foregone conclusion it should have been based on the everything. And there will be plenty of time to talk about why.

The big start list news was the inclusion of Grace McCallum in the all-around for the team final. It’s a bold move, though I have learned better than to try to read actual strategy into any decision beyond that she got higher scores than Chiles on bars and beam in qualification. Resolving the beam start value issue will be essential. Have they bothered? We’ll find out. McCallum has looked pretty steady thus far across PT and qualification so there’s every reason to feel confident you’re getting hits out of her, though Chiles has been a rock all year on bars and beam, with higher scores than McCallum on bars, and tossing her aside after a single bad day is a big choice. We’ll see if it ends up being an act of self-sabotage.

The other controversial move is the dumping of Ou Yushan on beam, who had a wobbly day in qualification but could have China’s best score on a good day. Throughout the year, she has been China’s least consistent beamer among the options, but I still would have gone for broke if I were China because they need to make a BIG move to get close to 1-2—yet don’t necessarily even need to hit all that well to get third. I think fear of having a mess and dropping to 4th like at worlds in 2019 has informed that decision. Which, I mean, it’s a legitimate fear.

GB dropping Jessica Gadirova on beam is also a thing, and Belgium does not appear to be going for it here as they’re not using Nina on vault. Presumably, this is to give Nina some rest for finals, but it’s a drop in score for the team total.

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Men’s Olympic Team Final

Free advice: Don’t go so hard during Olympic qualification that you end up sleeping right through your alarm for the Olympics. Only the thing all of this has been leading up to.

Anyway, I’m going to pretend it’s live now and watch the main feed replay. I’m pressing play at the top of the hour.

In theory, I’ll pretend I don’t know what happened, but in actuality, the dramatic irony will be too compelling to ignore.

Oh goody, we get to see Hospital Robot asking poor Maya to the dance.


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