The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Women’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivisions 3 & 4

Well, we’ve already had an arcane team deduction taken for not following vault warmup rules and a late inquiry that changed which athlete got 2-per-country-ed from the all-around final, and we’re not even halfway done. Mary, get ready.

Currently, Russia leads the team competition with 171.629, so that will be the bare minimum aim for the United States, and both qualifying US all-arounders will hope to best Melnikova’s 57.132.

We start subdivision 3 with the US on floor, Netherlands on bars, and Larisa Iordache in her lone event on beam.

One of the big event final issues to watch is going to be Murakami’s 13.933 on floor that already sits in 5th, which we assume will go down to 7th place after the US does floor. Fan Yilin is also already in 4th on bars, which is interesting since there’s more bars depth than floor depth in the later groups.

The first thing to be decided: Which American joins Biles in the floor final.

Athletes out for their intros now. Apparatus feed is going to be especially important because the main feed is just on John and Bridget, the stars of the games.

Touch warmup begins.

Rotation 1

And so we live.

McCallum – FX – double double tuck is a problem right off the bat, bounces back OOB – front 2/1, controls the step in bounds – switch ring – split leap full, just a little bouncy – wolf triple and wolf double are strong – full in, keeps it in bounds well, small movement – double tuck, just a little low. She pulled it together after the first pass, but won’t expect a huge score.

NED is still prepping the bars and the US is basically back in the states by now.

Van Pol – UB – toe on to blind to piked jaeger, good height – pak, smooth – maloney – bail to toe shoot, close catch, a dead hang – tkatchev, hit – double pike, small slide. Comfortable start.

13.466 for McCallum.

Godwin – BB – switch moun tot aerial to straddle jump to sissone, really confident start – wolf triple, solid and around – side somi, hit – bhs layo-pike, check – side aerial, hit – back to wolfing for a double – finishes double pike, a bit locked but fine – confident start to her Olympics

Lee – FX – double dobule, hit, chest a bit down, some movement – DLO, solid, again, just a bit forward and a little movement – switch ring and split full look good – double L is around – 1.5 to full – wolf is fine – doubel tuck, big struggle, deep chest, lunge forward

Godwin 12.900 on beam.

It’s 13.433 for Lee, lower than McCallum. Did not get the D she wanted.

Iordache – BB – side aerial, good – bhs tuck full, keeps it on the beam, leg-up check – LARISA NO WHYYYY – she goes for the 3/1 dismount and it’s a huge problem and she’s down and hurt –

Chiles – FX – pulls around her wolf triple – DLO 1/1, good, small slide back – DLO, little bounce up – switch to split full – 1.5 to front full, little hop – double pike secure

Meanwhile Sanne Wevers fell on a Hindorff.

13.566 for Chiles, really got her life for execution there. I’m surprised a bit by that.

Biles – FX – triple double, huge, bounce back – Bile sto stag, very nice – switch full, around – wolf double only, no triple – front full through to full-in, bounces back to Mars and 8000 miles OOB – Simone got Senoh’d – double double, hop back. Will still be a big score, but not that big.

Russia will outscore the US on floor.

Simone gets only 14.133. This scoring is a bit inconsistent with the other rotations. Not egregious, but noticeably tighter.

Skinner – FX – split leap 1.5, slightly out of control – Moors is similar to podium training, a bit short, coming in at an angle, but fine – double double tucked, secure landing – wolf double, slightly out of control – full-in, bounce back – L hop full – front tuckl through to 2.5, lunge forward. Solid.

Skinner ties Chiles on 13.566, Chiles with the better E score.

Really good start for the Netherlands on bars after dropping Sanne’s miss. Everyone else in the 13s.

Carey – FX – last chance for the US to have someone else in floor final – high Moors, some knees and piking, little hop double L turn, hit – front layout to double double, too easy – L hop full – switch full will get docked, well short of split – DLO 1/1, little hop forward – split leap 1.5 attempt, not quite – full in, bounce back. Good work. Should be a top-2 US routine.

Carey goes 14.100, just behind Biles, and that should be safe for floor finals.

So the US with just 41.165 on floor, much lower than they wanted.

So answer 1 is that Carey will join Biles in the floor final.

Rotation 2

Van Pol – BB – bhs loso and has to grab the beam to jussst keep herself on – another large break on a switch 1/2, leg up – she stayed on but lots of deductions there.

Lee – VT – DTY, lands short with a lunge to the side and out of the area. 14.333, now conversely I think that’s a little high.

Thorsdottir – BB – falls immediately on layout mount – this is why we can’t have nice things.

McCallum – VT – one of her good ones, DTY with a tone of control, very small movement on landing, just some crappy legs throughout. 14.533. There should be more than 2 tenths of difference between Lee and McCallum’s vaults.

Chiles – VT – DTY is excellent – just a small scoot back in place, great amplitude – 14.700.

Biles – VT 1 – struggles a bit on that Cheng, both feet out of the area, bounces to the side – not great!

That’s a “Skinner and Carey could both beat you” kind of vault performance. She needs to stomp an Amanar.

14.966 for Biles. Could have been harsher.

Biles – VT 2 – Amanar – it’s a great one of course because it always is, but another 3 tenth bound forward. Still goes 15.400 for it, which gives her a 15.183 average, which is excellent.

Skinner – VT 1 – Cheng – lands a littelr more piked than her usual but just a smalltep – still gets a lower score than Biles because of distance and amplitude.

Skinner – VT 2 – Amanar – not her best control there either, a pretty large lunge, has left a door open for Carey definitely.

14.800 second vault for a 14.866 average. Now it’s Carey’s serve.

Carey – VT 1 – Cheng – probably will be the best Cheng score – ragged form but she was right down the center and controlled the landing pretty well with a hop back – 15.166

Nice DLO on floor from Godwin there.

Carey – VT 2 – Amanar – NAILED IT – great work, some of her best vaulting. She’ll be in the final.

15.166 for both vaults, qualifies in 2nd, just behind Biles.

Francis – UB – toe on to toe on to hop off and salute. GIRL IS AN OLYMPIAN.

Sanne – BB – bhs mount – wolf jump full, hit – double L turn, drops leg too early with a check – side aerial to bhs is nice – aerial, small pause before split to bhs full – L turn to full turn to double turn to split leap is BEAUTIFUL – gainer pike full dismount, solid. Some issues at the beginning though.

There will be a lot of talk about Skinner crying here, but like, yeah. This is the last day of her career now and she didn’t make the finals she wanted to.

Still waiting on Sanne’s beam score. She’s calculated it like 3 times by now.

US goes 44.199 on vault, which is the highest vault score of the day so far, but still behind Russia cumulatively.

Meanwhile Jade Carey is leading the US AA standings.

WE’RE STILL WAITING ON SANNE’S SCORE

LIKE STILL.

OK it’s 13.866. Not going to help the defending champ get into the final.

Yes, Skinner in place of McCallum would have increased the US team score so far by .533. Let’ see how that holds up on bars and beam.

Also through all that, Netherlands is still in this thing for making the team final.

Rotation 3

Van Pol – FX – high double arabian, little hop, some cowboy – a bit under on her double L attempt – 2.5, jarred landing, bounce forward – 1.5 to front full is secure –

McCallum – UB – stalder full to maloney to pak to stalder shap 1/2, a little leg break on pak but a good combo – piked jaeger is solid – struggles a bit on 1/2 turn on high – FTDT, step back. Starts with 14.100, nice work.

Lieke Wevers – FX – not quite there on a her quad turn, or if that was the quint attempt – double tuck, bounce back – 2.5, good stick – switch ring – split leap full, secure – double L is lovely and around, gets her turn sequence

Chiles – UB – solid piked jager – full to tkatchev – pike dtkatchev to Pak and hits her knees on the mat on the swing through, unexpected mistake – hop on dismount. Just 12.866 for Chiles, so that will need to be dropped. Big hole for Chiles if she’s hoping to make AA.

Thorsdottir FX – 3/1, jars herself back – but the art

Biles – UB – weiler 1/2 to maloney with some crazy legs into tkatchev – toe full, leg break again but gets through it – piked tkatcehv to pak is good – van leeuwen, solid – Fabrichnova, hop back. Sloppier than she wanted but fine.

14.566 for Biles. Don’t know abou tthat makiong it back.

Lee – UB – Nabieva to Bhardwaj, safe one for today – maloney to gienger – piked jaeger to pak to van leeuwen – giant full to FTDT, small hop. Still a great one, should get a big score. Safe and into finals.

15.200 for her easy routine.

Carey – UB – Church to gienger, hit – yezhova, nice – maloney to bhardwaj, good, van leeuwen, strong – giant full – FTDT, small hop

An actively Olympic level bars routine. 14.133, higher score than McCallum.

Skinner – UB – pause in weiler 1/2 but keeps going – tkatchev, hit – Ray to pak, some legs – van leeuwen, leg break, hit – full to Fabrichnova, small hop.

Biles leads the US all-arounders, but only slightly ahead of Carey in 2nd (!), who is a little over 4 tenths ahead of Lee. Lee is very much going to have to hit beam.

This has been delightfully upside down.

Rotation 4

McCallum – BB – candle mount, slightly sluggish working out of it but fine – wolf triple and wolf double, comfortable – split 1/2 from side, good – split leap to side aerial to loso, bend to the side check – aerial, good – sissone to full turn was a little slow, watch that space for composition purposes – double pike, step. 13.066.

Yep, I’m assuming they did not give her a dance series.

Chiles is off beam on her side aerial to loso series. She had a bad qualification day and will not make any finals.

Not going to beat Russia with this performance. 11.566 for Chiles.

Lee – BB – wolf triple to wolf double – very clean – aerial to split to bhs – switch ring to split leap, little slow there – switch to switch 1/2 to split ring jump, arm wave – side aerial to loso loso, pulled that out like a damn magician – bhs bhs 2/1, a little under, hop back. Nice work.

14.200 for Lee, currently puts her in 3rd on beam.

Biles – BB – wolf triple, hit – aerial to split to sissone is strong – bhs loso loso, very good – switch to switch 1/2 to back pikle, right on – side aerial, holds it – straddle 1/2 and split 1/2, breaks connection but hits both – bhs bhs full in and over rotates it by 88 miles and bounces way back. Wow. That was great until the dismount. which was not great.

14.200 was just enough to get Lee ahead of Melnikova in the AA.

14.033 for Biles, which puts her 5th on beam.

Carey – BB – aerial to split jump to straddle, hit – bhs loso loso, a little checky, fine – switch to switch 1/2, wobble – split leap to side aerial, strong – switch side very short of split – split 1/2 from side, form but secure – bhs bhs double tuck, step back.

hammered on execution and credit for 12.866, but she’ll be in 2 finals.

Skinner – BB – candle mount, hit – bhs tuck full, secure landing – side aerial to split to straddle – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck – straddle jump 1/2 to straight jump full, solid – L turn is probably too low, connected to full turn – FTDT dismount, step to the side.

13.233 for Skinner, she;ll end up placing well in the AA.

So.

So so so.

What do we do about this?

The US qualifies into second, more than a point behind Russia. A combination of Russia overperforming expectations and the US underperforming, but there will be a reckoning about this, even if the US pulls it together in the team final as expected.

Ultimately, this team is too talented to be not winning, so if you’re not winning (as you weren’t today), you’re doing something wrong.

And we still have two subdivisions to deal with.


SUBDIVISION 4

Heduit – BB – Good bhs mount – onodi is pretty – side aerial to loso, small leg slide back – aerial to split – aerial to split – wolf double, just slightly hesitant – 2/1 dismount, lunge back. Good start! 13.200

Oh dear, Ava Stewart starts for Canada with a fall on her Y1.5. 12.933.

Steingruber sticks her double front on bars

Moors – VT – handspring front full, well she pulled it out, deepish, lunge forward, but she fell on that in her last warmup, so this was better. 14.133 is kind.

Black – VT – really strong handspring front 1/1, just some knee bending , good control

Boyer – BB – this is a big one – round off layout is hit, shuffle back – switch to switch 1/2, little hesitation – split leap to aerial to split, good, just short of position on the switch leap – HUGE break on L turn, big wobble, possible beam grab – side aerial, good – side somi, hit – split 1/2 from side, secure – double pike, hop to the side.

Black with a Tsuk 1.5 second vault, also under control.

14.416 average for Black – that’s 6th on vault –

13.466 for Boyer even with the big break. Better than she has been most of the year.

Olsen – VT 1 – Cheng – goood jobbbb, really good for her – not too scrappy on the form and great landing control. 14.966.

Olsen – VT 2 – DTY, hop back chest down but also solid, easy final

Popa – FX – DLO, good, just a tad short – front loso to full in is reallly short, chest down and a lunge

DJDS – front pike mount, great – front pike, same, very secure – bhs layout, nailed – switch to wolf, good – split jump 1/2 from side – switch 1/2, nice extension – aerial to split, a bit short – switch ring, arm wave – double tuck, does not go for upgraded dismoutn, step forward. Great work.

13.233 is prettty low for that for me. Broke too many combos.

It looked like it was going to be badddd for Canada but they end with a very nice 43.632 on vault.

Rotation 2

Bechdeju – VT – good clean FTY, hop in place –

Steingruber – BB – switch mount, little check – front tuck, arm wave – loso series, leg-up check – front pike, secure –

Moors – UB – shaposh to pak – toe full – van leeuwen – clear hip to blind change to khorkina, through it – toe tuck 1/2, stuck landing. Our girl survived this Olympic bars routine. For a 13.000!

Popa – VT – hits her DTY, good direction, pretty large lunge back

Stewart – UB – inbar to stalder full to inbar shap to tkatchev, good combination – Stalder tkatchev piked – swing to pak, a little ragged in form – van leeuwen, good – stalder – double front pike and nooooooooo falls on her hands and knees. Well, now Canada will have to make TF so she has another shot at it.

Nice split work from Luciana Alvarado on beam.

Stewart still gets 12.900, just one tenth below Moors, and still above what Olsen would get if she went. But that needed to be a big score.

De Jesus Dos Santos – FX – DLO 1/1 and stuck, yes you did, just a little bit of pike – FTDT, bounce back, great position in the air – – switch ring and switch full, a little ragged – front loso to double tuck and bounces back OOB – double pike

I just loooked down to the bars stream to see Ellie Black having to do some extra swing recorrecting that I was not expecting. Just 12.800 for Black. Brooklyn Moors is going to have the top bars score for Canada nbd.

Just 13.166 for DJDS on floor. She’s not getting the numbers so far.

Olsen – UB – blind to piked jaeger, caught with legs throughout – bail, probably no handstand credit – and my stream went to commercial in the middle because…

Boyer – FX – 2.5 to front tuck, lunge forward and OOB – double L turn around, connects to double turn – double tuck, hop back – wolf double, fine – double pike, step back – leg-up hop full is really nice –

So anyway, that’s the end of two rotations and everything is going terribly.

And Canada still has to do beam.

Rotation 3

Moors – BB – front tuck mount, hit – switch to split ring jump, flexed back foot on switch – fhs to front tuck, a bit deep but held it – side aerial, large break, leg-up wobble and another arm wave – rudi dismount, stuck! Stayed on. For 13.300, she’s having a good day so far.

Heduit hits a DTY, large lunge back – 14.233

De Jesus Dos Santos – VT – DTY is GREAT, stick landing, just a little off to the side. There she is.

Stewart – BB – wolf double, good – switch to wolf – bhs tuck full and falls. Well, she’s having the worst possible day after being so consistent all year – and…it’s a second fall for Stewart

Friess with a strong rudi for France, just a little piked at the beginning, chest up, small hop back. 14.966!

Popa – UB – great heigh piked jaeger – Nabs! Hit – Church to pak, good – toe full gets a little funky – shaposh to gienger, somewhat close – DLO 1/1, great shape in the air, hop to the side

Black – BB – switch mount to switch 1/2, wobble check – korbut – double turn is nice – straddle jump – front pike, hit – bhs to tuck full, keeps it on the beam, wobble – bhs layout, secure – side somi – doubel pike, chest down, step to side. 13.900!

Good 14.400 for Popa on bars.

Steingruber – FX – DLO, bounce back – huge popa – front tuck through to double tuck, step back – doubel pike, very secure – switch full – 13.300

Olsen – BB – aerial, hit – onodi, also pretty secure – side somi, lean hesitation – not a lot of connecting happening – switch to switch 1/2, not bad – bhs loso loso, way off line, you could tell from the start – Canada will count a beam fall – illusion – bhs bhs double pike, good stick there.

12.066 for Olsen, so Canada will be in a hole now but still very much in this to make TF. They don’t have to be that great on floor to pass NED and stay ahead of Spain.

France is in very good shape to make TF now.

Rotation 4

Stewart – FX – 1.5 through to double pike, hop back – 2.5 to front tuck, pulls out the landing – a little short – solid leap positions – double tuck, really rough, nearly falls back but doesn’t so comes up with a hit on the day

Petisco alls on a punch front on beam, scraping down the side

Heduit – UB – stalder full to shaposh to ricna, good – piked jaeger – Ray to pak, clean – van leeuwen, some crazy legs but through it – double front, holds the landing. Solid.

Olsen with good control on her double double on floor –

Good DTY from Lihie Raz on vault

Heduit 13.966

De Jesus Dos Santos – UB – Nabieva (some straddle) to pak to maloney to bhardwaj – lovely combiantion – van leeuwen, legs together – inbar with a bit of an arch – front giant full – DLO 1/1, shortish, two steps forward.

Black – FX – front full to 3/1, gets is around just – little hop – 2.5 through to double pike nooo well short and it looked like hands down – even Ellie Black is having a bad day – front 2/1 to front tuck, slide

it’s beam hit for Popa though, so perhaps the curse is lifted.

Steingruber – VT 1 – rudi is nice and high – lands under control, chest just down. 14.833

14.566 on bars puts DJDS in 7th but with Derwael and Seitz still to come.

Steingruber VT 2 – DTY, again lands chest pretty well down but good control, step forward.

14.566 puts Stringruber into just 6th on vault.

Moors – FX – Podkopayeva is a little too farward, chest down and a step – front 2/1 to front full, lunge, lean to keep herself in bounds – perfection loso side pass – switch ring and switch 1/2, good – rudi to split jump and some travel

Chuso – VT 1 – handspring rudi, it’s around, chest down, hop to the side and out of the area – 14.500

A big bars rotation gets Frane ahead of GB and into 4th! Big result.

Chuso – VT 2 – Tsuk 1.5, lands short, lunge back.

Well, that shouldn’t make it back to finals.

13.533 for Moors will not make it back to the floor final either. I hate it.

Chuso getting a standing ovation from all the people there as she comes up short of the vault final.

Canada does, however, get ahead of the Netherlands to sit in 8th place. They’ll have to wait to see if Germany or Belgium can pass.

We’ve got a little nap break before this insanity continues and we find out who makes finals.

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