The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

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.

FAST FORWARD BELYAVSKIY WALKING.

I can’t IMAGINE how they feel…competing next to other gymnasts. SO WEIRD.

US men walking in in the snuggly astronaut PJs.

What has to happen for someone else to get into the medals? A death.

US men, continuing to be too eagle-forward. There are other animals and designs. Beak on the boob.

Xiao Ruoteng is like, “Was…that you saying my name?”

This commentary over the introductions is the definition of word vomit.

RADIVILOV DOES NOT WAVE TO YOU. YOU WAVE TO RADIVILOV.

Did John just tell us that he loves Akbar? What is happening.

Vault is better for the US? The lack of difficulty there may be the team’s biggest weakness. You can’t expect to be competitive anymore with just a Kas 1.5.

Kitazono – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, very solid – double double tuck, holds the stick – punch randi, pretty large bounce back – 1.5 to front double full, hop – a little raggedy on russians – 2.5 to front full, stuck wonderfully – 3/1, small slide. Very strong opener.

I want one of those “please do not use this seat” signs. Just for daily use.

Yusof vaults a Tsuk double pike, two large lunges back. Little bit of tucking.

Apparently Bridget doesn’t know what it’s like to stand at the end of the vault runway and think about vaulting.

Pakhniuk with a nasty on his Kas 1.5, under rotated, large crosser lunge to the side, very deep landing, knee goes down.

So we don’t see the Lin Chapoan floor routine, but apparently they also didn’t on the apparatus feed because it was just a closeup of the PBars for some reason. But Lin fell for just a 13.166.

Moldauer goes through a very clean horse routine. “Hats off to Yul Moldauer, the cheerleader.”

Fraser extremely smooth on rings, and doesn’t look like his brain is going to pop out his ass while holding a maltese, which is always important.

Radivilov in the background vaulting a strong Dragulescu with a medium hop back.

Sun – FX – front 2/1 to rudi, lovely twisting, small hop – larger bounce back on double double layout – also a larggeee bounce back on double double tucked – 2.5 to front full, hop, but his twisting form is just so nice to watch – he’s not doing sidewinder corkscrews – 3/1, little steps. Not awesome in the landing department.

I like the fit of China’s shorts. They’re not those diaper skirts that some of the teams wear.

John’s not happy with the 8.366 E score. It’s that high because Sun’s twisting isn’t hideous, but I don’t disagree.

The problem with the pommel horse is the chunkiness and lack of smoothness of the legs. It looks heavy and dated. Also Belyavskiy hit a routine. But back to the pommel horse. The end is also too rounded and shiny. It looks like it would be in the back room of an old school gym in England.

Also Nils Dunkel basically just did swinging rings for a second.

Xiao – FX – punch randi, small movement – 3.5 to half, a little messier in the twisting – double double tuck, small hop – 2.5 to front 2/1, large bounce – 2/1, stuck – his floor shoes blend in and make it look like he doesn’t have feet – 3/1, short, chest down, hop forward.

Not too impressed by China’s floor rotation.

We didn’t see Mikulak’s PH, which went 13.733, which is not ideal.

So after the first rotation, China is well down on it’s floor score from qualification, mostly because of Lin’s miss. Japan and Russia will be comfortable with those scores.

Rotation 2

Did John just say “y’all”? You’re from Minnesota.

Zou has a slight arch in an opening handstand on horse but the rest of it is lovely.

Bridget’s like, give us a smile sweet-cheeks.

James Hall hits a Kas 1.5, small hop around.

Zou goes 14.800. Kaya welcome-screams at us.

Kaya has a little more pike in his shape on horse than others but through it.

BUT THE JAPANESE TEAM DIDN’T FIST BUMP THE CHINESE TEAM. Does it mean they’re bad teammates?????

Trainer twisting Kaya’s arm off and giving his triceps a little love pat.

It’s almost like the US men don’t have difficult enough routines to be medal competitive or something…

Sun Wei puts up a fabbb pommel horse routine.

Toba with good control on his Kas 1.5 landing. Very happy about not dying!

Dalaloyan on rings, does a great job at keeping his feet pointed despite them also being metal and gone. Double double tucked with a small hop. He got the good stuff today because he’s not even limping.

Dalaloyan thirst cam is ALIVE today.

“I did not point my toes on most of my flight” Bridget with a shoutout to her Tkatchev!

The English-language PA guy in the arena sounds like Gillian Anderson’s boyfriend in Sex Education.

Good stick from Malone on rings.

I don’t like when they say “defying gravity” because that will be in my head for the rest of the day now.

The fact that Abliazin is still alive and on this team continues to be baffling to me.

We didn’t see Xiao’s pommel horse where he got only 14.166, but that kept China back a little bit.

Pakhniuk is like, “I will get a huge PBars score to save all of you losers”

IMPORTANT SAFETY PIN CLOSEUP.

Braegger with some lovely pirouetting on PBars but some lack of control, lunge back on dismount. Sometimes that happens because he’s off balance because of earring weight.

Neither Japan nor Russia flinched in the first two rotations, really. Rings being an exceptional and important event for Russia’s score, helpful because you’re less likely to have a fall there.

Everyone celebrating Simone doing that front tuck off beam in that Athleta commercial. Yayayayayayayayay you’re the Olympics!

Rotation 3

Nagornyy starts with the most fantastic Dragulescu, stuck landing.

Russia’s short are a little more like a diaper skirt.

The world feed’s scoreboard work leaves A LOT to be desired. You shouldn’t have to watch with supplementary reference content (I mean of course we all will anyway, but you shouldn’t HAVE to). Running team scoreboard please.

“Plange”

Zou was not on rings for China in qualification, but it’s not surprising to see him come in for the team final because he can get such a high score. It was only surprising that he didn’t go in qualification, but I guess if he wasn’t doing AA anyway…

He was supposed to be the secret weapon, but mistakes sort of dampened that.

Ohhh, they didn’t show us Dalaloyan’s stuck front double puck.

Abliazin a little forward on his handspring 2.5, but minimizes errors well with only a small hop. Just landed in a mushroom shape.

Zou’s 9 execution on rings…I have questions.

Malone nearly comes up with a stick on his Kas 1.5, but a little locked on landing and has to take a crossover step back.

Fraser the world champ on PBars – love his back tuck to arms but has some struggles this time, leans on one rail like a banana and has to bail on it. Step on double front 1/2.

Braegger on HB stays on but has a hesitation swinging through after layout tkatchev 1/2 and was verrrry late on his Tak 1/1.

Bridget saying “High fly and a beautiful stick” is like the sequel to Tim but one of those sequels where they couldn’t get the original cast back.

Kovtun had to come in and save Ukraine’s high bar because the rest of it was a mess. Excellent stick on his dismount.

In-arena announcer keeps pronouncing it “Regini Moron” which I’m sure takes him right back to [British equivalent of 4th grade].

China much stronger on rings than Japan, so not a huge surprise that they’re getting back into it here. But Xiao with a large hop on his dismount.

PBars taking longer than all the other events, mostly because they have to paint the Sistine Chapel before every routine.

Germany’s singlet is so 90s.

Russia’s 132.304 is a huge lead after 3 events, with Japan 129.699 and China 129.697 basically identical after China got to pull it back on rings.

During this commercial break, we need to discuss the US putting McCallum on every event in the team final. That seems strategically suspect to me.

Rotation 4

Lin Chapoan hits a Kas 2/1, a little forward and some clear leg crossing, only a small hop though.

Kitazono – VT – a struggggle, handspring randi, chest down large lunge forward, out of the area, and an additional step. The critical issue in Japan’s ultimate finish today.

I love that we’re seeing only vaults because PBars is probably still at the beginning of the warmup.

Sun Wei – VT – excellent Kas 2/1 distance, great twisting shape, medium hop back.

9.266 E score does not sufficiently reward his distance and shape compared to everyone else vaulting.

Tanigawa – VT – NAILED the landing on his doubel front pike 1/2 out. Almost stuck, very small movement, some loss of pike shape in the air, which he covers with hands.

Whitlock doing HB in the TF so it’s not just his pommel horse – John’s like, “That’s cute but ABOUT CHINA AND JAPAN.”

“Really no break in his pure wets.”

It’s what Bridget said. I don’t make the rules. I have to transcribe it.

Xiao – VT – Kas 2/1, step to the side on his, not quite the distance as Sun and a little more flexed in his feet. Not happy that he got basically the same E score as Sun.

Hashimoto – VT – Kas 2/1 from his as well, a pretty jarring landing, step back – don’t worry, every vault is the same score.

Belyavskiy over on PBars now that that event has deigned to begin – lovely work – he does have a hesitation in handstand with an elbow bend – doesn’t get to vertical on stutz to one rail, but his dismount is perfection.

Appreciate John calling his own skill kind of ugly and Bridget calling out he lack of toe point on bars. This is what we’re here for. I feel seen.

I’m sure Belyavskiy’s arm tattoo is in Russian or something, but it sure does look like it says, “Desperate in loo.”

Mikulak with a hit PB but a stutz hesitation and no stick.

The Pablo Braegger Show continues with another strong floor.

Dalaloyan finishing for Russia on PB – diam is nice – excellent legs on stutz – bhavsar was awkward, foot hit as well as some shape deductions – doubel front 1/2 out, bounce back. Not ideal! Actually surprised he still got out of this with 14.6.

177.403 for Russia, 174.029 for China, 173.931 for Japan.

But it’s China and Japan on PBars now, where a good chunk of that Russian lead would be expected to dissipate compared to Russia on HB.

Rotation 5

Yusof gets through a secure PH for Switzerland, which had by far the best day of the third tier teams.

Nagornyy – HB – Yam good – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – great finishing position on his full – tak 1/2 was a bit late – DLO 2/1, small hop and then another little step but really strong on the bar.

Let’s be honest, if you don’t speak Japanese, it does sound like Kaya is yelling “HI. BITCHES.” before his routines.

Pretty PB from Kaya, a little low on tippelt, a couple handstands, but good hit, stuck double front 1/2, chest down.

A blank Nikita Nagornyy graphic for Braegger. Good work.

Sun Wei – PB – apparently possible leg hit on his routine though I didn’t see it (?), not bad but also some moments of 85 hand placements and a little low on his tippelt as well – not terrible but lots of things to take, not a CHINESE pbars routine. Non-stick.

Malone – HB – very strong cassina and Kolman – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – layout tkatchev 1/2, nice – hesitation before tak 1/1, not a bad finish position though – DLO 2/1, not secure on landing, a couple steps.

Regini-Moran – FX – DLO 2/1, somewhat piked – double double tucked, lovely, slide back – doubel front pike 1/2 out, small slide – double front pike, bound forward and a small step hop, possible OOB – I wish they would bring back some of the artistry in his floor routine because he has it in him, but he has to get too DUDDDEEE. Some nice moments, 3/1 is good, not his ideal landing control.

Belyavskiy – HB – tak 1/1 is late – tak 1/2 is nicely vertical – layout tkatchev, catches with some elbows – tkatchev 1/2 – yam, close – DLO 1/1, good stick, slightly piked throughout.

Tanigawa through a PB routine, not quite ideal, little hesitation on diam and some extra hand placements, another handstand hesitation, double front dismount with a large lunge.

Russia 219.868

Tanigawa with a broken boob.

Zou – PB – makuts work is lovely – diam right vertical -0 ooooh arn arch handstand on a peach 1/2 and multiple walking corrections – bhavsar is perfect – doubel front 1/2 out – so…what I was hearing was that he got 0.3 off for not saluting, but he saluted after that routine. Was it beforehand? Oh yeah he totally didn’t present before starting.

15.466 is…not what they wanted from Zou.

China 219.228, did not catch Russia. Japan 218.397. They were…still in it at this point. Even with China’s errors.

Rotation the 6th!

Sun Wei’s shoulders look like they got into a terrible fight with each other

Sun – HB – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – late on a tak 1/1 and 1/2 – good layout tkatchev 1/2 – error there, possibly only did a 1/2 turn instead of an intended full turn, lots of D’Amato style shuffling down the bar to correct.

Strong landings from Moldauer as usual, including a stick on his double arabian 1/2 out, but he does have multiple steps on his 3/1.

“He stuck every pass.”
“Except for the ones he didn’t stick.”

Thank you John.

Kaya – HB – Yam 1/2, hit – late on tak 1/1 – layou ttkatchev looked a little close, a little piked – tkatchev 1/2 is strong – yam is quite piked – DLO 1/1 with a bounce back into a straddle squat. Not a strong one.

Abliazin – FX – excellent DLO 1/1, high, but a boucne back into the corner – 2.5 to front 2/1, yes – front lay to double front, hop – ooooh front full to randi, large bounce back and both feet OOB – every team giving it away to each other in the final rotation. Hot potato gold medal.

Surprised Kaya’s routine went as high as 14.200.

Xiao – HB – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2 a bit late – tkatchev 1/2 – GREAT finish on tak 1/1 – yam is a little dumpy – DLO 2/1 but some issues on landing, hop and a lean forward with the chest well down and another step.

But at least he’s getting a little dancy about it.

Kitazono – HB – tak 1/2 is nice – Cassina, just does catch it, not the highest but done – kolman was higher – DLO 2/1, hop back. Good. 14.500

Dalaloyan’s feet – FX – front lay to doubel front pike, a little short, slide – front full to randi, short, hop forward – 2.5 to front 2/1, hops OOB with both feet – finishes with a struggle 3/1, large bounce back

Lin – HB – Cassina is hit – Kolman a tad close – layout tkatchev – layou ttkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1 was so late it was under the bar when it finished – DLO 2/1 also a real struggle, loses form, multiple lunges.

Just Hashimoto and Nagornyy left to go

John wanted a low 13 for Lin. That’s a little much. 14.133.

Hashimoto – HB – tak 1/2, just a little short – exccelent layout position on cassina, good kolman – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, stron g- tak 1/1, lattteeee – great dismount stick.

Requiring Nagornyy to get that 14.6

Nagornyy – FX – double front pike 1/2, great landing – punch randi to double front, very low but pulled out double front – improvidsed third pass to do barani to 2/1, so he had to add a 3/1 side pass because he had already done a 2/1 – half in half out, stuck landing.

Now they wait for the scores.

15.100 for Hashimoto.

Russia waits.

The score comes up and everyone is in a ball. Nagornyy is crawl crying into the wall.

Now having watched, I don’t think it should even have been as close as it was based on the routines we saw. Russia the best one.

OK now I’ve really got some GIFs to make.

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