The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Olympic Event Finals Day 1

Welcome back, and on to event final season. We’ve got four today, starting with men’s floor, then women’s vault, then pommel horse, and then bars.

The current Simone update is that she has withdrawn from vault, bars, and floor, though we haven’t yet heard about beam. It’s possible that she might still compete that one and elect to do something less with no twisting as a dismount, but time will tell there.

The start orders are thus:

FLOOR
[2] Nagornyy
[4] Zapata
[6] Moldauer
[1] Dolgopyat
[5] Kim
[3] Ryu
[7] Xiao
[8] Karimi

It will be interesting to see whether Nagornyy elects to pull out a triple a push it with the opening routine. He was not far behind Dolgopyat in qualification with a 6.2 D, but “keep it safer for a medal” has never really been the way of the Russian men.

VAULT
[3] Skinner
[7] Moreno
[2] Andrade
[1] Carey
[4] Yeo
[5] Olsen
[6] Melnikova
[8] Akhaimova

We know that Carey and Skinner will be going for the Cheng and Amanar combo. The big strategic question will be whether Andrade elects to pull out the Amanar as well. Theoretically, her Cheng form should give her enough of an advantage that she wouldn’t need the Amanar, but the reality of the scoring in the all-around final may put the pressure on for her to do the 2.5 so she can match Carey and Skinner on difficulty.

HORSE
[5] Whitlock
[4] Yoder
[6] Sun
[8] Belyavskiy
[1] Lee
[7] Kaya
[2] McClenaghan
[2] Kameyama

Lee, McClenaghan, and Kameyama all tied in qualification on 15.266, with Yoder just behind them at 15.200, and then Whitlock at 14.900. Whitlock’s execution scores have not been high at these Olympics thus far, but he’ll set the mark to beat with that first routine with the most difficulty in the field. This one should get real, and the rotation order lends to the excitement as we have some actual gold medal contenders ending the final instead of getting them out of the way in the first half like on the other ones.

BARS
[2] Lee
[8] De Jesus Dos Santos
[1] Derwael
[3] Iliankova
[4] Melnikova
[7] Fan
[5] Lu
[5] Seitz

The conclusion of the much-anticipated Lee/Derwael race. Lee got the better of Derwael for the first time in the all-around final, which I thought portended some advantage to Lee because it wasn’t her best routine, though having seen something closer to the judges’ side angle from the NBC rebroadcast, you really couldn’t tell from that position how crooked Lee was on her combo, so that may not have been taken into account too much in the scoring.


John and Bridget are like, “everyone else is butts, let’s move on to bars.”

Vault is without a doubt one of Skinner’s best events. #analysis

Bridget comes out as team anti-touch warmup. Sure. OK.

Men’s Floor

Nagornyy – goes for the triple back pike with a huge stumble OOB – double front pike 1/2, short, step forward – front 2/1 to double front is stuck – 2.5 to tuck 1/2, rouggggh and unintended – 1.5 to rudi, low hop back – that was a full FML rudi. and I loved it – double double, very short, lunge. Well, that was a nope. We’ll be second guessing the decision to go for that triple pike, but also he’s like, I have a team gold so you can eat it.

13.066.

Zapata – does his front lay 1/2 in, back full out, stuck landing and less tucking that before – 1.5 to double front pike, large lunge back, some knees – double front pike 1/2 out, slide – double front 1/2 out, sticks ith a swim – 2/1, stuck – 2.5 to front full, pulls it out with a stuck, looked like he was going to be short – DLO, stuck landing. Pulled it out at the end, just one off pass there.

14.933, a little under his qualification score but close.

Moldauer – punch randi, good stick – double arabian 1/2 out, also stuck – front 2/1 to front full, third stick – ohhh and he effed up his flares – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, bounce to the side – some amazing landings through most of it, but the flare disaster won’t give him the score he needed.

Just a 13.533 with a 5.4 D score. He went over 9 on E in qualification.

Dolgopyat – front tuck 1/2 in back out, bounce back, stays in – front full to randi, holds it, a little forward – triple double, jarred landing, step and another step – 2.5 to front double full, hop forward, OOB – back 1.5 to rudi, holds stick, little movement – great landing on double arabian 1/2 out, buttttttt

14.933 but ahead of Zapata on second tiebreak (D Score) as they had the same E score, which is the first tiebreak.

Kim – double front pike 1/2 out, bounce back – double front 1/2 out, good stick, just some chest position – front full to randi is short, hoppy – 3.5 but short, shuffle back – 2.5 to front 2/1, some knees another hop to the side – and HE bottoms out on his Russians! two people out on non-acro elements – 3/1, deep, hop forward. Not a strong one.

13.066 ties nagornyy. This is VERY open for Ryu now.

Ryu – another with the front tuck 1.5 , hop – front full to front double, hop – double front pike 1/2, nearly sticks, hop back – double double tuck, bounce back, keeps it in bound s- back 1.5 to front 2/1, lands OOB both feet – sidewinder 3/1, another pretty large bounce – 3.5 dismount, nearly sticks, hop to the side. Lots of landing things again.

But 14.233 is still enough to go into 3rd because this final.

Xiao – front randi, good stick – 3.5 to 1/2, stuck – double double, nearly sticks, arm wave, little hop – 2.5 to front 2/1, some crossed legs, hops it around – 2/1, excellent, stuck – 3/1, a little deep, bounce back. Fewest mistakes of anyone thus far. Will he have the D?

14.766 is not enough, and Dolgopyat remains in the lead, Zapata has a medal now.

Karimi – double front 1/2 out, good landing – 3.5 to randi, bounces back and at least one foot out – sticks his next one though – double double tuck, a little short – 2.5 to front 2/1, a MIRACLE he stayed on his feet as one slipped out, but still a big error – sticks 3/1 but not enough from him.

14.133 goes into 5th.

Well, a reeeeough final there. The three medalists were definitely the best. I thought Zapata had it, and I don’t think I’m alone there.

FLOOR
Gold – Dolgopyat – 14.933
Silver – Zapata – 14.933
Bronze – Xiao 14.766

14.766 was Karimi’s score in qualification to enter as the last qualifier, so everyone in this final had the capability to medal if they had brought a good one today. Really only three people did.


We’re now marching out for the vault final.

Skinner – 1 – Cheng is hit, pretty much her normal, medium bounce back – leg tucking toward the end, not too much crossing

Skinner – 2 – Amanar – a bit more control on the landing but she does hop to the side – not bad

15.033 for the first, 14.800 for the second, 14.916 average. A little better than qualification

Moreno – 1 – rudi – pretty solid, small hop to the side, pikes down at the end, not too much leg separation, not the most distance, but for a rudi it’s solid distance. 14.766

Moreno – 2 – much better Tsuk 2/1, small; bounce back. 14.666 for that. 14.716 average and into second. Got the same E score as Skinner, just the difficulty difference.

Andrade – 1 – our execution judging moment of truth – Cheng – glorious in the air, very similar to her AA final one, small step back and will get a tenth for going out of the area.

15.166 for her Cheng, up on 15.033 for Skinner.

Andrade – 2 – she’s going for the Amanar – ohhhhhhhhh she hit it but the landing….way too large multiple hops and a little deep coming in.

OHHHHH she still goes ahead of Skinner. 15.000 for the Amanar and a 15.083 average. I mean, if you’re a formie like me, you love that Andrade got rewarded for her superior execution.

Carey – 1 – OH NO SHE TOTALLY BALKED IT. she got her feet wrong and could only to a yurchenko back tuck.

Carey – 2 – She goes and pulls out an Amanar – large bound forward.

She ended up doing two Yurchenko vaults, so she got a 2 point deduction from her total in addition to everything else. Ended up on 12.416.

Yeo – 1 – she has posted the Yeo – she pulled it around! Hop to the side, I’m shocked and delighted that she hit it. Should be a great score. 15.333, get it!

Yeo – 2 – DTY so needs to go clean with it – she doesn’t……, huge lunge, multiple lunges, bounced a mile out of it.

14.133 for the DTY, gives her 14.7333 average and currently 3rd.

Olsen – 1 – Cheng – really low but pulled it out – chest down and legs bent throughout – 14.700

Olsen – 2 – DTY is hit, though she did lean back on salute as she tried to hold it, which will end up being a pretty large deduction. 14.400 for her second vault, 14.550 average.

Melnikova – 1 – still definitely a spot on the podium open for someone – opens with a solid DTY, small hop back, some legs, good direction. 14.666

Melnikova – 2 – Cheng – well she pulled it out, it was quite short, chest down, large lunge forward and out of the area. 14.700

A 14.683 average and she actually didn’t end up that far out of the medal spots.

Akhaimova – 1 – rudi, a hit but a larger lunge back than she wanted, some piking, came in a little under-rotated, leg crossing, plenty to take here. 14.666

Akhaimova – 2 – hits a pretty solid Tsuk 2/1! One of the better vaults of this final so far – bounce back, some legs. She gets 14.666 for it, which puts her in 6th place.

So the podium

VAULT
Gold – Andrade – 15.083
Silver – Skinner – 14.916
Bronze – Yeo 14.733

Andrade is the winner. It will be very controversial. Reminder to self not to watch the NBC broadcast of this vault final tonight because it will be insufferable I’m sure.

I do think Alexa Moreno didn’t get enough credit for putting out two really solid vaults with that 4th-place finish. Yeo carried through on her first vault because it was both difficult and strong, but the landing on the second was not there.


We’re now marching out for playing horsies.

Whitlock – good scissor up to handstand – the usual pike and feet, which don’t get covered by the light colored pants, maybe a slight fashion error – gets slightly low down into flares out of handstand – through with a strong hit though – piking but didn’t get quite as piked toward the end as we’ve seen at other times.

Holy crap, 15.583 with a 7.0 D score.

Yoder – has to step down onto the horse immediately on his scissor up to handstand, can’t do that when in a final where things are this close – he pulled it together after that to hit a routine, but started with an error.

14.566 for him and a 6.4 D.

Sun – it was sort of off right from the beginning there – he was sluggish between the pommels, and then on the subsequent circles the legs went, and then the body went – our first fall of the final. 13.066

Belyavskiy comes through with a really lovely routine, and his spindle on the end is a delight – didn’t give away too much – only small piking here and there, gets low sometimes –

Shot od Dalaloyan with a towel over his legs. Covering up bionic foot?

14.833, 2nd place.

Lee – get itttt – he is perfect and everyone else is a monster, just some expert analysis – very comfortable through all his flare circles – pulled his way through that dismount, jusssst but he did it.

15.400 for LCK and behind by .183. I see. Clearly, the judges loathe greatness.

Kaya – slightly sluggish and some lack of toe point on his handstand circles to start – got stronger as he progressed, and no significant errors. ends up with 14.900 and ahead of Belyavskiy by less than a tenth, on D because his E was lower, which was appropriate.

Two more medal contenders still to go. I think Kaya’s a littel shocked he’s in medal position now. Doesn’t he know nothing is sense?

McClenaghan – John adopts an Irish accent for some reason – short on first scissor to handstand and…immediately falls. NOOOOOOOO. Well I hate everything and goodbye forever. 13.100

A medal position open for Kameyama if he can hit.

Kameyama – better scissor to handstand work we’ve seen so far – loss some form on a russian on one pommel, many leg things – struggles up to handstand but gets there in the end. Not his strongest work. 14.600 and he goes into 5th.

A bronze medal for Kaya on pommel horse. Did not see that one coming, but pommel horse things.

HORSE
Gold – Whitlock – 15.583
Silver – Lee – 15.400
Bronze – Kaya – 14.900

The controversy here will be Whitlock’s victory even though form, compared to Lee in second even though FORM. But really, everything is ruled invalid because McClenaghan fell. Those are the rules, I don’t make them.


Last one best one. It’s time for bars.

Lee – nabieva and does not connect out of it, she was a little close – bhardwaj unconnected – maloney to gienger is clean – piked jaeger to pak – again no connection into van leeuwen – giant full – FTDT, hop to the side. Well, the skills we nice, but she did none of her CV.

Face says, “OH WELL I’M OLYMPIC CHAMPION YO”

Just 14.500. 6 tenths down on D.

DJDS – Nabieva to pak, one of her better comcos there – shap to bhardwaj, lovely -0 van leeuwen, good – short on cast – inbar with some elbows – and acccks, goes over on front pirouetting – and then DLO 1/1, large stumble back, three lunges I think.

WELL it’s still not going great!

14.033, which is actually still a really high score? She got 8.933 E here and an 8.133 inq ualification for a hit.

Derwael – Nabieva , hit – stalder tkatchev piked – Derwael to yezhova to shalder shap to pak to van leeuwen, very strong – actually gets crooked on her toe full but works through it into FTDT with a step. If Lee had hit, that would have been a huge deal. Definitely not her strongest set.

She still gets a 15.200, which is basically the same as she was always getting, even though a clear error this time. What is this?

Iliankova – clear hip tkatchev pikled, good – Tweddle to Yezhova, high, legs, no connection – stalder shap to pak to van leeuwen is quite nice – toe full, a bit later\ – FTDT, step to the side, good one overall.

14.833 and she’s into second.

Melnikova – inbar full to komova, fingertips it into pak, and has to tuck the pak like crazy – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, a little close – 1/2 turn – toe full attempt, can’t get over and has to hop off. No third medal for her…yet.

Fan – inbar full to maloney to pak, good, connects to stalder shap to gienger, solid – muscles up to hs but OK – inbar half to healy to ling, getting crooked – attempts to pull it together into Fan dismount but couldn’t, sits it down. WHYYYYYY.

13.900 for her, even with the fall. It would have been a sure medal without.

Lu – tkatchev to gienger is solid – short cast hs – blind to healy to ling, some legs, connects into piked jaeger but pretty close – pak – van leeuwen, not connected – FTDT, gets the stick. Not her strongest but counts as a hit, both for event finals today and for China as a country at these Olympics.

A 14.400, so somehow Lee is still in medal position with just Seitz to go. Opportunity on a platter for Seitz.

Seitz – maloney to Ricna, good – pause up to handstand but saves it into piked jaeger – stalder tkatchev piked into pak, nice – van leeuwen, some legs bit hit – toe full is very late in FTDT, hop back. And now we wait. Just give it to her.

14.400. I hate everything.

Somehow, Lee still manages a medal.

Seitz one tenth out of a medal on bars.

BARS
Gold – Derwael – 15.200
Silver – Iliankova – 14.833
Bronze – Lee – 14.500

Iliankova had the highest execution score in that final. Which is everything I need to know. She was the only one who hit close to her potential, really, because even Derwael did her weakest bars of the entire event.

So. A day. The end.

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