Olympic Event Finals Day 3


The final day of Olympic gymnastics brings us parallel bars, beam, and high bar.

The big focus is of course the return of Simone for this beam final, and I’m eager to see what kind of composition she ends up putting out there. If she’s able to dismount with a double pike or tuck with no twisting, she would remain extremely competitive in this final and have among the top difficulties. Honestly, even if she’s able to dismount with only an A, she could get her difficulty back up to competitive in this final with only a couple composition adjustments. If she’s not totally comfortable with double elements right now, that may be the way to go.

NEWS: Larisa Iordache went out to warm up but ultimately decided it was not happening and withdrew from the final. She’s replaced by the first reserve Ashikawa, who was also there warming up because of course.

But first the rotation orders:

[4] Arican
[1] Zou
[5] Mikulak
[3] You
[8] Belyavskiy
[7] Pakhniuk
[6] Fraser
[2] Dauser

So, we’ll know after the second routine if we have a final on our hands or not. No one is going to catch a real hit from Zou, but if he has issues, then a whole crap-ton of people start looking like they’re in it.

[4] Black
[2] Tang
[5] Biles
[3] Lee
[8] Ashikawa
[6] Urazova
[7] Saraiva
[1] Guan

Beyond the “all eyes on Biles” situation here, this is also a critical salvage moment for the Chinese women, who have had a disastrous Olympics with no medals to show for it so far. Guan’s difficulty should make her the favorite in this final at this point, but she has to come through with a hit. Tang is also waiting as a very realistic medalist should it not happen for Guan, or even if it does as they qualified 1-2. Remember to keep a supply of youth potion on hand because the amount of aging that will take place during this final…

[2] Karimi
[5] Nagornyy
[4] Malone
[6] Kitazono
[7] Bull
[3] Srbic
[1] Hashimoto
[8] Deurloo

This has become a weird old final with Uchimura falling in qualification and Zonderland not being at a high enough level at these Olympics. Given the performances we’ve seen so far, favorite status now goes to Hashimoto, but we’ve seen Srbic come through so many times as needed. Karimi is the #2 qualifier, and if he hits a routine in a pressure event final, it would be a magical moment. Bart on high bar is the exactly correct way to end an Olympics. Especially this Olympics.

Zou’s China Parka still has the tags on.

Arican’s E score will be telling first up. He has the D to medal but sometimes gets all over the place.

Arican – long pause in first hs – initial Makuts gets a little hung up – Diam is solid, some feet – hesitation in stutz, has to press himself back up to handstand – leans on one rail, pulls it back into healy – peach 1/2, hit – got more composed as he went, but some elbows and knees throughout – double front 1/2 out is stuck. Great finish. But A LOT there.

15.633 and an 8.633 E score. Things are going to get HIGGGH today.

Zou – makuts, very clean work in those – diam, right to handstand – peach half with a walk, hand adjustment – front straddle to long swing, excellent – bhavsar, so smooth – healy – double front 1/2 out stuck, maybe the slightest movement? Well, there’s our winner. He had one error on a peach 1/2 with an extra hand placement. Excellent.

16.233. 6.9 D and a 9.333 E score.

Mikulak – healy is solid – some form in peach 1/2 turn there, legs and a little movement – front tuck 1/2 is good – straddle to long swing, I don’t think he brushed there but it’s always a journey – bhavsar and tippelt looked good – stutz – double front 1/2 out, hop forward. Done with a hit.

15.000 and a 8.6 E score.

You – double back to arms, good – and double pike, also well done – loose back in peach 1/2, tumbling remaining the highlight, just do that – bhavsar, solid – tippelt, not the highest but smoothly done and secure – long pause before dismount, double front 1/2 out, quite low, hop forward.
15.466 and an 8.566 E score, into 3rd.

The dismount took away his shot at Arican.

Belyavkisy – peach – diam – stutz, a little short on that – nice tippelt – bhavsar, great style – AMAZING save to one rail where one arm was clearly off and he found a way to get it on – double front 1/2 out, step – pretty work but gave away enough.

15.200 and 4th place. 8.6 E score.

Pakhniuk – front straddle to arms, good – peach to one, holds ittttttt for a long time but ultimately a bit awkward – front straddle to arms – healy – some hesitations and hand placements here – his stutz to one was a reallll adventure, form all over the place and has to flop himself back to both bars – again a hit but plenty of things. Great double front 1/2 out stick.

14.533 and an 8.433 E score. Last place with two to go.

Fraser – like You, his acro is the highlight, back tuck 1/2 turn to arms – back tuck to arms, good – slight back loosenes in peach 1/2 – swing to one rail, leans and has to correct back to both rails – another lean in handstand on his stutz, one rail skills getting him – double front 1/2 out, tried to hold the stick, takes a step. Another one hit by the single rail.

14.500 and a 8.4 E score. Now he’s in last.

Dauser – peach, small arch – very nice pirouetting work – diam, right to handstand – stutz is short, elbows and a press up, but the rest is quite nice – a couple short handstands – double front 1/2 out, small step. That would be my silver medal. Some things, but much cleaner than Arican.

15.700 for Dauser does get him the silver medal. Though it shouldn’t have been as close as it was.

Gold – Zou – 16.233
Silver – Dauser – 15.700
Bronze – Arican – 15.633

OK. He we go. Beam final.

VERY interested to see what the Black, Biles, Saraiva compositions look like.

Black – switch mount to switch 1/2 to korbut, solid opening – double turn to full turn, wobble on the full turn, lean – split to wolf – front tuck, solid – bhs to tuck full, hits it! Step back – larger wobble on choreography – bhs to layout 2 feet, hip angle in the air but secure – side somi, check – front full dismount, hop. Didn’t actually have to make that many adjustments though. Like she was going to fall…

Definitely a lot of corrections, but a big deal to stay on the beam.

13.866 for Black to start.

Tang – loso mount, hit – very high layout to 2 feet, good – check – switch ring, hold it but breaks connection into split ring jump to korbut – switch to split ring leap to bhs, lovely elements but again opening the door to broken connections – aerial to split to straddle, nice – 2/1 dismount, nearly finds the stick with a step salute.

Beautiful elements, really nicely done. The D score will be the question because I wouldn’t give a lot of those combos.

14.233 for Tang. She gets 6.0 D, so missed a couple connections but also got credit for some. A really strong score for her.

Here we go.

Biles – wolf triple, hit – aerial to split to straddle, solid – bhs loso loso, right on – switch to switch 1/2, check and breaks connection into back pike – side aerial, good – straddle 1/2 from side to split 1/2, a bit tight in split positions but did well to try to connect – dismounts double pike with a bounce back. A hit! Well done. A delight to see her back in this final.

Should get either 5.9 or 6.1 D score for that one depending on the side jumps combo.

6.1 and a 7.9 E score for 14.000 and into second place.

Lee – wolf triple to wolf double, smooth – aerial to split to bhs, good combination – switch ring, connects-ish to split leap, a little lean as she was moving – swithc to switch 1/2 to split ring jump, another very small adjustment – side aerial to loso loso – AMAZING save but a huge break there, multiple leans and arm waves and everything – 2/1 dismount, a little ragged, hop to the side.

That break will destroy the score, but you know, she kind of had a great Olympics.

13.866 for Lee. Same score as Black but down to 4th on execution.

Ashikawa – bhs mount gorgeous – bhs loso, hit, small slide – wolf jump and sissone, – split ring jump, really nice closure position – switch to sheep jump, clean – side somi, solid – split jump 1/2 from side, good 180, a lean forward – switch ring and ANOTHER great save, one foot landed completely off but saved it – side aerial to split jump, hit – double turn, wobble correction – 3/1 dismount, bounce back. First half was awesome. Some errors in the second half but lovely execution and a great save.

13.733 for her, last so far.

Urazova – loso mount, very solid – bhs bhs bhs series, did not do any layouts there – switch to y spin to 1.5 turn with some pausing, she’s off but covering it – aerial, breaks connection into split onodi – wobble on illusion turn – gets herself back together on wolf turns, nice – side aerial, large break and bend at the waist – sissone to beat jump – bhs bhs 2.5, hop forward. She basically just invented an entire beam routine there, which is an accomplishment in itself. So, no acro series there and 800 wobbles and not the skills she intended.

12.733 and a 5.0 D score.

Saraiva – bhs mount, nice – layout series with a huge break, has to grab the beam to stay on. Oh Flavia. Always the way isn’t it – switch to sissone – bhs loso loso, hit with a bend to the side – switch ring, perfect position but gets caught up on the landing with a wobble and a step – aerial combination, perfection – side somi, hit – split ring leap – double pike, lunge back. OH FLAVIA.

13.133. Guan still to go. Tang and Biles assured medals. Guan in the perfect position, with a chance to fall and still medal.

Guan – switch to switch 1/2, small pause before bhs – layout 2 feet, arm wave check – switch, pause – switch side, lean, breaks connection into straddle 1/2 from side, does connect that to switch 1/2 from side – fhs to front tuck, hits it with a step forward – split leap to aerial to straddle jump to korbut, nice and floaty and a better connection there – double pike, chest down but pretty secure. Not nearly her best routine but will be a big score regardless.

14.633 and a 6.6 D score gives her the win.

Gold – Guan 14.633
Silver – Tang 14.233
Bronze – Biles 14.000

Guan and Tang out her to save China’s bacon today with two medals. Love this bronze for both Simone and for assholes everywhere. Black kind of heartbreaking in 4th, but we didn’t even think she would be able to go in this final.

And we still have another one. High bar time!

Karimi – great height on Yam but close – insane Cassina, not sure how he caught that – Kovacs and falls – Oh Milad. You and Flavia. Redoes Kovacs and falls on it again, way far away. Double double layout dismount was good, hop back.

11.266. A high bar of a start.

Nagornyy – Yam, hit – layout tkatchev – lay tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1 finish position pretty good, tak 1/2 is shorter, as it usually is for him – tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – zou li min is good – stalder slightly hesitant – double double layout, stuck landing. He doesn’t have quite the D but a good one.

14.533 should be competitive though.

Malone – Casina, gets it – Kolman, also caught – layou ttkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 are comfortable – layou tkatchev 1/, hit – tak 1/1 but goes over the wrong way and has to readjust – tak 1/2 – DLO 2/1, lunge back. Had a good one going, but the tak 1/1 will take him out, presumably.

14.200 is down on qualifying and he’s behind Nagornyy, who has 5 tenths lower D.

Kitazono – Yam, piking but fine – tak 1/2, very late – Cassina is verrry low and couldn’t get his hand over the bar, slams down. Redoes Cassina and hits, as well as Kolman – german giants, solid – layout tkatchev – tkatchev and falls again. Sticks double double layout.

2 hits, 2 disasters. Where she stops, nobody knows.

12.333 for him.

Bull – tak 1/2 is OK – Kovacs, hit, a little close – gets Cassina – piked Kovacs, some hesitation – Yam, hit – zou li min a little crooked – tries to go into his german giant attempt? Jam? – can’t get it, hops off – some more form breaks upon resuming – FLO 1/1, short, lunge forward.

12.466 and into third place.

Srbic – stalder rybalko, a little crazy bit hit – stalder tkatchev to tkatchev to layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/2, a bit late – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1 extremely late – DLO 1/1, holds the stick with a lean. I mean plenty of deductions but today that counts as a hit.

Into first place with a 14.900 (went for his 6.5 D today instead of the 6.2) and gets an 8.4 E score.

Hashimoto – tak 1/2 a bit crooked – Cassina, hit – Kolman same, good height – layuout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1, late but obviously – yam is pretty low – stalder – giant full – doble double layout and a stick. Really strong. Best so far.

15.066 and into 1st place. Just Deurloo to go.

Deurloo – Cassina, hit legs – Kolman and falls – I mean we knew it would be. Oh Bart. Big high Kovacs and piked Kovacs – tak 1/1 extremely late – tak 1/2 – hop full with legs – double double layout, lunge forward.

12.266 for Bart. Sigh.

Gold – Hashimoto 15.066
Silver – Srbic 14.900
Bronze – Nagornyy – 14.533

Nagornyy’s individual event medal is on high bar. Because this Olympics.

Well, it’s been real.

23 thoughts on “Olympic Event Finals Day 3”

  1. Zou rocked that parka almost as good as he rocked p-bars. His routine was poetry in motion. He needs to wear the parka on the podium.
    Iordache!!! Ugh. I was really looking forward to seeing her compete. At this rate, a Romanian gymnast in the arena is like a unicorn. Iordache for Paris 2024.

  2. I’m so nervous for Simone I’m on the verge of tears, screaming, and puking all at once… all I want is for her to be safe and come away proud of herself!

    1. I’m not really nervous for Simone. I honestly feel like it is a win-win situation for her because if she hits, it’s like typical Simone. If she misses or is just mediocre, then it’s like “well she has gone through a lot this past week.” Either way the biggest deal is that she is even competing. Here’s to hoping for a medal!

    1. I am so pleased for Guan and Tang!

      And I’m wondering, will NBC Primetime will get over their aversion to showing bronze medal-winning routines in order to broadcast Biles’ routine?

  3. Thanks so much for doing this. I’ve really enjoyed reading and getting your take on things. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate these posts!

  4. THIS comment: “Love this bronze for both Simone and for assholes everywhere.”
    We are all Spencer today saying this!

  5. No stream replay available for love or money afaict? NBC deliberately withholding it from both barely- functional- anyway streaming services that I’m already paying for. Reading this blog post before watching seems like the only viable option to get *any* of the drama without spoilers, since I do have to use the internet and leave my house later today? Realistically if I read this post I’m unlikely to bother watching for weeks. And I’d been so, so looking forward to the pbars final.

    How can NBC be this fricking obtuse and/or incompetent. I’d happily pay $$$ for thorough, spoiler-free on-demand Olympics coverage but I guess that’s not good enough.

    1. I want just a gymnastics channel! Gymnastics 24/7. None of this shit NBC coverage.

    2. I am fuming at NBC’s decision to intentionally delay the replay. I have had to literally shield my eyes with my arm while opening up the Full Event Replays website to avoid the inexplicable spoilers posted everywhere. I thought I would be able to avoid spoilers for the Day 3 event finals, but when I opened the replay stream for a DIVING final, a big, huge, purple, neon box saying “SIMONE WINS BRONZE ON BEAM” filled up the right hand side of my screen and ruined the result.

      Why NBC chooses to put final medal results on banners, headlines, and pop-ups I will never understand. Maybe viewership has crashed because NBC tells you the ending before you can even start watching. And don’t get me started on the vault final coverage. Minutes spent featuring MyKayla’s and Jade’s laggy video calls home to friends and family at the expense of showing the BRONZE MEDALIST in the broadcast.

      I am mystified. Can someone please, please, please buy out NBC’s streaming rights. I’ll even take ESPN. Heck, I’d even take Fox News or CNN. Hell, give it to Nickelodeon. It could not be worse than it is now.

  6. The Olympics is over for us and it was just…bleh.

    US MAG got no hardware, as expected.
    US WAG got what was expected based on who they sent except Simone’s usual caseload and a silver instead of team gold.

    Highlights for me were Suni, Rebecca and Daiki.

    I hope some of the people that were retiring from elite stay around for 10 weeks to Worlds, assuming they don’t get canceled.

    Also, Forster and McClure need to go.

  7. Thank God it’s over and I hate saying that because I love the Olympics. I can’t handle anymore of this fucking GARBAGE NBC coverage. If I had to hear Tim say, “take your cellphone and put in on the ground, that’s how big the beam is” one more time… I will enjoy watching the replays when not so annoyed/pissed off.

  8. Biles looked like she had been her normal self this whole Olympics with that routine. Tight splits and 0.4 lost with her dismount downgrade, but overall a super solid routine. Wish she could have hit the switch split 1/2 into back tuck. That would have bumped her into silver, but she got her individual medal.

    Poor Lee was on the cusp of a medal, likely silver, but missed on a combo she’s been very solid on this year.

    Gutted, but not surprised about Flavia. Like Melanie, she just never seem to hit. Also gutted for Iordache who’s been through the wringer and back and couldn’t even compete.

    And so fitting for the USA men that Brody, who’s been solid the whole competition, decides to make his mistake during the easiest final to medal in. Nagornyy’s routine, while good, was incredibly beatable due to low difficulty.

    Very happy that Sam can retire with his final routine being a hit. I thought his execution score was slightly low compared to others, but he was already in a deficit with his difficulty and needed multiple falls to get in the medals.

    I think a very deep look into both the US Men’s and Women’s teams needs to happen after these Olympics die down. The men are nowhere close to competitive excluding a handful gymnasts on singular events – and even then those are long shots. Gymnasts like Yul have completely stagnated for 5 years with no measurable growth or improvement. Brett McClure says all the right things and has the respect of the gymnasts, but the improvement is simply not there. It’s not reasonable to expect medals from the US men yet, but we should have seen a move in that direction.

    Regarding the women, yes, the medals were absolutely there – every single final had a medalist and every woman got a medal. But the team composition decisions and expectations that contributed to (I won’t say fully caused) Simone to have such debilitating mental stress cannot happen again. There are so many factors, both known and unknown, that contributed to Simone’s breakdown, but you cannot ignore Tom’s statement that more or less everything would work out because of our Simone-sized advantage. His nonchalant attitude and total disregard for the competitive nature of an Olympic team final event cannot be forgiven and I would consider him a major piece in the Simone breakdown puzzle.

    I also think there has to be professional guidance and counseling provided to professional athletes of Simone’s status who are handling media, press, and sponsorship obligations alongside their training and competing. I refuse to believe that this was just a pesky random case of the “twisties.” Simone has shown a combined level of consistency, success, and longevity – even during the most painful and difficult moments of her life – that far surpasses any other gymnast. I cannot accept that there were no external circumstances that caused this. I think it was the combined pressure coming from a million different directions – both avoidable and unavoidable pressures – that caused it.

    1. It was a combination of external things. Tom and USAG completely relying on Simone to carry the entire national team on her shoulders. Then failure to support her in her time of need.
      Also, she revealed that her aunt unexpectedly passed away while she was in Tokyo. They were close and her entire family was home as they were not able to travel to Tokyo. She had to grieve alone or through phone/video chat. That had to be also disconcerting and added to the already massive stress and pressure.

  9. The entire USAG program needs to be completely remodeled from the ground up. Unfortunately, due to THAT GUY and BARTA USAG will never be able to repair itself. McClure and Forster are under qualified for their jobs and have no clue how to manage a national team. However, no one else will want a job on the Titanic. MAG need to up their difficulty but the problem is they can’t hit their current sets. Mikulak is a great guy all around but I am happy to see him go. Malone is an asshole of a person but at least he WANTS to win and seems to have the makings of a good competitor. You can see the difference in the Japanese, Russians, and Chinese who would kill to win and fight for every tenth.
    The USA WAG got a huge wake up call at Worlds where they were hammered on execution and rightly so. The fact that Carey and Lee removed skills and got higher execution scores needs to be highlighted and bolded. At least we learned that the US ladies didn’t crumble and fold without Biles but we got a glimpse into their future as a team without her unless Tom gets his head out of his ass.

    USAG needs to start having judges properly evaluate execution of routines and provide feedback to the HPD and coaches. What is the sense of giving Skinner a 14.1 plus on beam only to have her score 7.1 for execution for a completely hit set at the Olympics. Jordan Chiles was phenomenal this season with consistency but folded under pressure internationally, her E scores were also very suspect all year long. Even Biles was given accurate E scores for a change. It is clear the judges are now rewarding execution as evidenced by the Belgium team’s stunning 5th place finish in qualifications, 15/16 routines were all above 8 for execution despite lower difficulty. The only routine not to go above 8 was one with a fall and that went 7.1

    Athletes like Skinner, McCallum, Chiles should never have made it to the Olympics when you have DiCello, Wong, Eaker, Hurd, and McCusker. Unfortunate injuries do occur, but also you can’t take gymnasts who fail to hit. GAGE should be producing champions based on their execution but have failed for over 5 Olympics to construct routines that will score well with the COP.

    Hopefully changes will be made, but I highly doubt it.

    I think the only change we could pray for would be for Simone to speak up about abolishing USAG and starting her own gymnastics federation that would replace USAG. Hire Aimee Boorman and either Thom Gillemi or Mark Williams for HPDs. Aly Raisman for director of athlete affairs and safety, she might be annoying when she speaks but she isn’t afraid to take a stand and back gymnasts 100%.

    1. I forgot to add in the fact that Tom has no clue what he is doing was evident as to when Biles withdrew Chiles had not warmed up bars or beam and Lee had not warmed up vault or floor. Granted no one expected that to happen to Biles. But you don’t go into team finals with a 4 person team and not have everyone warm up all events- that was just stupidity.

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