The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

2021 World Championships – Women’s All-Around Final Live Blog

It’s time for medals.

But first, #4 qualifier Hatakeda Hitomi has had to withdraw after a serious spine injury sustained in training on bars yesterday. So that sucks. Prognosis is unclear but potentially optimistic.

She’s replaced in the final by first alternate Czenge Bacskay, who will join the lead group of Melnikova, Wong, DiCello, Urazova, and Martins. Expectations are that the two Russians and two Americans will fight it out for the medals, but if there’s any kind of meltdown scenario, pretty much everyone in the first two groups will consider themselves a contender.

Stream is on NBC Sports for those of you in the US. Right now there’s a commercial for old Russian Jewish ladies, and I’m buying.

I notice that the Kitakyushu Toilet Museum hasn’t made the Wall of Important Images on the world feed.

Introductions now, going one at a time.

Angelinaaaaaaaaa with a long pause. The Russian names have been an adventure.

Asia D’Amato is like I WILL NOT STOP AND WAVE FOR YOU.

Intros over, touch warmup starting now.

Rotation 1

The warmup is allegedly over, but in this case on vault everyone still gets their alloted number of turns. Urazova’s touch vault looked good.

DiCello – VT – DTY, very good control on landing, only a small hop, leg crossing throughout, good direction, pikes down at the end. 14.600

Wong – VT – DTY, one of her better blocks lately in terms of height, but she takes multiple steps back to control and is a little off line. A little shuffle, moving both feet, and then an additional step-salute, so opening the door.

Ceplinschi on floor has one of the better turning split rings. Controls DLO. Full-in with a larger bounce back. 

Long wait for Wong’s score.

Melnikova – VT – DTY, good power and direction, but a large bounce back on landing, not the control she wanted, but fine.

14.341 for Wong, which tells us that the reference panel has to intervene because of a disagreement.

Just 12.800 for Bachynska on bars.

Medium hop back on a Yfull for Martins on vault, perfectly solid. 13.466

14.466 for Melnikova.

Urazova – VT – FTY, sensibly. Very easy for her, small hop in place, a little bit of piking. She does not necessarily need the DTY to medal here. 13.566

Wei – UB – inbar full to inbar shap to pak, lovely form – van leeuwen, clean – inbar 1/2 to healy to ling, Ling is veerrrrrry late and she can’t work out of it, has to stop and hop off the bar. Sigh.

Bacskay goes 13.666 for her Y1.5, lands a bit short, step back.

Looks like bars has been…unkind so far.

Ceplinschi gets 13.066 on floor.

Serber – BB – hits her triple wolf and double, working quickly out of the double – falls on side aerial – second fall on bhs lay-pike – she does just a layout dismount after her debacle from qualification.

Long wait to figure out what to do with Wei’s bars score. Ends up at 13.366

Asia D’Amato – UB – Church to pak, good, leg break on pak – maloney to tkatchev, solid amplitude – Ray and falls, couldn’t get her grips over the bar. Resumes, finishes with her double front, lunge forward.

Good 12.933 for Rose Woo on floor.

10.300 for Serber on beam. 12.600 for Asia D’Amato.

Visser – UB – Tkatchev 1/2 to yezhova is hit, some legs – stalder full to stalder shap to pak, very clean – van leeuwen, hit, larger l;eg break – toe full to FTDT, lands deep with a large lunge forward. Great until the dismount.

Fenton goes 12.566 on beam

13.800 for Visser on bars puts her in 4th place currently.

Lee YS – inbar full, a little pike – inbar shap to pak, pretty – van leeuwen – some hip angle in these handstands – inbar 1/2 to piked jaeger, good – stalder full, late to FTDT, hop forward. Not the larger error of qualification but in general she won’t be happy with those pirouette finish and handstand positions, and neither will the E judges.

Stacey goes 12.000 on beam.

13.566 for Lee YS.

After 1:
DiCello – 14.600
Melnikova – 14.466
Wong – 14.341
Grand Canyon
Visser – 13.800
Bacskay – 13.666

Very large gap between the top three and everyone else after one rotation, but Urazova currently sitting in a tie for 6th place can make that up with her bars in the next rotation.

Rotation 2

On to the touch warmup for rotation 2. Wong will lead off the top group on bars here.

Melnikova once again giving us her usual touch warmup adventure on the piked jaeger. It’s a tradition.

DiCello is stalking the bars as Bacskay warms up like I WILL GET A TOUCH THIS TIME.

Shin Solyi hits a piked full in to start her floor, front lay to front 2/1, hop forward, keeps it in bounds, good leap extension – 1.5 to front full, good control – double pike, stumble back, a couple steps – wolf double to finish. Good overall.

Wong – UB – toe full, good position, into Maloney to pak to van leeuwen, small leg break – stalder 1/2 to jaeger, smooth – 1/2 turn on high, not bad – stalder – DLO, stuck landing. Very nice. As well as she can do on bars really. The D score won’t be toohigh, but the E score should be strong. 14.066. 5.5/8.566. If Wong is breaking 14 on bars, it’s one of her best routines.

Melnikova – UB – inabr full to inbar shap to pak, strong – short cast hs – van leeuwen, nice – solid cast there – inbar 1/2, little leg break into piked jaeger, no trouble – 1/2 turn is late – toe full, very good finish into FTDT, only a small hop. Strong one, will score very well. Just some hip angle in some casts, and of course that orphan 1/2 turn that will be the death of me.

14.533 for Melnikova, which is solid, not her very strongest. She’ll have just shy of 6 tenths on Wong after 2 events.

Wei got 13.733 on beam, but she basically needed to be winning after her best two events, and she won’t be.

Martins – UB – Hinrdoff, good – Martins to yezhova, legs but hit – toe full, a bit late, no connection – maloney to pak, smooth – van leeuwen goes crazy, big leg break and can’t catch.

13.000 for Martins.

Asia D’Amato goes 11.900 on beam. The Italians are not having a day.

Urazova – UB – critical routine for her chances -inbar to inbar shap to pak to van leeuwen, excellent – inbar 1/2 to piked jaeger, catches quite close but works out of it – toe full to FTDT, chest down, little hop. Will be a solid number, won’t be her very best score because of the close catch and the ensuing handstand work, but it will still be among the highest bars scores of the day. 

14.333. She’ll be about a half point behind Wong after 2 events.

Fenton – FX – double L turn, around – double front is very short, sits it down

12.966 for Visser on beam.

Bacskay – UB – Shang to pak, close catch but connects into the pak just fine – toe piro attempt, leg break, can’t get over and has to recast after going the other direction – 57 giants on high bar and then just does a layout dismount

DiCello – UB – stalder full to maloney, good  into tkatchev, ohhhhh takes it too far and falls. Melnikova just got the buffer she needed heading to beam – piked jaeger, good – Church, hit – pak – van leeuwen, small leg break – FTDT, small hop.

Bachysnka – BB – bhs to front tuck, very solid – switch to switch 1/2 to split jump, a little short on the 1/2, otherwise nice – aerial to split ring jump, little check, breaks combo into bhs – still does bhs and has her biggest wobble on it – split leap to side aerial, secure – switch ring, not quite, another lean correction – dobule tuck dismount, got nothing on that, barely around, lunge back

12.766 for DiCello drops her to 4th place, .533 back of Urazova now

Hubareva finishes up floor with a 2.5, medium step – 2/1, bounce back, leg crossing

After 2:
Melnikova – 28.999
Wong – 28.407
Urazova – 27.899
DiCello – 27.366
Wei – 27.099

It speaks to the gap between the top athletes and everyone else that DiCello and Wei are in the top 5 with falls on one of their two routines. DiCello’s fall was the first blink from a top contender. Visser and Ceplinschi have been the strongest of the next tier thus far, sitting in 6th and 7th. Martins still managed to be in 8th with her own bars fall.

Rotation 3

Well, so, um, beam.

Melnikova will lead off here.

Melnikova – BB – switch mean to switch to split leap, very small correction at the end – bhs loso, nice – aerial to split jump to straddle jump – bhs 1/1, bend at the hips, pulls it back – wolf double, some extemporaneous arm waving but fine – side somi, pulls it up quickly – split ring jump, little check – double pike, bounce back and an extra step, but a hit. Dare I say it’s smooth sailing now?

13.800 for her on beam. Even higher than I thought it would be.

Wei – FX – 3/1 to punch front gets verrrrry low, deep squat, just does pull it back – double tuck, step back – 2/1 is no trouble. Just a 12.400

Fenton hits a solid DTY for 14.333 there.

Martins – BB – side aerial to bhs, good – split leap to side somi, arm wave – y spin, nice – wolf jump to sissone – split 1/2 with a lean correction – aerial, little pause before split jump to bhs – 2/1 dismount, bounce.

Asia’ D’Amato bounces back OOB on full in first pass. Dood double arabian though

Alice D’Amato hits a secure DTY, only a small hop to the side, some soft knees

Long wait for Martins beam score. 12.933, 1 tenth behind Wei right now.

Urazova – BB – immediately falls on loso mount. Dear dear. AN ACRO SERIES THOUGH – WITH THREE WHOLE ELEMENTS –  aerial to split jump, solid – onodi, large leg-up check – wolf triple was a little uncomfortable by her standards, the double is fine – side aerial, solid – bhs bhs 2.5, good, small hop. Well, opened the door back up for DiCello for a medal there.

Visser with a hit on floor, though I do wonder if her 3/1 is risking downgrade. 12.666 has her currently in 4th.

Urazova just 12.333 on beam.

Lee YS – FX – doubel y spin, around, falls out of it a bit – pike full in, very deep, hops back to get herself under control, 3/1, crossed legs but pretty secure landing – split leap full, around – 1.5 to front full, a couple shuffles back – wolf double, hit – double pike, slide back

Bacskay goes 11.700 on beam.

DiCello – BB – candle mount, hit – wolf triple and wolf double, fine, just slightly rushed – side aerial, hit – switch to split – bhs loso loso, secure, tiniest lean – aerial, keeps moving into straddle and split but they’re rather short – straddle 1/2 from side, little lean – long pause befroe dismount bhs bhs double tuck, deep but hit, bounce back. That will bring her right back in it. Lots of little tenths that will add up, but also will be one of the best beam scores we’ve seen.

13.400 for Dicello, puts her five tenths ahead of Urazova now. DiCello with the edge on floor.

Ceplinschi went 12.566 on bars, a Romanian 14.

DiCello’s score has been up for a while on beam, but Wong still hasn’t gotten the light.

Now she does.

Wong – BB – switch to straddle, hit, good positions – side aerial to loso, step back to save it, and an additional lean – L turn is nice, though probably takes too long before connected full turn – switch ring, E problems but secure – side somi to straddle jump 1/2, strong combination – aerial to split jump – 2.5 dismount, hop forward. Wow, she’s one floor routine away from world silver.

Heduit – FX – full in, short, lunge forward – double arabian, nice height but steps forward OOB – switch ring and split leap full, fine, a little bouncy on landing – falls out of doubel y spin before completing – double tuck, step back – wolf double, mayyyybe around? – double pike, bounce back, a couple steps. 12.533

A 13.900 for Wong (!!!!!) has her within sight of Melnikova, putting pressure on Melnikova to hit her floor. Now isn’t that interesting.

After 3
1. Melnikova 42.799
2. Wong – 42.307
3. DiCello – 40.766
4. Urazova – 40.232
5. Wei – 39.499

How is Wei sticking around in 5th? She still gets to vault, but sadly for her that’s not a huge tenth winner. If she had hit bars….

Rotation 4

Melnikova has the best scoring potential on floor here, so it is in her hands, but Wong is putting enough pressure on her that Melnikova cannot have a major landing error (if Wong hits). Wong, meanwhile, may not even have to hit one of her good ones to clinch silver. DiCello in the driver’s seat for bronze with her higher floor scoring potential than Urazova, unless Urazova brings back some difficulty.

Martins – FX – double y turn, probably around enough – double tuck, good chest up position – little bounce back – leg up hop full – switch 1/2 – 2.5, pace forward, keeps it in bounds – falls out of doubel L turn, only gets a single around – front tuck through to 2/1, nice landing

Asia D’Amato hits a DTY, good direction. She’s done on 51.699.

12.800 for Martins. 52.199

Visser hits a Yfull, a little short, hop forward, some pike. 13.400. She’s on 52.832, highest score of the people who are done so far.

Urazova – FX – double y spin, a little hesitation into illsuion – double pike, hit, bounce back, some chest position – 2.5 to front tuck, little hop back – split leap full, pulls it around – wolf triple and wolf double are no problem here – front 2/1, step forward, stays in – 2/1, control, leg crossing. I’d say pretty equivalent to her qualification performance.

Fenton belly slams the low bar on her Yezhova after her Fenton and comes off.

Hit DTY from Heduit, lunge back, 14.266. 51.965.

Rather a delay for Urazova’s score.

13.366 for Urazova, less than a tenth down on Q. She’s on 53.598, the current leader.

Wei – VT – Yfull, kind of a large bounce back, some piking, not the most distance. 13.200. 52.699, which will see her finish behind Visser.

Williams – BB – loso mount, lovely amplitude – bhs loso, good extension, lean to the side – switch with a pause before switch 1/2, large break, leg up wobble – there’s a reason she’s a favorite, lovely extension on everything she does – ah stag ring gets very crazy and she wobbles 1500 times both directions but stays on the beam – 2/1 dismount, a little short, hop. 12.066

Stacey has a bit of trouble on her stalder tuck 1/2 dismount, lands a little awkwardly with a crossover step

11,933 for Bacskay on floor, 48.665 final.

DiCello – FX – double double tuck, bounce back – 1.5 to front full, holds the landing well because she came in a little short, not much movement – wolf triple is around, wolf double, a hair overrotated – switch ring, nice – split leap full, OK, little bounce – doubel pike, shrotish, hop forward. A couple things but will get her a medal.

13.800 and a 54.566 final for DiCello, into first.

Ceplinschi – BB – candle mount, good – wolf double, leans forward to hold it, did she grab the beam? – split ring leap, not bad for those, just some foot flexing – loso series, check – switch to split leap to split jump, gets the connection – front tuck is supper deep and falls, kind of surprised she event got it to her feet in the first place, it was very low – bhs bhs double tuck, hop to the side

Wong – FX – double L turn, around – double double tuck, good control on landing – popa, a little bouncy – whip to 3/1, pretty large bounce back but chest up fine on landing – leg up turn – ring position is too low – 2.5 to front full, another very well controlled landing – doubel pike, bounce back.

Four hit events for Leanne Wong, 2 days of competition. Take her out of the Olympic Trials process, and everything looks so much better. She’s got a silver locked up.

Woo – BB – candle mount, good – bhs back whio-lay-pike, hits with an arm wave – switch ring attempt, both feet slip and she comes off – aerial to split to tuck jump 1/2, check – side somi, good – split 1/2, large lean forward – switch 1/2 – doubel pike, very deep, just gets it around, hop forward. 11.700

Just waiting on Wong’s score and Melnikova’s routine now.

Lots of long scoring delays for Wong today.

14.033 for Wong, so she goes 56.340 and into 1st.

Melnikova needs 13.541 to match Wong.

Melnikova – FX – DLO 1/1, solid, bounce back – L turn 2.5 to a double turn – DLO, small slide – switch – split ring jump 1/2, you know – front 1/1, kind of weird, large bounce – wolf double, a little crazy arms – y spin double is excellent – double pike, bounce back. Not her best but certainly enough.

FINAL
1. Melnikova – 56.632
2. Wong – 56.340
3. DiCello – 54.566
4. Urazova – 53.598
5. Visser – 52.832

13.833 for Melnikova on floor, which means she came in about 3 tenths ahead of Wong. A lot closer than I thought it would be if they both hit four events.

Well, we had two people who brought a high level today, and they go 1-2. Really strong performances from both. DiCello takes bronze. Interesting that even if you give her back the fall on bars, she’s still in 3rd. I mean, well not interesting because that’s also correct based on gymnastics, but worth noting. No one else besides the top 2 had big days, and DiCello was the strongest of those with a miss. Urazova able to take 4th on talent despite major downgrades and a beam fall.

Visser amazing for 5th place, the best Dutch performance in the AA ever.

Like Urazova, Wei Xiaoyuan managed a high ranking (6th) despite nowhere near her best level. Martins in 7th is also a huge deal for her, achieved with a fall.

Between Melnikova and Wong, it came down to bars difficulty. Melnikova’s 6-tenth advantage there was the only significant difference between the two on the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: