All posts by balancebeamsituation

Guimarães World Cup – Finals Day 2

The second day of finals from Guimarães brought more Nightmare Cat, more rambling Olympic Channel insanity, and much more YORG, along with medals in the remaining five events or whatever. Let’s go.

Men’s Vault

8th place – Rene Cournoyer (CAN) – Rene sat his opening double front vault, then went all hoppy on a Kas 1/1 landing to drop him to 8th.

7th place – Robert Tvorogal (LTU) – Tvorogal performed the same vaults as Cournoyer with the same result, also sitting his double front. He did land his Kas 1/1 with more control, though, to take 7th.

6th place – Simon Lopez (MEX) – Lopez struggled a bit landing his handspring 2/1, squatting deep and lunging to the side, which took him out of contention.

5th place – Marco Rizzo (SUI) – Rizzo had the only hit double front in the final (1 for 4!) and did so for a competitive score, but he just didn’t have the second-vault difficulty, performing only a Kas.

4th place – Fabian De Luna (MEX) – De Luna started very well with a cleanly twisted Kas 1/1—just a medium bound forward—but he too sat down his double front to miss the medals.

3rd place – Takumi Sato (JPN) – A sideward lunge nearly off the mat on a handspring 2.5 took Sato down to third, but he followed that with a stuck Kas 1/1, if a little deep, to keep himself in the medals.

2nd place – Jorge Vega Lopez (GUA) – Don’t worry, his name is still very much YORG, apparently. Vega controlled his landings quite well on both the handspring 2.5 and the Kas 1.5, with just small steps, though his knees and ankles may have died after coming in short on the handspring. Unclear. A couple form things, but a good showing.

1st place – Manrique Larduet (CUB) – It was an absolutely fantastic Dragulescu, insanely high and comfortably completed, that earned Manrique the gold here. He needed to be that good for gold, since his opening Kas 1.5 was landed deeper than the others with a significant lunge back. Continue reading Guimarães World Cup – Finals Day 2


Guimarães World Cup – Finals Day 1

To open the competition, everyone had to run out at ill-timed intervals while being shouted at by the Horned Nightmare Cat, so everything is going fine in the world.

Anyway, here’s what else happened on day 1 of finals.

Women’s Vault

8th place – Emily Thomas (GBR) – Thomas had qualified in second place but fell on her Tsuk full here, dropping her to last.

7th place – Sara Peter (HUN)  – Peter intended a layout Tsuk full as her first vault but tucked it and hopped well out of the area, putting her down below the others on difficulty and execution despite a strong second vault.

6th place – Ahtziri Sandoval (MEX) – Sandoval stumbled backward with two large lunges on her opening Tsuk full, which took her out of contention in this final.

5th place – Tijana Tkalcec (CRO) – Tkalcec opened with a fairly nice front handspring pike 1/2 that had her in medal contention, but a large lunge back out of her FTY with some crazy legs on the block and a pike down put her in 5th place.

4th place – Laurie Denommee (CAN) – Denommee started with a reasonably NCAA Yurchenko full with just some knees and a small step back, but a more significant hop back on her handspring pike 1/—in addition to a straddle on the table—saw her finish just out of the medals.

3rd place – Victoria Mata (MEX) – Mata performed very well in this final, executing a high handspring tuck 1/2 as her first vault with just a small hop, followed by a FTY with laudable distance and shape. It was her execution (the best in the final) that allowed her to survive lower difficulty and still medal.

2nd place – Gabriela Janik (POL) – Janik’s opening handspring tuck 1/1 gave her a slight difficulty edge, and she did well to show a clean tucked shape at the end of that vault. She did have a multi-step stumble backward on her Tsuk full second vault but was able to use her few tenths of difficulty advantage to stay toward the top.

1st place – Yeo Seojeong (KOR) – Yeo’s victory here is a lovely example of everything wrong with the vaulting code. She had the weakest performance of the final, taking a huge stumble backward with multiple lunges on a DTY, followed by a hands-down fall on a rudi, and yet managed to win gold exclusively because of her massive D-score advantage over the others.  Continue reading Guimarães World Cup – Finals Day 1

Junior Pan Ams Event Finals Live Blog

Women’s EF Qualifiers

Vault: Tatum (USA), Wong (USA), Heron (PAN) Cortes (COL), St Pierre (CAN), Da Silva (BRA), Paterson (CAN), Fernandez (ARG)

Bars: Bowers (USA), Allaire-Bourgie (CAN), Wong (USA), Araujo (ARG), Paterson (CAN), Vargas (MEX), Magistrati (ARG), Bezerra (BRA)

Beam: Wong (USA), Bowers (USA), Allaire-Bourgie (CAN), Spence (CAN), Dos Santos (BRA), Lopez (MEX), Magistrati (ARG), Da Silva (BRA)

Floor: Bowers (USA), Allaire-Bourgie (CAN), Tatum (USA), Vargas (MEX), Fernandez (ARG), St Pierre (CAN), Briceño (MEX), Carrara (ARG)

Men’s floor has just completed, with the title going to JR Chou from the US, who nailed pretty much all his passes, so we’re moving on to women’s vault now, which will run simultaneously to pommel horse. Continue reading Junior Pan Ams Event Finals Live Blog

Things Are Happening – June 14, 2018

A. Junior Pan Ams

Women’s team and AA competition concluded yesterday at the Junior Pan Ams, with the US taking the team title by 7 points over second-place Canada. The hosts Argentina beat out Brazil for the bronze.

Jordan Bowers won the AA title with a 54.750, followed by Canada’s Zoe Allaire-Bourgie with 53.450, and Leanne Wong with 52.950. Tori Tatum finished fourth overall with 52.600.

The top seven countries in the AA here each qualified 1 spot to October’s Youth Olympic Games if they want it. That would be USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala. (Panama’s athlete Hilary Heron finished ahead of Guatemala’s, but Heron is a 2004 baby and is not age-eligible for the YOG.)

The US is still ostensibly claiming that it’s not sending a female artistic athlete to the YOG (as per the original plan), but USAG also stated that it selected Tori Tatum for the team because she is age-eligible for the YOG. So huh?

There was some question over Tatum’s selection as a replacement for Sunisa Lee because Tatum finished behind Lippeatt, Pilgrim, and McClain at the verification meet at WCC, and those standings were used to choose the junior Pan Ams team. USAG’s explanation for the selection was that Tatum is YOG-eligible as a 2003 baby, while the other three are not. That would seem to indicate that USAG is planning to send a woman to YOG after all. Or is just a total garbage barge in all respects at this point, which is also true.

Anyway, if the US doesn’t send anyone, the next spot goes to Costa Rica.

On the men’s side, Brandon Briones of the US took the all-around title, with silver to Diego Soares from Brazil and bronze to Felix Dolci from Canada. The team standings followed the same pattern: Canada in 3rd, Brazil in 2nd, and the US in first.

All event finals will take place on Friday, and all the gymnasts have frostbite because the competition is being held in an industrial meat freezer. FUN!

B. Nationality news

Laney Madsen—who appeared at US Classic in 2017 to chuck all the beam difficulty into your face and competed most recently at an elite qualifier in January—has announced that she’s representing Bulgaria now and will be doing so at worlds this year.

Uh…OK? Sure?

This isn’t a BeloAmerican situation because Madsen’s mother is Bulgarian—so she has an actual connection to the country and equal heritable legitimacy to represent Bulgaria as to represent the US. Continue reading Things Are Happening – June 14, 2018

2018 Junior Pan Ams Live Blog

It’s the slow season. We’ll take what we can get. And what we can get right now is the Junior Pan American Championship.

The stakes here are predominantly the chance to be like “TROPHY,” but also seven qualification spots to this October’s Youth Olympic Games.

There is already some drama in that regard because the US women have never sent anyone to YOG before and were not intending to send anyone this year. But then when Sunisa Lee had to be replaced on the US team, Tori Tatum was selected (By someone…? At some point…?), reportedly because she was born in 2003 and is therefore age-eligible for the YOG—the competition the US wasn’t planning on sending any women to.

So fine and good. Definitely organized. Everything has been thought through so well. I, for one, feel extremely empowered. Continue reading 2018 Junior Pan Ams Live Blog

2020 Olympic Qualification Explained…But Like Actually

The 2020 Olympic qualification process is so weird and dumb, you guys. You are completely forgiven for putting off trying to understand it for as long as possible.

But it’s starting to be that time of quad…

Recently, the FIG released an entirely unhelpful gibberish video (the part about continental championships is actually indecipherable) that was supposed to explain this cuckoo-pants fever dream of a system to the uneducated masses. Thank you, it didn’t. Try again, but this time pretend like you’ve had a conversation with a human person before.

Anyway, here’s the actual deal.

What’s the team format for the 2020 Olympics?

Qualification is 4-4-3 (4 on the team, 4 compete each event, 3 scores count).

The Team Final is 4-3-3 (3 up, 3 count—the format we know well).

Translation: All four selected teams members will be all-arounders. It’s terrible.

How do teams qualify?

The top 3 teams from the 2018 Worlds Team Final advance to the Olympics.

Then, 9 more teams from 2019 Worlds Qualification will join them.

12 teams. Done. That’s all. No bothering with Test Event qualification this time. Team qualification is finished by the fall of 2019.

How do gymnasts without teams qualify?

In the all-around at 2019 worlds, the best 20 women and 12 men who aren’t part of qualified teams will also go to the Olympics (limit 1 per country) along with the top 3 from event finals who aren’t part of qualified teams (limit 3 per country).

These spots are for the individual, not for the country. So it’s not Switzerland getting an Olympic spot; it’s Giulia Steingruber specifically getting an Olympic spot.

What’s the deal with these specialist spots?

Oops. Don’t call them specialists. You might get murdered. They’re simply individuals and can compete all events at the Olympics if they choose.

This quad, there are several new methods of Olympic qualification open to any individuals, whether they’re part of a qualified team or not. Qualified teams can earn two more spots through these routes, bringing their potential Olympic teams up to six members.

Event World Cups
The overall winner of the event world cup series on each apparatus gets a spot at the Olympics (limit 1 per country). These spots are also for the individual, not for the country.

The event world cup qualification series begins in Cottbus in November 2018 and ends in Doha in March 2020. Each gymnast’s best 3 results during that period count for the final rankings.

All-Around World Cups
The top 3 countries at the end of the four 2020 All-Around World Cups (American Cup, Stuttgart, London, Tokyo) earn spots at the Olympics. These spots are for the country, not for the individual.

Continental Championships
The top 2 finishers in the all-around final at the 2020 continental championships earn a spot at the Olympics. That spot is for the individual, unless that gymnast’s country is already qualified as a team, then it is for the country.

What if I’m just pretending to be interested in all this but really only care about how it affects the US women?

Thank you for your honesty.

The US women will qualify a team of four gymnasts to the 2020 Olympics after placing among the top 3 teams at the 2018 World Championship (let’s be real here).

The US women will gain a fifth Olympic spot by sending athletes to the all-around world cup events in March and April of 2020 (American Cup, Stuttgart, London, Tokyo) and placing in the top three in the overall standings at the end of those four meets.

The US women will gain a sixth Olympic spot by sending athletes to the 2020 Pan American Championships and placing someone in the top 2 in the AA final.

The US will then select its team of six (four gymnasts competing for the team, two gymnasts competing solely for themselves) following the Olympics Trials as usual.

So, for US women’s purposes, the 2020 American Cup is the first meet that will matter for earning those two extra individual spots. You don’t have to worry about it until then.

The US will not bother with the individual event world cups since Olympic spots earned there are for the athlete rather than for the country. The US wants to be able to pick its own team, rather than have its team determined by external competition results.

I heard that people who are on the worlds team can’t compete at these other qualifying events. What white nonsense is that?

I know, it’s weird.

Countries that have already qualified teams to the Olympics cannot send the gymnasts who earned that team qualification off to earn more Olympic spots at the event worlds cups and continental championships. (This does not apply for the all-around world cups.)

Explain specifically for the US women, please and thank you.

So, since the US women won’t attempt to get a spot from the event world cups, this really only applies to the continental championships.

Basically, it will mean that the all-arounders on 2020 Pan American Championships team cannot have been on the 2018 worlds team. Not a big deal in the end.

And that’s that.

-12 teams of 4.
-Various individuals.
-Qualified teams can send up to six gymnasts to the Olympics given the right circumstances.