Well, this is going to be more interesting than it was supposed to be! The US women’s flat performance in qualification resulting in a one-point deficit to Russia has added layers upon layers to this one.
The US women should still be considered the favorites in this final because they performed so far below their potential level in qualification, compared to a Russian team that nailed the meet, and have much more than a point they can gain on that showing with even an average meet today. Also Russia has to hit beam again. But this is certainly not the foregone conclusion it should have been based on the everything. And there will be plenty of time to talk about why.
The big start list news was the inclusion of Grace McCallum in the all-around for the team final. It’s a bold move, though I have learned better than to try to read actual strategy into any decision beyond that she got higher scores than Chiles on bars and beam in qualification. Resolving the beam start value issue will be essential. Have they bothered? We’ll find out. McCallum has looked pretty steady thus far across PT and qualification so there’s every reason to feel confident you’re getting hits out of her, though Chiles has been a rock all year on bars and beam, with higher scores than McCallum on bars, and tossing her aside after a single bad day is a big choice. We’ll see if it ends up being an act of self-sabotage.
The other controversial move is the dumping of Ou Yushan on beam, who had a wobbly day in qualification but could have China’s best score on a good day. Throughout the year, she has been China’s least consistent beamer among the options, but I still would have gone for broke if I were China because they need to make a BIG move to get close to 1-2—yet don’t necessarily even need to hit all that well to get third. I think fear of having a mess and dropping to 4th like at worlds in 2019 has informed that decision. Which, I mean, it’s a legitimate fear.
GB dropping Jessica Gadirova on beam is also a thing, and Belgium does not appear to be going for it here as they’re not using Nina on vault. Presumably, this is to give Nina some rest for finals, but it’s a drop in score for the team total.
Continue reading Women’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.
Continue reading Men’s Olympic Team Final
Currently, Canada sits in the cutoff position, 8th as a team with 160.964. A familiar spot for Canada.
On the events, the last three spots currently belong to Steingruber, Murakami, and Black, who will have to try to survive Andrade, Moreno, and Yeo in this final group.
On bars, the last three spots currently belong to Biles, De Jesus Dos Santos, and Popa with people like Derwael, Seitz, Bui, Adlerteg, Kovacs, and Andrade still to perform among others.
On beam, the last three spots belong to Biles, Urazova, and Ashikawa, and while this is not such a beam-heavy group, there are Saraiva, Derwael, Schaefer, and Andrade here.
On floor, the last three spots belong to Melnikova, Murakami, and Jennifer Gadirova, but there are not a tonnnn of 13.8ables in this group. Andrade and Saraiva are here.
Continue reading Women’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivision 5
Well, we’ve already had an arcane team deduction taken for not following vault warmup rules and a late inquiry that changed which athlete got 2-per-country-ed from the all-around final, and we’re not even halfway done. Mary, get ready.
Currently, Russia leads the team competition with 171.629, so that will be the bare minimum aim for the United States, and both qualifying US all-arounders will hope to best Melnikova’s 57.132.
We start subdivision 3 with the US on floor, Netherlands on bars, and Larisa Iordache in her lone event on beam.
One of the big event final issues to watch is going to be Murakami’s 13.933 on floor that already sits in 5th, which we assume will go down to 7th place after the US does floor. Fan Yilin is also already in 4th on bars, which is interesting since there’s more bars depth than floor depth in the later groups.
The first thing to be decided: Which American joins Biles in the floor final.
Athletes out for their intros now. Apparatus feed is going to be especially important because the main feed is just on John and Bridget, the stars of the games.
Touch warmup begins.
Continue reading Women’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivisions 3 & 4
Unlike for the men, some of the women’s subdivisions are grouped together in the same session running back-to-back, so I’m keeping them in the same post.
Here, we have the Japan and Italy subdivision up first, and the big one, the Russia, China, Great Britain subdivision, up right afterward.
In the first, I have Japan penciled in as the most likely #4 team, so we’ll see if the actual performance merits that, or whether Italy can regain some 2019ishness despite all the broken. Ferrari and Murakami should also give us a sense of what counts as a good floor score at these Olympics. I expect both teams to make the team final, but they’ll have to, you know, stay on a couple times.
Japan has Hiraiwa listed last for the team on every event, so I wonder if that just means they’re trying to score-build for her—or if she won’t necessarily do the AA if the three before her hit. Should be some good AA races here. Murakami is of course expected to make it for Japan, but the second Japanese gymnast and both Italians are up for grabs.
Continue reading Women’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivisions 1 & 2
It’s the turn of the US, Taiwan, Germany, and South Korea in the final subdivision, which will also give us all the answers we need about who is advancing to which final.
For team goals, Great Britain put up a really solid 4th place number earlier with a 256.594. Beating that should be the goal of the US team, and it’s certainly not a given that they’d do so. Average scores this year have been putting the US men more like 254 or 255, so they’ll need to step it up to qualify in 4th here.
Any team who goes better than 249.193 here is automatically in the team final.
These are the current cutoffs for event finals, so at very minimum, gymnasts must do better than that to get into EF.
Floor – 14.666
Continue reading Men’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivision 3
Horse – 14.666
Rings – 14.400
Vault – 14.000
PBars – 15.233
HBar – 14.333