Category Archives: 2021 Olympics

Men’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivision 2

On to subdivision 2!

Here we have Japan, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Brazil, and the race to see which Japanese gymnasts advance to the all-around final should be intense. It very realistically could be any of the 4 of them depending on the day and consistency, and if everyone crying at the end of every high bar routine at event nationals is any indication, there’s going to be kind of a lot riding on it.

Japan now knows the assignment, which is China’s 262.061, which leads Russia by a tenth.

In general, Great Britain has occupied 5th place in the team hierarchy lately, ahead of Switzerland, but we’ll see if GB’s team position holds up this year because there are some scoring holes in this group of four and they’ll have Whitlock up on just 3 events (but you COULDN’T select Becky Downie because she doesn’t do the AA).

Individually, we’ll have Uchimura competing on PB in rotation 1 (presumably to warm up) and high bar in rotation 2. Zanetti also goes to rings in rotation 2. Rotation 6 will also be a big deal, with Whitlock’s pommel horse and Petrounias on rings coming then.

Continue reading Men’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivision 2

Men’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivision 1

It’s happening!

In the team department, the first subdivision features big boys Russia and China, as well as Spain’s team, and an Oleg-free Ukraine trying to make do with 3 athletes on 4 of the 6 events.

Everyone for Russia is slated for every event on the start list, but Abliazin is listed 4th on several events and Dalaloyan is listed 4th on others, so we’ll see how much “I’m actually doing this routine” ends up happening versus how much “I’m straight-up a corpse.” Dalaloyan is also listed for two vaults. WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?

Nagornyy and Belyavisky will be the favorites to make the AA for Russia. Xiao Ruoteng and Sun Wei will enter as the favorites to make the AA for China, but it’s a close enough race that a fall can certainly upend things. This subdivision will also set the stage for what’s needed in terms of EF qualifying scores, but it will be hard to tell what’s actually going to hold up at this point.

As for the individual competitors, the big one to watch will be the second rotation, when McClenaghan will be up 4th on horse, Deurloo and Zonderland will be on high bar, and Zapata will be on floor. Also that’s Russia’s vault rotation (ack) and Zou Jingyuan’s PBars. So, that one’s going to be busy. But we’ll also see Dolgopyat and Shatilov on floor in rotation 3 and Dragulescu on vault in rotation 4.

In the team race, China starts on vault and Russia starts on rings. Rings should be a really good event for Russia, but vault is vault, so China will expect a lead after 1.

Just 19 of the individual men are slated to do the all-around. That means that with 2-per-country, there are only 43 possible people to qualify for the 24 AA final spots.

I have both the Tokyo live scores and the NBC live scores pages up to test which one is better and updates faster.

Continue reading Men’s Olympic Qualification – Subdivision 1

US Women’s Olympic Podium Training

It’s kind of strange going into a US women’s podium training without the looming specter of the reveal as to whether Laurie Hernandez will get to do the all-around in qualification or not.

But there’s still plenty to wonder about. Here’s what I’m pondering before we start, aka the main issues I’m watching for today.

Floor: Will Carey try the triple double? What passes is Lee going for, and has she decided to add more D? Where is McCallum placed in the order? I imagine the US will want McCallum to be able to go on floor in the team final—if for no other reason than as justification for this team selection because if McCallum only does vault in TF it’s going to look baaaaaaad. But also as a way of resting Lee so that she doesn’t have to do too much, especially if she ends up making the all-around final.

Vault: Who looks like she’s going to make the vault final, Carey or Skinner? We haven’t seen Carey’s Cheng since February, which will be the most critical vault to watch. Simone’s Yurchenko double pike. Is she going for it, and does her podium training performance encourage her to do it at other points in the competition?

Bars and Beam: How often/comfortably is Lee getting her 6.8 D score on bars? Will it be Chiles or McCallum for the third team final spot on beam? Does it look like Carey and Skinner will elect to do all four events in qualification?

Continue reading US Women’s Olympic Podium Training

US Men’s Olympic Podium Training

You know it’s the Olympics because I’m going to try to do live commentary of a men’s podium training session. Which will largely be composed of three skills and yelling, “GRIP IT BRO SWING IT YEAH BABY THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT.” And I suppose that’s entertainment in itself. What I’m saying is, this post will mostly be transcribing things that Sam Mikulak yells.

Continue reading US Men’s Olympic Podium Training

Olympic Links and Session Previews

US times and US streaming links.

Wednesday, July 21
6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Men’s Podium Training
United States
It’s men’s podium training. They’ll do a couple skills. The exciting part is that this will signal the ACTUAL OLYMPICS being ACTUALLY HERE. Brody Malone’s absence from a streamed training session earlier in the camp process provoked some concern over his status, so this will be the test for whether that was nothing or something.
Thursday, July 22
2:10am ET/11:10pm PT – Women’s Podium Training
United States
Typically, anticipation for US women’s podium training is based mostly on it being the opportunity to see who gets to do the all-around in qualification and who doesn’t, and then have a meltdown about that. With everyone getting to do the all-around in qualification this time, it’s more about the actual routine content (Yurchenko double pike? What passes is Lee doing on floor? Is Carey going to try the triple double?) and somewhat about the performance order and what that might tell us about the team final (i.e., where is McCallum in the order, and does that indicate what she’ll be called on to do?).
Friday, July 23
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT – Men’s Subdivision 1
Russia, China, Ukraine, Spain
McClenaghan, Zonderland, Deurloo, Srbic, Shatilov, Dolgopyat, Dragulescu, Georgiou, Koudinov, Jessen, Loo, Mohamed
While Russia and China will qualify to the team final easily, eyes will be on the physical stability of Russia in this session as the controversial move to put Abliazin onto the team in place of Kartsev means that Russia will be relying on Abliazin to produce a counting floor routine. Abliazin has not competed a floor routine in nearly a full quad. The race to see which Chinese athletes make the all-around final (Xiao and Sun favored, but definitely not guaranteed) will be a tight one, and this subdivision also presents the moment of truth for a number of big-name individuals as we’ll see McClenaghan try to get into the pommel horse final, as well as if Zonderland’s reports of his own demise have been exaggerated or not.
Saturday, July 24
1:30am ET/10:30pm PT – Men’s Subdivision 2
Japan, Switzerland, Great Britain, Brazil
Petrounias, Karimi, Shek, Davtyan, Petrov, Gonzalez, Le, Dinh, Corral, Cournoyer, Bull, Rumbutis, Huddleston, Eke
Japan begins its quest to win team gold at home, and at this point we will have already seen Russia and China so should have some solid basis for comparison. Great Britain’s selection of Whitlock for the team was done in the interest of individual events, but we’ll see how that affects the team score across the other apparatuses for a country that should theoretically be one in the group of “well, I guess if something happens…” contenders. Switzerland’s team may be more complete this time around. 
6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Men’s Subdivision 3
United States, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany
Yulo, Colak, Arican, Onder, Asil, Ait Said, Tommasone, Frasca, Lodadio, Edalli, Tvorogal, Tikhonov, Heggemsnes, Abdurakhimov
The United States team, which is expected to finish 4th here, will headline the final subdivision, looking to prove that they are closer to the medal teams than most of us think they are. Some major event contenders will be in action here, including Yulo on floor, Colak on rings, and Lee CK on pommel horse, plus we’ll get to see how 2012 vault champion Yang Hak Seon is looking. 
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT – Women’s Subdivision 1
Japan, Italy
Varinska, Magistrati, Derek, Vidiaux, Holasova, Ting, Nekrasova, Tan, Nayak, Rutty
The Japanese women got no home benefit at all with their placement in the first subdivision, but the comparison with Italy here will be critical. Despite Italy’s 2019 bronze medal, the composition of the teams this year points to Japan being the stronger squad. If Japan is to play any kind of spoiler role, the team will absolutely have to be better than Italy in this subdivision. Floor is also key here. Murakami and Ferrari will both expect to make that final and will have to get the kind of scores that hold up for the whole day. 
10:50pm ET/7:50pm PT – Women’s Subdivision 2
Russia, China, Great Britain
Rooskrantz, Hämmerle, Ryan, Daries, Gehani
The big one. You’ll be drowning in two-per-country drama. Russia has Listunova, Melnikova, and Urazova on a pretty level playing field all aiming for the AA final, while every member of China’s team could end up as a top-2 all-arounder for them depending on the day (based on average score this year, Zhang, Lu, and Tang are all within a tenth, while if Ou hits, she can be the best one), not to mention China’s five-way race to make the beam final. Somewhat overlooked in this group is that Great Britain should have its own fight for spots in the all-around final with all four capable of getting there with hits.
Sunday, July 25
2:10am ET/11:10pm PT – Women’s Subdivision 3
United States, Netherlands
Iordache, Holbura, Godwin, Whitehead, Martins, Mokosova, Francis, Sasnal, Castro, Savranbasi, Orrego
The US will solve its two-per-country questions here, with the clashes to make the all-around final (Lee vs Chiles…one would think?) and the vault final (Skinner vs Carey once and for all) looming particularly large, but floor is also lurking as a probable free-for-all. The Netherlands is one of the bubble teams attempting to make the team final against many of the teams in subdivisions 4 and 5 so will have to set a strong mark the others can’t catch. For the individuals, we’ll see what finals Iordache might make and how she shapes up in terms of all-around scores as one of the top…10ish?…contenders there.
4:05am ET/1:05am PT – Women’s Subdivision 4
France, Canada, Spain
Steingruber, Chusovitina, Raz, Abdul Hadi, Alvarado
Most of the major medal favorites will have competed in the first three subdivisions, so in these later groups the race to make the team final will be the focus. Based on average scores this year, France and Canada would rank as the #7 and #8 teams in the world, so technically favored to make the team final, but only barely in a very close race. Chusovitina also competes in this group, hoping to make yet another Olympic vault final. She’s going to have to pull out her good ones to do it.
7:20am ET/4:20am PT – Women’s Subdivision 5
Belgium, Germany
Andrade, Saraiva, Moreno, Kovacs, Yeo, Lee, Adlerteg, Mohamed, Ibrahim, Erichsen, Traukova
Belgium and Germany are also in contention to make the team final, but probably on the outside looking in right now. Helpfully, we’ll know what they have to score and whether it looks possible before this subdivision begins. With Derwael and Seitz competing in this group, the bars race won’t be settled until right at the end, and vault could be shaken up as well with Moreno and Yeo here as individuals. Andrade and Saraiva will both be aiming for multiple finals, and with Andrade as one of the top-scoring all-arounders in the world this year, it will be worth keeping an eye on how her score compares to the qualified AAers from Russia and China.
Monday, July 26
6:00am ET/3:00am PT – Men’s Team Final STREAM
Tuesday, July 27
6:45am ET/3:45am PT – Women’s Team Final STREAM
Wednesday, July 28
6:15am ET/3:15am PT – Men’s All-Around Final STREAM
Thursday, July 29
6:50am ET/3:50am PT – Women’s All-Around Final STREAM
Sunday, August 1
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Men’s Floor Final STREAM
4:55am ET/1:55am PT – Women’s Vault Final STREAM
5:44am ET/2:44am PT – Men’s Horse Final STREAM
6:27am ET/3:27am PT – Women’s Bars Final STREAM
Monday, August 2
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Men’s Rings Final STREAM
5:00am ET/2:00am PT – Women’s Floor Final STREAM
5:54am ET/2:54am PT – Men’s Vault Final STREAM
Tuesday, August 3
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Men’s Parallel Bars Final STREAM
4:48am ET/1:48am PT – Women’s Beam Final STREAM
5:37am ET/2:37am PT – Men’s High Bar Final STREAM

Things Are Happening – July 19, 2021

A. Everything Is Fine

The US gymnastics community was thrown into a tizzy early this morning stateside (a 4:16am wake-up text to be exact, which I would like noted for the court record) with news that Olympic alternate Kara Eaker tested positive for COVID. Well, originally it was just an “unnamed teenage gymnast,” which was professional-sounding code for “we can’t say who it is yet but we need you to know immediately that it’s not Simone.”

So, Eaker—vaccinated and symptom free—now has to staycation at Hotel for Alternates, along with Leanne Wong for close contact reasons, instead of flying home with the other members of the shadow team.

As things stand, this doesn’t materially affect the US squad because the alternates were going to have to skedaddle soon anyway and we don’t yet know of any positive tests among the six actual team members. We’ll hope that holds up. No guarantees. This does bring up some questions and concerns for the powers that be should it…not hold up. For instance, why were the alternates training in the same building at the same time as the team members if the entire point of having this many alternates was for them to be able to step in should there be a COVID outbreak? Wouldn’t you want them to…not have any risk of the same exposure? Tweets that Simone’s tumbling acts as a “double vaccine” for the already vaccinated turned out to be a hoax, anyway.

Also, the latest Grave digging is that Eaker was also the one who had the alleged “false positive” this weekend. So sounds like that was maybe more of a false negative, with everyone very quick to claim “false positive” despite not having conclusive knowledge of that. Excellent work, all around. I’m so very glad you had her training with everyone else. Good, good.

And now back to pretending this is a normal Olympics and everything is fine and that it’s totally OK to be doing this right now. La la la la la.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – July 19, 2021