- BOY HOWDY. You wanted drama? Here’s your drama.
- The men’s vault final started extremely men’s vault-ishly, with Courtney Tulloch falling on both of his vaults. Scene effectively set. It’s like in distance running, when they have that one person go out in front and set the pace. Courtney definitely set the pace for this final.
- He was followed by Nicola Bartolini who—and I cannot emphasize this enough—has an unlucky throat.
- This is not just me being me. This is significant and influential information for the results because potential medalist Igor Radivilov was so distraught by having his Unfortunate Neck Tattoo title taken from him in such shocking fashion that he went on to fall on a Tsuk double pike, pushing him out of medal contention. He couldn’t even make it over to Luigi’s Couch of Horrors and had to sit in some stairwell about it that no one even knew was an option.
- Note to all future events: You need a sadness stairwell in addition to the score couch.
- Also fulfilling the prophecy of a preposterous men’s vault final was potential winner Artur Dalaloyan, who hit a glorious TTY as his first vault, but then for his second vault continued his assault on the Ri Se Gwang. And eyes. Yada yada yada, he definitely tucked it and shouldn’t have gotten credit, but DID, and also fell, and still sat in first place for a good long while.
- I have produced a triptych to represent my thoughts about that:
- It’s called “Unlucky.”
- Dalaloyan was ultimately dislodged from first place by the simultaneously clean and difficult performance of Denis Abliazin who—you heard me—won TWO GOLD MEDALS at these European Championships despite being fully dead 14 minutes ago. And somehow that was the only non-crazy part of this final.
- Competing last was Andrey Medvedev, who opened by drunkenly staggering back into dizzy oblivion on his first vault like that time you thought it would be fun to have a piñata at a party for adults and it went not great. On his second vault, however, Medvedev produced quite a nice front double pike.
- And it got credited as tucked.
- This was particularly ridiculous considering that Dalaloyan had just received credit for a pike shape on his tuck-burger, which meant the international peacekeeping organization called Coaches To The Rescue had to come in and submit an inquiry.
- As far as I’m concerned, the inquiry consisted of just “GET EYES, BITCH” written in crayon. This inquiry was accepted, adding four tenths to Medvedev’s second vault score, and moving him from 4th up to 2nd.
- Mixed feelings: On the one hand, the second vault was definitely piked and should have been credited as such in the first place. This was a correct inquiry. On the other hand, his first vault was not great, and his moving up to second meant both he and Dalaloyan’s fall placed ahead of Yahor Sharamkou of Belarus, who produced two clean vaults but ended up in 4th because of lower difficulty.
- I blame the curse of Luigi
- Jordan Peele and I are producing a horror film about Luigi the monkey mascot serial killer, out next summer
- It’s called Unlucky
Continue reading European Championship – Event Finals Day 2
- It’s official. The WILD TEAM SOBBING cup has a new owner. Following the events of the 2015 world championships, the British women took control of the cup, bringing it home to Lilleshall where it has lived comfortably for the last three and a half years. Until now. The French finally wrested the cup out of British grasp today with their performance in the women’s all-around final of the European Championship. Using clean execution and the savvy difficulty bonus awarded for vicarious crying from the stands and trans-row weep-hugging, there was really nothing any other nation could do to match the astronomical score from the French.
- Allowing the French the opportunity to take the Weepie Cup was the performance of Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos. De Jesus Dos Santos went from a questionable entrant in the all-around competition approximately 16 seconds ago to official European champion with her complete four-event performance, showing the cleanest execution of the entire meet on bars and beam to allow her to establish the slimmest margin over Ellie Downie, the silver medalist.
- Less than a tenth of a point ultimately separated De Jesus Dos Santos and Downie, which heaped added significance upon the sorcery powers that DJDS demonstrated to not put her heel down out of bounds on her FTDLO landing on floor. That proved the difference between gold and silver. An OOB tenth would have switched it.
- Ellie Downie will also be exceptionally pleased with her performance. Especially considering she has not been back to full-strength AA competition for very long at all, she put up a complete and confident meet that came only that one heel away from winning gold—just a couple tenths lower than her gold-medal score in 2017. This is the best gymnastics she has done in two years.
- Ultimately, the result was fair despite its extreme closeness. Downie got the better of DJDS on vault, putting up the most powerful and controlled DTY of the competition that probably should have outscored the others by more than it did, but DJDS was a bit more precise on the remaining pieces overall, with consistent legs-together, extended positions on bars and more sureness in her beam landings. That said, Downie got through a whole beam routine with only minor checks, which was like a personal victory at Waterloo.
Continue reading European Championship – All-Around Finals
Qualification is complete. Finals are set, with the women’s AA final coming up Friday at 11:30am ET/8:30am PT. Here’s what happened:
- Lord and savior Angelina Melnikova hit all four events to qualify 1st into the AA final, also advancing to the event finals on VT, UB, and FX. On beam…you know, she stayed on. That makes it a full four-pronged victory. I mean, she’s still using Despacito for some reason like a science teacher who has to DJ the middle school dance this weekend, so the word victory might be a stretch, but we never said we wanted perfect. It was a good day.
- Melnikova’s biggest challenger for the all-around gold medal will be Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, who triumphantly popped out of the cake at the very last minute to compete the all-around and delivered four solid events of her own. Because sure: Bars was the event she considered skipping this week, and it ended up being her strongest performance by far as she delivered an exceptionally clean set with a well-controlled FTDLO dismount while beam and floor had some iffier moments (though she did make the final on all three).
- Neither Melnikova nor MDJDS are far enough clear of the rest of the field to be considered locks for 1-2 like Dalaloyan and Nagornyy are on the men’s side—it only takes one thing to go wrong, and of course it will, because you’ve seen gymnastics before—but right now they’re your most likely winners of the top 2 medals.
Continue reading European Championship – Women’s Qualification
First, my semi-yearly complaint that event finals should be performed in qualification order from 8-to-1, rather than by random draw. Rewarding performance in qualification should be a thing, and it makes the final more interesting to follow. Continue reading European Championships Senior Event Finals – Live Blog
As discussed yesterday, Italy is in for Belgium in the team final.
Unfortunately, they’ve placed Italy into Belgium’s slot rather than reseeding, which means we still have major medal contenders in three rotation groups instead of two, which in turn means we’re going to miss more vital routines. It happened more than 24 hours before the final. There was time to reseed. Continue reading European Championships Team Final – Live Blog
We’re sans broadcast thus far because the French LIED TO US and Flo LIED TO US. Anyway, here’s what has been happening…
The first subdivision started off slowly with none of the major teams yet competing, though it did nearly bring our first surprise of the competition. After three events, Slovenia was leading the favored Czech Republic by more than a point on the strength of the expected high vault scores and a surprisingly proficient bars rotation that successfully carried out a strategy of low difficulty but not-terrible execution. THE CONCEPT.
Things fell apart for Slovenia on beam, having to count an 8.900 from Hribar, which opened the door for the Czech Republic to pass with a hit floor, which it got, led by a 12.833 from Holasova. The Czech Republic had to count a 10 on both bars and beam and suddenly found itself without expected AAer Lucie Jirikova (who was able to compete only bars), but while it was far from an ideal performance or situation, the Czech Republic still did enough to take a temporary lead. Continue reading European Championships Qualification – What You’re Missing