Category Archives: World Championships

Live from Worlds Day 6 – Event Finals Part 1

Today we’ll have the first five event finals, beginning with the men’s Kenzo final, followed by women’s vault, men’s horse, women’s bars, and men’s strongies. New updates at the BOTTOM.


MEN’S FLOOR

9 in the final because of the Bram/Tomas issue, a very “let’s just avoid a controversy” decision so that fewer people are complaining. Tomas had originally qualified until Bram was allowed to go again. It was a situation that was no one’s fault except Gymnova’s, so they decided to make everyone a winner, sort of.

Montreal has been asked if they are ready about 150 times. I feel like they’re ready?

No warmup for event finals, which is so so so stupid and unnecessary.

Gonzalez – FX – front double pike 1/2 out, short small hop – front full to front 2.5 second pass, just hopping a little on these – double double tuck, solid position – just a bit of a struggle up to Japanese handstand – finishes 3/1, a little under-rotated. Good hit set, though I wouldn’t expect it to medal.

14.266.

Verhofstad – FX – sticks first pass – back 2.5 to front 2/1, small hop – back 2.5 to half, hop in place – double double tuck, small slide, chest way down – 2/1, stuck – sticks final pass 3/1 as well. That was basically the best he can do. He should be pleased.

14.333 for Bram, ahead of Tomas.

Kenzo – FX – triple twisting double layout amazing – triple twisting double tuck, same – really focusing on the twisting form today – gets more ragged in fourth pass with slight underrotation, so we’ll see about that – back 3.5 to front full, small hop – pretty much sticks his quad. Twisting form deteriorates as he moves later in his routine and into the more difficult twisting elements, but these are fairly minor deductions and that routine should win gold.

Bar graphs to show you which number is higher than the other. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

15.633 for Kenzo. No one is catching that.

Dolgopyat – FX – double front with 1.5, cool – a front 2/1 goes a little awry for him with a low landing, he does a quad as well but not Kenzo’s – solid routine – finishes with a 3/1, short with a step to the side – not quite as precise in his landings as he needed to be, but very good difficulty, which may help him. Too many crossed legs for my taste.

14.533 puts him in second on difficulty.

Moldauer – this kit is very US Soccer – small hop on opening pass – sticks double arabian half out – sticks front 2/1 to front 1/1 – flares are fast and extended and excellent, big cheer – back 2.5 to half, stuck – takes 2/1 side pass right into the corner, he couldn’t step and didn’t – small hop on 3/1. Excellent clean and stuck set, but he’s always going to have to rely on other people to make errors because of his difficulty.

14.500 for Moldayer puts him into third behind Dolgopyat. That will be controversial. He did get rewarded in E by nearly 7 tenths more, but it’s hard to enjoy Dolgopyat over Moldauer watching those two routines back to back.

Larduet – small hop on opening pass – ManBiles, not as good this time, hop back – front 2/1 to layout, hop forward – double arabian 1/2 out, fine but hop – double front, bounces out – landing reminiscent of the AA final – 2.5 to front full, great height in second element – double arabian, near stick. Probably didn’t have the landings with that one.

14.100 for Manrique

Whittenburg – front 2/1 to double front, very deep but no idea how he got it around in the first place- double front pike, large hop – double double lay, hop – 2.5, hop – double double tuck, hop – double arabian 1/2 out, finally a good pass but not a good routine for him. Too many landing errors, especially at the beginning.

14.166 for Whittenburg.

Karimi – Little baby Kazakhstan – back 3.5 to frotn 1.5, hop – swins a little to keep the landing on second pass, same on third double double tuck and on 2.5 to front 2/1, fighting to keep sticks but probably giving away more in arm waves – 3/1 hands down! Oh Karimi!

13.266 and into last for now.

So Moldauer on the bubble with Kim Hansol to go, who can definitely get a medal here.

Kim – good first pass, double front pike 1/2, hop – small hops though. controlling passes well – double double tuck, good – LOL balance check in the corner – finishes with a very short 3/1 with a large lunge forward – did that balance check in the corner cost him a medal? Seemed to throw him off going to the last pass.

It’s a 14.100 for Kim, and a medal for Moldauer! Very cool for him. I would have had him second actually, but I recognize that his difficulty isn’t really there. Still shows that execution still has a place!

Gold – Shirai
Silver – Dolgopyat
Bronze – Moldauer

Now I wish Bram had won a medal too! A tough 4th for a really strong routine.


WOMEN’S VAULT FINAL

Where is Team Swiss Cowbell today for Giulia?

Shallon Olsen has apparently submitted the TTY to be named after her. The better question is…why?

Steingruber – 1 – Rudi – OK, probably weaker than qualification but better than the AA, a little short with a hop forward but a pretty small step to the side, chest well down though.

Steingruber – 2 – hits DTY, similar landing with chest down, step back. But a fairly solid set of two vaults.

14.466 average. Weaker scores than her qualification performance, and appropriately so.

Olsen – 1 – she’s putting up the number for the Amanar here. YEOUCH. Landed somwhere in between the double and the 2.5, basically sideways, hands down, extremely dangerous landing, but she looks to be OK. Shouldn’t have attempted that vault. Should have done the DTY.

Olsen – 2- Cheng – fairly comfortable, rather piked and bent knees, but a controlled landing.

14.233 average. That’s a little high for me.

Paseka – 1 – insane Cheng, even more insane than usual – legs all over the place and chest down, should have a weaker score than Olsen’s. Two steps to the side.

14.700 for her first vault. 8.7 E which is also way too high for that.

Paseka – 2 – Amanar – fairly good Amanar, similar to qualification, hop forward. Legs on block – and bent throughout –

Average 14.850 after a 15.000 second vault. She’s into first. Montreal will probably burn if she wins gold for that Cheng.

Wang – 1 – Tsuk 2/1 with step back, going with these others really reinforces her comparative lack of amplitude and distance. 14.500 for that.

Wang – 2- Rudi – quite low with a large lunge forward and out of the area. Won’t be the score she needed. It hasn’t been a great worlds for her, having to carry the flag as the only healthy Chinese AAer even though she isn’t really healthy at this point.

14.350 for Wang, currently 3rd.

Carey – 1 – Amanar – huge vault but a poor landing – large lunge forward and crazy flying legs on the lunge – won’t get the score she needs for that first one. Although, her score should still be higher than others because of her amplitude and distance, but I doubt it will be because of the poor landing.

14.800. Still high, but needed more.

Carey – 2 – Tsuk 2/1 – good one, small step back, that one was better than qualification but she needs a 9.300 E to catch Paseka, the highest E we’ve seen on vault in this championship. Though, if her Amanar was 9.0, this should be 9.3.

14.766 average for Carey, just behind Paseka.

Black – 1 – handspring lay full, too much pike and legs throughout and a hop forward, but solid.

Black – 2 – Tsuk 1.5, cleaner, lunge forward, but shouldn’t have the difficulty there.

14.416 and currently into 4th.

CHUSO – 1 – she has posted the rudi to start – does the full again, smart – solid vault, small hop, leg form – 14.433.

Chuso – 2 – tsuk 1.5, another good landing – she has improved into this worlds but with this set of vaults probably doesn’t have the difficulty for a medal.

14.366 average

Miyakawa – 1 – better rudi than the first day, crunched down too much but with not too much of a hop to the side – 14.500

Miyakawa – 2 – Falls on DTY. So that’s that.

So Paseka wins, with that Cheng, which is going to sting for a while because form, though Carey had that major landing error on her Amanar. I still think Carey was probably the better one (and if the Amanar is a 9.0, then why is the Cheng a 9.133), but it was very close. Carey would have had a better argument to being cheated out of something if she had landed the Amanar the way she can. That was a major landing error.

Gold – Paseka
Silver – Carey
Bronze – Steingruber

Paseka pulled it out. When no one thought she would land those vaults at worlds, especially based on her everything about her.

Medal ceremony break! Medal ceremonies after the first two and then after the next three. I love the Japanese national anthem, but doesn’t it always sound like there should be more of it? Abrupt ending.

Good bronze for Steingruber. Reward for getting her vaults all the way back, even though she can do a little better than she did today.


MEN’S POMMEL HORSE FINAL

Weng Hao missed the memo that he was supposed to stop in the middle of the introduction stage. Awesome start.

Naddour – short opening hs – good one hand and one pommel work – a leg break in there, uncharacteristic – works through it comfortably – hits dismount. Solid. He said in the mixed zone that if he was going first he probably wouldn’t upgrade but would if he were going later and had people who had already hit to beat. Shame he drew 1st. Not sure I’m on board with that strategy.

14.750

Betoncelj – one-arm one pommel swing and immediately off. Gets back up and works through the rest of his routine cleanly, but another one bites the dust. We’re 1 for 2 so far. PH finals aren’t fun unless there are at least four falls, right? Is that what it is?

12.966

Belyavskiy – another one struggling on opening hs but works through it – clean form quick travels – secure set, very nice, no real form breaks.

15.100 for Belyaskiy – more difficulty and cleaner than Naddour this time.

Xiao – he does flare work, so it’s always going to be more of a crowd pleaser – very difficult dismount, has to rush through a little to get it finished but he does, quite nice, and his handstand up on one pommel was actually to handstand, unlike the others we have seen. Solid hit.

15.066 just behind Belyavskiy. (I might have though Xiao’s was better, he says quietly)

Verniaiev – look ed like he was going to make a mistake on handstand travel but didn’t – he got through most of his routine quite cleanly and then came off toward the end. Oh Oleg. Not his worlds. Finishes up, rest of routine strong.

13.700

Weng – good first work up to handstand, struggles a tad the second time but not major – smooth work – great quick hand placements – even standing out amonf the rest in this final – everything was going perfectly until a hesitation working up to handstand and a minor hip drop. Do we expect a long judging delay as they work through what to do with that?

We do. Conference occurring now.

Long conference occurring now.

14.500 for Weng, into 4th. Boos coming. Yep, 5 tenths lower D than his qualification score, and that’s why.

Max – very very good work, no significant errors, very comfortable routine, and had the highest difficulty coming in. Should be the winner here.

15.441 for Max and into first. Appropriate.

Merdinyan – another hit! Difficult dismount, solid leg form throughout and keeps his rhythm. Shows a variety of skills and positions. Good set. Just lacks the difficulty to get into the 15s, which is what it’s taking to medal here.

Belyavskiy will get his medal

Gold – Whitlock
Silver – Belyavskiy
Bronze – Xiao

Whitlock the class of the group, but only two falls in the final, which is pretty good. Naddour comes 4th, had a very noticeable leg break and a 6.3 D, lower than any of the medalists. Needed to have upgraded if he was capable of doing that in a hit routine.


WOMEN’S UNEVEN BARS FINAL

Varinska – stalder shap to pak, clean – toe shap to clear hip 1/1, a little late – tkatchev half to jaeger, very well done! – tuck full dismount with a hop. She has been pleasantly surprisingly on in this event on bars throughout.

14.583. Basically exactly how she qualified.

Derwael – staled tkatchev piked – derwael-fenton to yezhova, good – stalder shap to bhardwaj, solid – toe shap 1/2 – good hs – hops forward on tuck full dismount. Maybe a little close on her bhardwaj and the hop on dismount, but other than that it was identical to her previous routines. Very little variation through worlds.

15.033. She finally broke the 15 mark!

Ilyankova – very close on piked hindorff – reg hindorff to pak to shap to hip 1/2 to yezhova, all strong – toe full – tuck full with step forward. A good set, though that close catch on her first release should put her behind Derwael.

14.900 for Ilyankova. Sounds about right.

Eremina – nabz to pak to stalder shap 1/2, good – inbar 1/2 to piked jaeger  – a short handstand in there on the half turn – toe full – tuck full dismount. Much better than AA. The stalder shap 1/2 had a form break in it, a couple things to take, but not too much. She got her full difficulty by connecting that skill, though, which will be a big deal for her total.

15.100 and she’s ahead of Derwael. Interesting. Hugs, but you can tell Nina is disappointed. Very close between the two.

Luo – toe shap to pak to toe shap 1/2, solid – nice toes and hs – full piros, pretty well vertical – nice piked jager, a short cast 1/2 – ling 1/2 may have been a little late, and then a larger hop forward on DLO, which will hurt.

14.566. Unlikely to have the difficulty anyway, and the dismount mistake took her out of it.

Fan – inbar 1/1 to shap to pak to stalder shap to gienger, nice combo – inbar 1/2, slight hesitation – good piro finishing positions and step on the Fan dismount. Strong set, but we’ll see how much that pause on the inbar 1/2 before working into the next skill gets her. Good save, though.

15.166. HMMMMMM. I don’t know about that. Big difficulty, two tenths more than Eremina or Derwael, but it wasn’t as strong a routine.

Seitz – toe shap to Ricna, good – jaeger – stalder tkatchev piked to pak, clean – toe shap 1/2 – her leg form has improved a lot – toe full to tuck full with a hop. Solid. May just miss it on the difficulty.

14.766.

Very high quality final with one to go, Ashton. She can’t get a 15 with her normal routine.

Locklear – toe full and completely loses her leg form, unexpected mistake – and then a toe half and she comes off the bar! I have NEVER seen her look that off. She has missed before but not looked that off right from the start. Weird. Step on tuck full.

While Valeri can say, “SEE I TOLD YOU” about the Hurd decision, the Locklear decision will come under more scrutiny because of this miss, whether fair or not.

Gold – Fan
Silver – Eremina
Bronze – Derwael

Very close between the three of them to me. They could have gone in any order, though they were the three best out there. Derwael with Belgium’s first medal.

Good final. Very clean and exciting. One more left! …and it’s rings…

They really shouldn’t do the rings final when everyone is all burnt out.


MEN’S RINGS FINAL

Colak – very horizonal opening strength positions, a little bit of swing but very little bit – tuck and pikes, solid – cross, pretty even and opens his hands with it – double front pike dismount, stuck. Excellent start to the final.

15.066

Radivilov – lots more strongies? some swing and hesitation in a handstand toward the end – double double tuck, small hop.

14.933. Fair, not as strong as Colak in refinement or landing.

Zanetti – very smooth connecting difficult strength elements, small hesitation in handstand but better than qualifiation – just a touch high in a position or two still, though we don’t expect from him – cross is better – huge wobble in handstand – full twisting DLO with a hop. Probably a bit better than qual, but he hasn’t been his medal-contending self this week.

14.900. That’s even a little high for me. He had a major struggle in there.

Abliazin – very flat in strength holds, quite nice – tucks and pikes, clean – OK cross, not the best – very strong hs, second one a little less control – double double layout with small hop. Good one.

15.333 and into first. One tenth higher D than Colak but interesting that he also got higher E.

Ait Said – one handstand struggle – but just one hesitation or two – very good position on the cross, much flatter than Abliazin – DLO 1/1 dismount with the smallest step. Good.

15.258 and into second.

Tulloch – huge difficulty in his strength combinations – He doesn’t have a particularly stragith body position in handstands, which takes away visually from the routine – good strength  – huge struggle in handstand – step forward on dismount. I’d say too many E errors on that one.

14.533.

Petrounias – the smoothness and lack of swing sets him apart – everything is held for two second, easily and correctly – very flat cross – only very minor handstand hesitations, but a couple – double double tuck, a little chest down with a hop. I expected him to stick, but it’s still the best routine of the final to me.

15.433 and into first. Colak out of the medals.

Liu – good strength obviously, looks a touch higher than the best ones in his holds – cracks his neck during an iron cross like a ham and gets the desired crowd reaction – DLO 1/1, low with a hop.

15.266 for Liu. Just ahead of Ait Said. That will provoke some fury. Maybe his neck muscles are just so big I thought it looked like he wasn’t level, but that dismount should not have warranted that E score for Liu, I’d say. I also don’t understand rings.

GOLD – Petrounias
SILVER – Abliazin
BRONZE – Liu

So that does it for the competitions. Medal ceremonies to come. I’ll let you know if anything weird happens.

It didn’t really.

See you tomorrow!

 

Advertisements

Live from Worlds Day 5 – Women’s All-Around Final

Today, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, maybe. The women’s all-around final, where the US will be attempting to keep a six-year streak of AA titles going. Updates at the bottom.


Here is tonight’s D-Score setup, with Ragan Smith leading the field, though we don’t really get down to those outside of the medal hunt until the people in the mid-21s.

Continue reading Live from Worlds Day 5 – Women’s All-Around Final

Live from Worlds Day 4 – Men’s All-Around Final

In the absence of The Kohei, the men’s all-around final has turned into a utopian garden of equality where anyone and everyone can medal. This is false, but also basically true. We have no idea what’s going to happen. This should finally be Oleg’s title, but also…will it?

By difficulty, Verniaiev and Larduet are well ahead of the pack, and because both of them have among the highest levels of execution in the final, their performances will decide how this event plays out. Those with close to the same difficulty, or those like Moldauer who have the execution but not the difficulty, will need some Oleg-in-qualifying level errors to get into the gold hunt. Continue reading Live from Worlds Day 4 – Men’s All-Around Final

Live from Worlds Day 3 – Women’s Qualification

On to the third day, when the women fully take center stage. Let’s hope a rift in the spacetime continuum doesn’t emerge in the middle of floor today! By popular demand, I’ll be going back to the usual format of new updates at the bottom. [I FORGOT I SAID THIS! OOPS! It’s fixed now.]


SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 1

Subdivision 3 will bring us the Netherlands, Romania, and Switzerland! As has been traditional, the good part is going to be the very beginning.

Schedules have been contradictory, some saying this session begins at 1, and some saying 1:30. We don’t look close right now, so we’re thinking 1:30.

Other news is that Tomas Gonzalez has been accepted into the floor final, (he originally qualified before the redo), so now there will be 9.

THE NETHERLANDS CHOREOGRAPHED INTRO. I love them so much.

RED ALERT: Larisa is down on the floor getting her knee looked at in the touch warmup.

Larisa Iordache is being carried off the floor exercise.

Meanwhile, the competition is going on.

Lieke BB – good mount, side aerial to side aerial combination – aerial to sheep, secure – large check on an L turn but saved it – gorgeous double turn, lovely – CRAP, falls on side somi – straight jump is nice –

Crisan – FX – split leap 1.5, good position – double tuck first pass – full in, small step – single L turn – switch full – front tuck through to 2/1, bounce – switch leap – split ring leap, leaps look good, won’t have the tumbling difficulty to get a big score here, though – lunge back on double pike, but nice set for her. Good to see.

How do we even go on without Larisa?

Thorsdottir – BB – split leap side aerial to korbut, gorgeous obviously – illusion, solid – aerial, small check – good leaps – L turn to switch to Y tun to full turn, close to getting all the CV, just a pause at the end, 3/1, struggle with a lunge.

Ponor – FX – goes for the DLO 1/1, form and short with a lunge – whips to double tuck, two steps back – switch 1/2 – front tuck through to double pike, small step – split leap .5, short of split – 2.5, crazy legs and OOB. Continue reading Live from Worlds Day 3 – Women’s Qualification

Live from Worlds Day 2 – Men’s and Women’s Qualification

On to day 2, where the men and the women will be sharing the day because of world peace or something. We’ll start with the end of the torn ACL that used to be men’s qualification, then on to the beginning of the women. Newest updates at the top.


SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 4

Good day for Canada as well. Very strong hits on floor, and a big performance for Black to go into temporary first.

So that’s that. You know, aside from Melnikova’s floor, Russia should be pretty pleased with today. The scores were tough on beam, but warranted, and they’ve been tough for everyone. The scores were not tought on bars, so that makes up for it.

Daries – FX – Oh. A Pirates of the Caribbean routine. That’s new. 2.5 to a punch front that got one inch off the ground. A little short on double front. 2/1, small hop.

Brassart – VT – cleanest full of the Belgian bunch.

El Zeiny – BB – kickover front in elite! Punch front and falls.

Derwael – VT – yfull, large bounce back, some knees

Hermans – VT – fine Yfull – a little mushy, but good.

Olsen into second on vault behind Paseka.

Olsen – VT 2 – Cheng – lands it pretty well – loose knees throughout, but not enough for it to be considered tucked, I’d say.

Olsen – VT 1 – DTY, not the Amanar, but clean should get a good score.

Hussein – BB – switch side – tuck full, fall – BOOO, sad – full turn – side somi, large check – split leap to wolf jump – double pike dismount, hunched over but landed.

Black – VT 2 – Tsuk 1.5, very clean small hop again, straight, good direction, nice

15.066 for ilyankova, so that means Melnikova is 3rd but getting 2-perred out of finals.

Black VT 1 – handspring lay full, that should be layout credit – good vault, hop forward. Excellent day for Ellie. She’ll be our AA leader after day 1, by quite a margin.

Ilyankova – UB – piked hindorff, good – stalder tkatchev to pak to shap to uprise 1/2 to yezhova, lovely – shap 1/2 – tuck full, good landing. Strong rotation for Russia.

15.100 on bars for Eremina. What is this, Russian cup? Bars and beam E scores haven’t even been in the same continent.

Moors – VT 2 – Tsuk 1/1, very clean, comfortable for her. Nice vault.

Eremina – UB – Nabieva to pak to shap 1/2 is good – inbar inbar 1/2 layout jaeger, probably piked – stupid half turn – toe full to tuck full dismount, good one! Solid day.

Moors – VT 1 – lands her first vault, she posted a handpsring lay full, the question will be the lay part.

Melnikova – UB – Shap to pak to shap 1/2, hit – inbar 1/2 to piked jaeger, hit – toe full – tuck full dismount. So, she actually only had one bad event. It was just RIL bad.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 3

Netzer – VT 2 – Once again, long pause even after the score comes in – Tsuk tuck full.

Netzer – VT 1 – HS front tuck 1/2 vault – was intending to do a layout full but hand slipped (trend) and adjusted at the last minute.

Eksteen – BB – double wolf is fine – 1.5 wolf follows, it’s not fine, grabs the beam to steady herself – switch to sissone – bhs loso, hit – aerial, check – L turn, low leg – split to wolf – 2/1, hop to the side.

Ofir Netzer has been waiting on vautl for 750 minutes, but the previous score is already in, so I don’t understand.

Cummins on beam just did a straight jump from side position – struggles through a switch 1/2 – side aerial with a major break – full turn – split leap to split jump – the E will hit her leaps – 2/1 with a step.

Derwael – FX – switch 1/1 – double pieke, bounce back and OOB – back 1.5 to front full, bounce – double Y to illusion, falls out of the Y a little bit but does connect – double wolf – switch ring – split full, loses her feet a little in these – shortish on double tuck, a lean forward.

El Zeiny – Ub – Shap to pak – toe shap 1/2, caught with leg break – toe 1/2 to jaeger – toe 1/2 short – DLO, stagger forward.

15.000 for the Amanar, for a 14.933 average.

Paseka VT 2 – she will be going for the Amanar – actually good – because of course. Paseka. Nabieva legs on the block, but good direction and a hop forward.

8.866 E score for Paseka’s vault. Sure. Why not?

13.866 for Moors, she’s into second on floor.

Paseka – VT 1 – Skanky-legged Cheng as we expect, but she landed it. I mean, it’s horrifying, but like, not bad.

Moors – FX – Podkopayeva! Not her best, a little chest down with a hop, but still good – front 2/1 to front full to stag – double attitude – split ring full – split jump 1/1 – she’s is a lovely dream – 2.5 to front tuck. Nice.

13.433 for Ellie.

Melnikova – VT 2 – Lopez, lands it half on the mat and half off.

Melnikova – VT 1 – she hit a DTY! Some crazy legs and a bounce back – 14.400, top vault score in the women’s competition so far.

Eremina – VT – Y1.5, solid enough, step, she’s missing the difficulty there

Black – FX – popa – 2.5 through to double tuck like a boss – front 2/1 to front tuck – 3/1 – she’s having one of her best meets ever.

Truong – BB – aerial with a check – back tuck and falls – bhs loso with a check – switch side of some description – side aerial – split jump – lots of checks – switch leap –

Olsen – VT – good double double tuck – split full – front tuck through to double tuck – falls out of double Y so won’t get that – split 1/2 – nailed piked full in – 3/1, small hop. That was basically the best floor routine she has ever done.

Brassart – FX – nice amplitude on a split leap 1/1 – pike full in, lunge back and OOB – front tuck through to double back, a little short – BIRD CALLS SHE IS A PRECIOUS TREASURE – falls out of double L turn – double pike – SHE IS FLAPPING – 2/1. PROTECT HER FOREVER.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 2

Hermans – BB – double wolf, hit – side somi = bhs loso loso, check, mushy knees – ridiculous fall on a turn. Oh Rune – switch to sissone – aerial with a check – side aerial to split jump – 2.5 dismount, small hop back.

Ng Yan Yin – BB – bhs back tuck, large break – switch 1/2, short – straight jump 1/1, that was fun – L turn with a check – side aerial, check at the hips – wolf jump full, falls – switch to split 1/2, not bad – front layout dismount.

Moors – BB – front tuck mount, hit – switch to switch 1/2 – seemed like it was fine, then working out of it had a large wobble and grabbed the beam, Elvira is going to kill her – front handspring  front tuck is excellent – attitude turn – aerial – split ring jump – split leap to side somi, and she falls. Still lovely though. front handspring front 1.5 dismount is awesome.

Kremer falls on opening double pike on floor.

The Melnikova crying shots in the arena are in full force. 11.166 Girl, you know how trash this competition has been? You’re not out of the AA or anything.

Ellie Black hit beam while that Melnikova routine was going on. 28.999 E SCORE YOU GUYS!

Melnikova – FX – double L to double spin, might get credit – double arabian, squats through it but holds it – DLO with a little bounce – falls out of double Y – indeterminate number of wolf turn – INSANE piked full in, and hands down, there’s our girl – that form was cray – sits double pike, yep.

12.800 Eremina.

Onyshko – BB – bhs tuck full, wobble but saves it! y spin is nice – switch split to side aerial to split jump full, breaks some combos in there but well done skills – switch ring and has to grab the beam to keep herself on – aerial, check – switch 1/2, low back leg – split ring jump – split jump sissone, low back leg again – 2/1, lunge back.

Eremina – FX – full in solid, jyust a step back – double Y actually might get credit – split full – 1.5 through to 2.5 front tuck and OOB – drops the double attitude a little early for my taste – 3/1, short of rotation and with a step – good simple splits. Solid set.

Netzer finishes floor with a solid double tuck then 2/1 with a little bounce.

Cummins – UB – piked jaeger – regular jaeger, both hit – short handstands, crazy legs on bail – hits her feet on the low bar before her dismount, full twist.

Derwael – BB – round off loso mount and she’s off. She’s just like, “I DID MY BARS I’M OUT Y’ALL.” loso – aeiral to split, good – wolf triple, small adjustment – hits the double as well – switch to sissone, nice back leg on those – side aerial – I’m glad she has taken out the split ring because it didn’t work for her – gainer full dismount, only a small hop in place.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 1

12.666 for Melnikova. There will be complaints. You can find the deductions because she wobbled on every skill, but there will be complaints. This is an example of the adjustment deduction being used.

Marianaaaaaaaaaaaaa Marianito – BB – double tuck, bounce back and OOB – switch to switch full – front full –

Melnikova – BB – tries a wolfkino but it was just wolf to a single turn in medium crouch – aerial to split to wolf is nice – L turn, leg too low, check on full turn – switch ring with check – layout, only a small check! – front tuck, hit – split ring – side somi – only small checks in this one, on basically every skill but only small checks – nice high double pike, some stagger on landing.

13.233 for Eremina. 7.833 E score. Not fast enough, Valentina.

Moors – UB – toe full – toe shap – to bail with leg break – shoot to high is fine – clear hip – khorkina – piked version of Ellie’s dismount and stuck, nice set for Brooklyn.

Eremina’s beam score taking forever. Valentina didn’t have her wallet out fast enoughm obviously.

14.400 for Ellie. WOW. Huge score for her.

Black – UB – toe shap to hindorff, far but caught it – piked hindorff is strong – piked jaeger to pak – toe shap 1/2 – sticks front tuck 1/2 dismount. It’s Ellie on bars, but it was strong. She couldn’t have asked for a much better start.

Eremina – BB – missed beginning aerial, check – split leap to side aerial, solid – split jump, lovely – split ring – 3/1, a little underrotated with a step. But she hit! I saw some nervy moments, but only slightly tight, not major issues.

Onyshko – UB – shap to tkatchev, fine – hindorff, hit – pak – toe shap 1/2 – super super late full twist and then can’t work out of it, has to pause on the high bar – double front with a step. Disappointing one for her.

El Zeiny – FX – actual double Y that should get credit – 1.5 through to 2.5, crossed leg twisting and OOB – falls out of double L – double tuck, step back – switch, switch 1/2 – front full, fall.

Brassart – UB – toe full – piked jaeger – pak – shap to bail leg break – double pike, landed locked and tumbles forward. Shame.

14.966 for Nina. Into first by a large margin. Big score. That’s her high score on the year. Wow.

NINA – UB – stalder tkatchev piked, good – NINA MAE FENTWAEL IS OFFICLA – yezhova – shap 1/2 to bhardwaj – nice – shap 1/2m good – toe full to tuck full, very nice, small step. She has been nailing every routine in training, and this was no exception.

Cummins VT 2 – handspring front tuck 1/2, hop to the side.

Hermans – UB – stalder full to toe shap to pak, nice, just feet – toe shap 1/2 – clean cast – piked jaeger – good full out, small bounce in place. Excellent start for her.

Cummins – VT – Yfull hop back

EEEEEE!

With Nina on bars and the Russians on beam, this first rotation is going to be real.

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 4

So that happened! Four people broke 50 in the AA. Highlight scores were Fenton on bars and Frags on floor, the ones that could contend for EF.

Perez – FX – whip whip full in – nice – front layout stepout to bdouble back – switch ring – 2/1, slide back – single L – some weird leaps before her final double pike, which was good. Aside from that bars fall, a good day for her.  Needs 13.1 to go ahead of Tinkler. 12.966. So close!

Cintia – FX – double pike, comfortable – prety switch sing – front 1.5, hop back – split jump 1/1 – switch 1/2 – 2/1, hop forward – just pretty carriage and presentation. 12.700.

Frags – BB – arabian, check but mostly solid – switch to wolf – bhs layout, bends at the knees but saves it – back 1/1, another large break but more saves – girl is not coming off the beam, though all these wobbles will equal a fall – wolf jump 1/1 was underrotated – double pike hop back. She didn’t fall! Fairly OK day for Frags all things considered, nice floor and then good fight on beam even though the E deductions will add up and up and up. 6.8 E score, they GOT her for all those wobbles.

Kinsella – BB – her “candle” mount – double turn, nice! – switch to sdwithc side to star jump with wobble – side aerial to loso and falls – DRAT – aerial with a huge break but saves it – 2.5 dismount, hop forward.

Leon – FX – double arabian, fall – double turn – double tuck fall – third pass was a front layout –

Tinkler – BB – switch leap mount, low back leg – bhs loso – switch leap to wolf jump 1/1 – back tuck – full turn to split leap – aerial to split jump , a little short but secure overall – switch 1/2 – 2/1 dismount small hop. She’ll be pleased with that one. Some good moments for her today.

Arriojas finishes front layout on floor.

Folino – BB – front tuck, solid – bhs bhs layout, nice! (I mean, downgrade risk like all of them, but nice!) – switch – dance elements are short of position – check on side aerial – switch ring, not quite ring shape and a large break – bhs bhs back tuck dismount – not sure whether she planned that or not but it was just a tuck back off the beam.

Sazonova – FX – 2.5 to half, piked down the half – secure double tuck – split full – double pike step back – switch 1/2 – 2/1.

Mizzen – BB – falls on bhs loso mount – triple wolf turn – loso series, knees and a check – switch to wolf – leg-up chec on side aerial – wolf turn double, her national trademark – double tuck to her hands. Was that five falls on the day for her?

Belanyi fell out of a full turn on floor, so that was fun. .

Godwin – BB – hits a double wolf (?) – side somi, secure – bhs back pike, solid – form issues but secure so far – does another wolf turn, I believes that was also a double though maybe the first was a triple – side aerial to split – switch to aerial – switch ring, probably won’t get ring credit – double pike, fairly large hop back but a hit!

Agnes Suuto in on floor – double tuck, hop – 2/1, clean – switch 1/2 – L turn – not quite getting the leaps – GOT music – front full lunge out

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 3

Perez – BB – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, won’t gett full CV but solid individual elements – L turn, nice – secure loso series – solid front tuck, pause, split jump – side somi, hit – side aerial, she’s on – double pike dismount step back. Now THAT was a satisfying beam routine!

Fernandez – BB – hits a round off bhs mount – bhs bhs loso series, very smooth – split jump not great – split ring jump probably won’t get credit, but it wasn’t awful – falls on side somi – switch 1/2, eh – side aerial and swims to save a bigger wobble – switch side, falls again – double pike, low hop back

Arriojas falls on beam on a ro bhs mount. L turn is nice. Falls again on bhs loso series. switch leap to y spin, fun combo, with a large check – falls on side aerial, third fall – split leap 1/1, not close to 180 – front aerial – balks running up to her dismount – does it second time 2/1.

14.533 puts Fenton into first. That’s a good, competitive score for the final.

Challenge extended, Nina. It will enter the code.

Fenton – UB – hits her skill! Connects to yezhova well – shap, tkatchev to pak, she’s hitting! nice landing on tuck full, chest down, well controlled. YAY!

Wang – FX – double tuck second pass – switch leap – switch half, short – front full with a stumble – double turn, not all the way around – 2/1 with hop.

Tinkler – UB – toe on full, legs – connected to chap jaeger pak combo, well hit – toe shap 1/2 – jussssst peels off on Khorkina. I hate everything. Goes back up to dismount, stuck tuck full.

Sazonova o beam – bhs loso series, secure – full turn -sits down double tuck dismount.

Winther of Denmark uses the Laurie Hernandez floor music from 2016.

Folino – UB – just cahtches Shap 1/2, leg break – piked jaeger – double pike with step.

11.866 for Mizzen.

Bonzo falls on a round off half on front tuck vault.

Great leap amplitude from Derek on floor. Ends 2/1 with legs. Leaps are the highlight of her routine.

Mizzen – UB – weiler to weiler half to shap to hindorff to pak – then struggles – can’t cast up out of the pak, has to try several times, then comes off on her shap 1/2. Well that’s that. She hit the hard part, too. Drag.

Godwin – UB – wieler 1/ to shap to pak to toe on to toe shap 1/2 – nicely completes – short hs – piked jaeger – half turn – giant 1/1 – stuck double pike. Good work.

Suto – BB – hits side somi – L turn – side aerial, strong – split jump to wolf jump with a check – switch leap a little rough –

Kinsella – UB – piked jaeger – some short hs – pak is caught – shap to bail, pretty clean – toe full – to stalder shoot – double pike, hop forward, won’t be a huge score because she doesn’t have the D, but a good set for her.

Cintia with some lovely leaps on beam as well – check on a side aerial – switch ring is a little rough though and in two parts – 2/1 dismount with a hop

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 2

This is devastating to me. It’s just so horrible. Meanwhile, Tinkler is leading the AA by nearly a point. Yay!

Colom – UB – stalder to Bhardwaj! Insane helicopter form, but she caught it somehow, for a second, and then came off, she never had the swing as she caught that bharwaj with the low bar basically behind her – toe full, quite late – shap to gienger, legs – hits her legs on the low bar on her giants, DLO had no chance – hands down.

5.166 for Milca!!! E score of 1.466!!! She’s the winner!

Leon – UB – NO GRIPS DAMILCA – falls on her opening release – hits tkatchev – casts are short – hits her foot swinging through and then did a little between the bars salto and falls, looks like she falls face-first but flipped so that she wasn’t falling too dangerously – back up on the bars – redoes pak, brushes her feet on the mat – struggles on a forward giant, hits her feet again and comes off again. DLO and a fall.

Arriojas – UB – giant full – blind change to jaeger – very short cast – solid pak – she has nice toes in her handstands and in that back – double pike with step.

Sazonova – UB – toe full to shap, solid – pak, some legs – toe shoot – khorkina – short hs – double pike dismount, comfortable, low difficulty but well performed. 12.433.

Winther – BB – round off bhs mount with some knees – bhs loso series, fall and Karolyi School Of I Literally Don’t Care About My Knees On My Back Handspring. Falls again on side aerial – very rough split leap 1/2 from side position. 7.566

Folino with a fine Yfull on vault with a hop.

Derek – BB – bhs loso, small check, some of the best legs we’ve seen so far – aerial – switch 1/2, quite pretty – sissone – THE GIRL CAN LEAP – lovely – just some checks on acro – switch – full turn – split leap to side somi – gainer tuck full dismount with hop. 11.833. Which is first on beam right now.

Godwin, solid Tsuk 1/1 with hop back.

Vacquie – FX – 1.5 through t double tuck, fall – double pike, two step stumble – full turn – nice side aerialdown to one knee choreography – basic leaps aren’t bad – front full –

Tinkler VT 2 – Tsuk 1/1, large bounce back, but fairly clean and easy for her.

Suto – UB – large leg break on hip full, great amp on gienger but def straddled – layout full twist dismount, which we don’t see a lot.

Tinkler solid on the DTY with a hop back.

Hulgaard is off beam on a side aerial. Ribalcenko attempts a back 1.5 on floor, stumble squats backward to save it. Finishes front 1/1.

Perez – UB – catches piked jaeger – nice high piked stalder – hits Ray to pak – some short hs – shap to gienger, very close but works out of it – sits DLO 1/1! NOOOOO!

Kinsella VT – she fell on her DTY in the touch, landed it this time with some rough knees and a short landing, lunge forward.

Fall for Cintia Rodriguez on bars. She is not attempting her skill and we don’t really understand why. Pretty legs still – step back on tuck full.

Wang – BB – Denmark – bhs loso, secure but legs – full turn small check – off on a turn – gainer pike with two hops.

Dubova’s first pass on floor was a front layout…

WOMEN’S SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 1

The control Frags showed on those floor passes was really the one highlight of a bleh group.

Pisos – BB – los series with step back, feet but better form than her teammates – aerial – switch to switch 1/2, feet again but not too far off – check on side aerial – split to sissone – side somi, secures it – overturns her full turn a bit – back 1.5 with hop forward. Some struggles, but she’s the best of the Argentinians.

YOU GUYS THE 10.0 SYSTEM IS BACK.

Ambrosio – BB – fall on aerial – bhs loso series with a check – switch to straddle jump, short – split leap 1/1, very short – side aerial, fall – full turn – switch side, quite crooked – front full dismount, good with hop to the side. 9.233

I really hope the judges are taking a long time because they can’t figure out what to do with that switch star leap.

Folino – FX – split leap 1.5, a little short of split – back 2.5 with a lunge out – double tuck step back – double wolf attempt but falls out after one – same with double y attempt – front tuck through to ragged 2/1, almost around – switch 1/2 hit 90 degrees but no more – fall on double pike. 10.166. YOU BEAT MIZZEN.

Mizzen – FX – opens with wolf in the middle of the floor so she can’t go OOB – front tuck through to double tuck fall, super cowboyed too, ahd nothing on that double tuck. Single Y (double Y attempt) – 1.5 to front tuck – switch leap, split leap – falls again on double pike. “I know we are not good.” – Mihai Brestyan.  10.033.

Grisane – BB – aerial – check on bhs loso series – check side aerial – leans on side somi but saves it. 9.433

Ribalcenko got 6.533 on beam with a 2.033 E score. I said it was hard to watch.

Godwin – FX – did she just go OOB on a wolf turn? DLO is good – switch ring and split 1/1 – stumble landing on a double tuck – close to getting double Y but I wouldn’t credit it – short double pike, hop forward. 12.733

Ribalcenko comes off beam on a side aerial and a side somi, but did employ good comedy falling technique on the side somi. Third fall on straddle 1/2. This is hard to watch. Tuck full dismount.

Fragapane – FX – DLO 1/1 into split jump, DLO 1/1 was pretty good, split jump will probably incur more deductions than its worth, same with the leap out of the DLO, but she controlled the tumbling on her first two passes well – switch 1/2 – good double arabian, small hop – short double pike with hop forward. Controlled her tumbling VERY well, especially compared to sometimes when she’s flying all over the place. 13.933. Good. That’s around what we’re thinking for making the final.

Robinson – JAM – UB – jaeger – short hs – tkatchev – pak and catches too close and has to improvise a hip circle, she’s continuing without coming off but as good as a fall – double tuck dismount with hop.

Tinkler – FX – popa, a litlte short of 180 – DLO 1/1, small bounce but well performed – double double another small bounce, chest down, split leap 1/1 hits 180 pretty closely – front lay to front full, large lunge and OOB – switch 1/1 – double pike, little bounce. She won’t be happy with the landing on the third pass, but not bad overall. 13.333.

Hulgaard just smacked her foot on the high bar on a jaeger really hard but kept going. Nice toe point.

Perez – VT – pretty good DTY, right down the center, small hop. Nice start.

Dubova ends beam with a front layout dismount.

Kinsella – FX – 1.5 through to 3/1, a little short, hop to the side – 2.5 front tuck, a little loose in the knees there – split full and switch half – double Y, unlikely to get credit – stumble landing double tuck – stumble backward on double pike. Not the landings she would have wanted but a fine start to her AA campaign. 12.966.

“The floor exercise area stays the same.” Let’s hope not.

Intros done, warmups beginning.

Fake Khorkina is doing an interpretive dance by way of an opening ceremony so I am very here for this.

The major players in the first subdivision are the British gymnasts, going on their most important event, floor, right at the beginning.

It’s time for the women! Wake up! But can they match the drama of the last two men’s subdivisions? …Let’s hope not…?

SUBDIVISION 4, ROTATION 6

AND NOW DEURLOO ISN’T GOING TO GO AGAIN. AFTER ALL THAT. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Schmidt – he does struggle on his second pass, very short with a lunge forward – double double with a slide back – 2.5 to 1.5 stuck – some hops here, not that clean, but Verhofstad wasn’t that clean either. sticks 3/1, bad legs. 13.533. Way weaker than the score from his previous attempt.

14.433 puts Verhofstad into the final. He knocks Gonzalez out of the floor final. Karimi on the bubble. Schmidt and Deurloo still to go.

Verhofstad – front 2/5 witha hop back – a little bouncy – back 2.5 to front 1/2, strong – short double double with a hop forward – 2/1 – Ponor-legged 3/1 to finish.

Smith – FX Part 2 – front 2/1 is better this time, some of the same little hops on most of his passes, but great twisting form – sticks double arabian – good 3/1 as well. Overall notably better routine than his first try. 13.933.

Now EVERYONE in the last floor rotation gets to go again. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m dead.

But we’re still waiting for 765 more minutes so that he can go. I’m in heaven.

BART DEURLOO GETS TO GO AGAIN.

He’s just pacing around the floor now and he’s my hero. OF COURSE IT’S BART.

Competition is over, but Deurloo is still sitting on the floor podium and I really want him to stage a sit-in.

This lends credence to those who have complained about the Gymnova equipment as one of the reasons (along with the lights) that this competition has been a disaster. Although, this subdivision was much less scary than last night.

The US has Whittenburg and Moldauer in the floor final and Naddour in the horse final.

Meanwhile Nory still has to go on HB, and no one is paying attention because there’s a tent on floor. nearly sticks excellent DLO double twist, could have stuck it, just a little step back to the side.

This is brilliant. Carol Angela in full “polish that turd” mode about having a floor malfunction.

And we’re taking up the floor.

Missed Koudinov’s attempt at his crazy skill because of the drama on floor. He fell. Bart is bringing out the FIG officials to complain about an issue with the floor. Goes again and hits the Gaylord full! Sticks dismount.

Deurloo – FX – good front double pike – strong double double as well – falls on third pass. Because Bart. It’s that skull tattoo. And then he’s just like EFF THIS LIFE and throws a layout. NOW HE’S STOPPING AND BLAMING THE FLOOR LIKE TONYA HARDING.

Very secure landings from Schmidt on his first couple passes. Some wonky twisting form but controlled landings throughout. 14.133 only enough for 12th.

CA throwing huge shade at the Kas/Tsuk distinction.

Yang Hak Seon – VT 2 – Kas 2/1 second vault, step back. That will be the final as well.

Yang Hak Seon – VT 1 – handpsring 3/1 and he landed it! Very very good, just a hop forward, fully around. Tremendous.

Verhofstad finishes 3/1 on floor. Apparently had a big OOB.

Kim Hansol – VT 2 – another excellent vault, Kas 1.5. Very clean, very little landing movement. That will likely knock Eddie out of the vault final.

Kim Hansol – VT 1 – excellent handspring randi – such tight twisting form, great direction.

Smith – IRL – FX – a litlte stumble on the front 2/1 after his first pass – big 3/5 to front full, small hop back – just finding these landings coming up on him a little bit with stumbles, small stumbles but more significant than steps – 2/1 – step back 3/1.

Action to watch in this one is whether any of the Dutch can knock Gonzalez out of the floor final, or if the Koreans knock Penev out of the vault final, as they are expected to do.

SUBDIVISION 4, ROTATION 5

Jossimar Calvo goes on horse and it’s his cleanest routine of the day so far. Good set.

Can we talk about Bart Deurloo’s giant skull tattoo on the back of his upper thigh?

Saarenketo – VT 1 – Kas 1.5 with a very large bound forward out of it into the next province.

Epke is getting undressed right in front of our media area. Don’t worry about it. Also there might have been some routines.

Tuuha – VT – falls on Kas 1.5. Ouchie back. Thought that looks like our first partial injury of the day, and just a minor ouchie.

Tomas Gonzalez hit floor to no one watching because it was at the same time as Epke, into 9th, just behind Little Baby Kazakhstan, who is still in 8th. (Would qualify because two per countrying Eddie.)

Rijken – layout tkatchev, stalder tkatchev, layout tkatchev 1/2 – catches his foot on his german giant work, somehow works through it but basically lost all his momentum there.

14.433 for Epke and he’s into first. I’m totally cool with it. Nile is out of HB final. Miyachi currently 8th.

Epke – HB – good Cassina to Kovacs well caught – Kolman caught – insane stalder rybalko – hop full – small hop on double double lay. Well, it’s so much less boring than all the other HB routines we’ve been seeing. We’ll just see what the judges do with skills like the stalder rybalko where they can basically take 20 points off the E score. Otherwise quite good, and even kept pretty good form for him in those releases.

14.033 for Deurloo. That will make the final.

Souza – PB – double tuck good, long pause – PBJaeger – a little flat on his tippelt style elements, not getting enough rise – double front 1/2 out, good holding onto the stick.

Duerloo – HB – second half, yamawaki – stalder – hop full – finishes double double lay, small step, tries to hold the stick.

SUBDIVISION 4, ROTATION 4

Jo doing flairs on horse to wake the crowd up during this subdivision. Entertaining set.

Benda of Austria goes OOB on a double arabian. Also really struggles on a layout and a 3/1 to finish.

Bae fell on PH. Carol Angela is so bored she’s telling us about the “new” code of points.

De Vries – PB – having to muscle himself up a little too much in this routine – travels in a handstand – has to rekip on a peach to one – falls on double pike, not so great.

Rijken – PB – nice bhavsar and full piro on the end of the bars – double front step back.

Nice high tumbling from Martinez from Colombia. Small slide on front 2/1 to front full – Hop on 2.5 to half. Struggles on 3/1 with crossover back steps.

Zonderland  – PB – Tippelt, good and clean – loses his handstand on a peach half and has to push himself back up, and then immediately fell. EPKE.

Jossimar Calvo – FX -double double tuck, small hop – back 2.5, slightly crazy form and a side hop – more controlled on the third pass – missed the end because Epke but it looked like it got pretty rough in the last couple passes in bounce town. 13.866.

Carlos Calvo – FX – clean double front shape, little hop forward – same on piked version – 2/1 – front full to half – under rotated 3/1 to finish.

Solid Y2.5 from Souza on vault, hop forward.

SUBDIVISION 4, ROTATION 3

Kim – FX – 3.5 half out is strong, good twisting form – double front pike 1/2 out, small hop – back 2.5 to front full – double double tuck, snother small bounce – finishes with the traditional 3/1, but he sticks it. Good routine.

Park – FX – third pass, double front 1/2 out with a little hop – hips drop in press handstand – 2/1 – 3/1 with a shuffle back.

14.933 for Arican puts him into 6th on PBars. Interesting. I think we’ve seen cleaner.

Calvo – HB – Kovacs, slughtly crazy 1.5 – yamawaki – stoop 1/2 – stalder – finishes with a very clean double double layout, small hop. They judges have been harsh on those pirouette finishing positions, and he may get hit in the E for this routine. Let’s see. 13.800 and into 10th.

Arican – PB – peach to one rail – peach half – some solid pirouettes – a little short on a full twist right after I said that, and a moment of knees here and there but nothing major – double front 1/2 out, small step. He’s pleased.

Carlos Calvo – HB finishes double double lay with a step back.

Zanetti – SR – so little movement in his holds and his transitions from one to another – one hesitation up to handstand – hits cross – another slightly weird handstand, uncharacteristic struggle – DLO 1/1 dismount with a hop back. Good, should make the final, not the best we’ve seen in qualification certainly. 14.700. OOOOOH into 8th. Just ahead of Naddour and Whittenburg, knocking them out of the final.

Caio Souza is on rings for Brazil, going up before Zanetti – nice stick on double double tuck.

Bae – FX – fairly clean twisting shapes, no amplitude at all – mostly all twisting but finishes with a full in, which wasn’t too bad, hop forward.

SUBDIVISION 4, ROTATION 2

Saarenketo – FX – double double tuck, small hop – punch front 2.5, a little ragged with a slide – Japanese handstand – punch frotn 2/1 to layout – back 2.5 to half – back 1.5 5o front 1.5. Well someone likes his twisting combos. 3/1. Solid set. A few slides and steps but nothing major.

Radovesnicky – FX – he’s at the end of a large group so he’s always competing by himself and being like, “I have a double tuck.” Back 1.5 to front 1/1. 2/1. Finishes 2.5 with some legs.

Park – HB – finishes with nice Kolamn – layout tkatchev – stalder 1/2 – stoop 1/2 wonky – double double layout dismount with a larger lunge forward.

Bohorquez – PB – longest pause in the world in handstand as he starts – bhavsar into a hold, clean – tippelt with slight hesitation to handstand, large lunge forward on double pike.

Jossimar Calvo – PB – peach to one, struggles in handstand a little but saves it – arching a handstand or two in here – clean tippelt, good bhavsar – another hesitation on one rail – double front 1/2 out with a small step. Good individual skills. Fear he’s going to get hit too much for those vertical positions. 13.800.

Tvorogal – HB – layout tkatchev, hit – Tkatchev 1/2 and Yamawaki – hop 1.5, usual lateness – goes over on a handstand and has to improvise – DLO 1/1 with step.

Other Calvo with a hit PB routine, secure double pike landing.

Souza – PH – having a rough one in the legs and hip position, but worked through, no falls.

Bae on HB finishes with a stuck double double layout. Nice dismount.

Crazy Kas 2/1 from Cingolani on vault. Just sort of landed in a knee-down twist while still twisting. He’s fine, just…that was rough.

Kirmes – FX – hands down on his opening pass. WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU FINLAND. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE YELLED AT A SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRY LIKE THIS.

Galli – VT – Kas 1/1. Fine.

None of the Dutch or Irish are doing rings here, so there will be no one on rings in this rotation. #saddest

Tsuk 1.5 with a hop from Arican on vault.

Jossimar Calvo’s PB touch warmup was hilarious – basically just hanging out up on the bars like they were a hammock and then flopping around with insane legs for one second and then done.

SUBDIVISION 4, ROTATION 1

Only event finalist in that first rotation was Turkey’s Colak. I thought none at first because rings.

Radovesnicky on HB at the end of this rotation – yamawaki – stalder – hop full – hop 1/5 way past – stoop – front stalder full quite late – all pirouetting routine basically – DLO full with hop.

14.033 for Nory.

14.300 for McClenaghan won’t be good enough for the final, but a really nice routine in his first worlds.

Arthur Nory being all Nory on floor – meaning he’s hitting and also smiling like Christmas morning the entire time – a few bounces, like on the 1.5 to 1.5 – Clean connected tumbling. Finishes double arabian with a small hop.

McClenaghan – PH – nice swing on one pammel, legs completely together – showing solid difficulty – up to dismount and a hit! Good set. Very composed.

Souza and his ridiculous hair are on floor. A little stumble on his 1.5 out but a cool pass and pretty well done. Pretty solid landings overall until short final pass.

Schmidt – PH – Nearly got through his whole set and then it all went crazy-legged on a travel and he came off the horse.

Ellis of NZL isn’t going to make a mark on floor, but I did appreciate his high and controlled DLO and double front.

Yun sticks a double pike on PB.

13.66 for Deurloo. De Vries up now on horse – a pretty big arch going up to handstand but saves it, and then immediately off after that. It wasn’t really happening from the first moment. Followed by a second fall.

Jossimar Calvo – VT – Kas 1.5, pretty good, nice direction, lunge forward but not a huge lunge, though potentially out of the area.

We’re starting with Bart Beurloo on PH – good speed and straight body position – shorter routine but well hit. And he didn’t break his swimsuit area this time!

Finland is the only men’s team that choreographed a little introduction, so they win.

We’ll be keeping an eye on pommel horse for this rotation, with the Dutch and Rhys McClenaghan starting there. We also have Nory starting on floor.

Remember yesterday when everyone broke including Kohei? Well we have another subdivision of men’s competition! This one featuring the Netherlands and Brazil and Jossimar Calvo.

Live from Worlds Day 1 – Men’s Qualification

It’s the first day of men’s qualification. I’m here in the arena, and I’ll let you know what I’m seeing. New updates at the top.


Annnnnnnnnd, we’re done. That was the most depressing subdivision in the history of gymnastics.

SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 6

Lytwyn – HB – Yamawaki to mixed – good Kovacs shape but falls – DEF, hits that – good vertical finish in stoop full – DLO 1/1 with small step.

Lytwyn will be the last routine of the day.

Payne – HB – CAN – Kovacs hit – that layout over the bar that I always forget I can’t identify – some crazy rybalkoing – nice flare layout release – finishes double double layout with nearly a knee down, large lunge forward.

Lin – HB – Cassina hit – Kolman hit, both comfortable – layout tkatchev 1/2 – pause on HB and has to go over and improvise – sticks double double layout.

Dalalaoyan did a hilarious little foot touch before his double front pike 1/2. Falls on the next pass, so really the hilarious little foot touch is the highlight here. Struggling with landing position on some other passes. Hop on 3/1.

Xiao Ruoteng did an excellent job of not dying, which has put him second AA.

Zhang – HB – Cassina is nice – falls on Kolman. Well that’s that.

Belyavskiy – FX – double front 1/2 out, excellent – DLO 1/1 with hop back – back 1/5 front 2/1 with a step – good passes until OOB on second to last – Mustafina legs on 3/1 but controlled.

Nagornyy – FAB triple back and then falls on his second pass because everything is awful. Have I mentioned? Struggle landing on 3/1 as well.

This will be a fairly short rotation because literally everyone has scratched because they’re all dead. Four stops, and then Kohei, Nin Reyes, and Frasca with vault injuries.

Frasca of France lands his vault completely off the mat and hurts his ankle. Add it to the list.

We’re very excited that Milad Karimi, an actual egg who competes for Kazakhstan, is currently sitting 7th on floor.

One more rotation to go.

SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 5

Vecsernyes of the throwback dismount fame is up on HB – stoop 1/1 – stoop 1/2 – Kolman withcrazy legs – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – Yamawaki – nice line – repping for the talls – dismount over the bar with a hop forward.

Jackson Payne just did an…interesting back straddle salto on PBars that I don’t super understand. Double pike with lunge back.

Zou finishes PB with a good double front 1/2 out. Ignatyev falls on HB.

14.208 on HB for Belyavskiy is a good score for today. Puts him in 4th.

Dragulescu – VT 1 – the Dragulescu, remains one of the best incarnations of that vault, certainly among the ones we’ve seen today. Great second vault as well. Round off 1/2 on 2/1.

Kenzo – FX – layout and tucked triple doubles? Because sure why not – crazy sideways punching that doesn’t matter because he’s Kenzo – casual quad twist final pass.

So just in this subdivision we’ve had four people who weren’t able to continue routines because of injury, which doesn’t count Kohei, who didn’t stop in the middle.

Nin Reyes – VT 1 – Tsuk full in right to his face. So that wasn’t awesome.

Lovely high Kovacs from Nagornyy. That was a treat. Sticks a double double layout as well. Yay!

Another major significant knee injury. This time for Clay Mason Stephens on floor. Not a good injury. He also had a funky knee landing on vault, but the other knee.

Leggy leggy snap snap is up on rings and it’s all heartwarming. Hit routine.

Tanigawa is up first for Japan on floor because of Kohei’s withdrawal. punch front 2/1 to double front, sits it, also OOB. Double front pike 1/2 out is much better, quite secure, as is the regular front double pike. I guess someone likes front tumbling! Shame about the first pass because the rest has been quite secure. Hop on 3/1.

SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 4

Belyavskiy up on PB – good Tippelt and Bhavsar – a little too far past handstand on one rail – good double front 1/2, small hop.

Little baby Kazakhstan just did a really excellent floor routine! He’s in sixth on floor!

I enjoy Eltcov’s line on pbars – double front 1/2 out, good control.

But, like, what are we even supposed to do now?

A hit routine from Bertoncelj on horse.

Kohei was supposed to go in between those two. He did not. He has scratched high bar because he is super injured.

MIYACHI ON HB – catches the Bretschneider, does just a Cassina after it (JUST a Cassina) – hits a regular Kovacs – leg break in a stoop 1/2 – hop forward on DLO 1/1.

Kenzo – HB – Yamawaki – falls on a layout Kovacs. I hate everything. Sticks DLO 2/1. A LOT of very vocal coaching coming from the coaches observation box for Japan. Isn’t this not allowed?

Azerbaijan knee injury on floor and is stopping. OH GOOD MORE INJURIES.

SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 3

Liu Yang finishes us up on rings – so still, so smooth – and then botched the dismount, DLO 1/1, large lunge forward, very large deduction there.

Double twisting double tuck rings dismount from Xiao Ruoteng, seemed like he was finishing it comfortably but then landed a little too short with a hop forward.

Good stick on rings from Scott Morgan.

Dalaloyan – VT 2 – lands Dragulescu, in a ball, but lands it – in ahead of Penev by a touch into the vault final. Eddie on the bubble with some real vaulters still to come.

Kohei – PB – arches on one rail but saves it – peach 1/2 – double tucks – tucks 1/2 are good, we’re waiting for this dismount now – double pike with an “I hate my life” stumble with a couple steps but he landed it upright. Don’t worry, his ankle’s just about to fall off.

KOHEI’S ANKLE IS NEXT UP ON PBARS

Nagornyy VT 2 – also didn’t do the Tsuk vault he planned, just pulled out of it and attempted to land somewhat safely. Maybe he hates this vaulting table as much as Whittenburg.

THEY ACTUALLY ACCEPTED AN INQUIRY. Axel Augis on HB.

Kenzo PB – wonderfully quick swing – hitting his handstands – double front 1/2 out, no trouble small step. Good set.

Nagornyy – VT 1 – handspring double front right to his seat – hand slipped on the table, smartly just decided to do the double front rather than the Drag, but fell on it

Lin Chaopan stuck a double double layoutish dismount on rings.

Belyavskiy – VT – terrifyingish Kas landing, underrotated, large lunge to the side and back out of the area.

Watch out for China’s ringsies in this rotation.

SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 2

Meanwhile, Weng Hao went 15.033 on pommel horse to go into second.

Asato – VT 2 – his vault run is like one inch long – stuck handspring randi. Dayum. That will work. Eddie getting pushed farther down……..

Asato – VT 1 – Tsuk full in like a crazy person. Lands in a ball shape but does land it. 14.533.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO, YOU GUYS?

Kohei – VT – A, that is a ridiculously difficult vault, a Kas 2/1, but he HURT himself, short landing, jammed ankle, limping around.

Kenzo’s into first on vault because obviously.

Kenzo Vault 2 – Kas 1.5, very clean, easy looking for him, step forward.

Kenzo Vault 1 – oh, just casually stuck a TTY. Don’t worry about anything. get out of my way, I’m Kenzo. 15.233

Boulet of France comes off HB on a Cassina that wasn’t super close.

Kneed Dragulescu on vault from Remkes of Australia.

Xiao follows with his own hit horse routine. Good start there. 14.866 puts him into third. he does not have the same low circle issue as Lin.

Lin Chaopan on horse circles very close to the horse so that it basically looks like he’s going to sit down on the horse every single time, but gets through cleanly 13.833.

So after one rotation, everyone has broken into 75 different pieces.

SUBDIVISION 3, ROTATION 1

Nin Reyes has been waiting through this to go on HB. He’ll get to go now. Catches his Kolman, somehow catches his Cassina with absolutely insane legs – layout tkatchev and tkatchev 1/2 – DLO with lunge.

They’ve inflated the temporary spinal stabilizer and have been able to carry Groza out so the competition can continue.

So while Groza is being tended to with a potentially massive injury, our PA announcer comes on and goes, “HEY HEY HEY” like a deranged clown.

We’ve finished the other events. Groza is still down on the floor. Spine board is coming out now. You could see how hard he jarred his back when he came down.

Groza came off HB on a stalder tkatchev and jarred his back it looked like, medical team is out again for the second time this rotation.

Kallai on horse – YOU WILL NEVER BE BERKI TO ME – hits, some leg breaks and angle shape.

Axel Augis has lovely line and saltos on PBars, meanwhile Romanian bars is Romanian bars, no matter the gender.

Scott Morgan – FX – very straight body position on DLO 1/1 – front full to front 2.5 with stepOOB – a little short on DLO with a hop – back 2.5 to front full, some ragged legs in there – full in, small hop.

Great stuck dismount from Tanigawa on rings. I did notice his hips quite high in a planche, but that dismount was a treat. 14.433 won’t make it back.

Cournoyer on FX, good support for Canada here – nice double front to front tuck – 2.5 with a lunge – 1.5 to 1.5, a little forward – holds his Japanese handstand well – 2/1 hoppy – full in, OOB.

Kohei – rings – very Kohei, one hesitation in a handstand late but minor – double twisting double tuck dismount with a hop back.

We’ve been waiting 16 years for Kenzo’s rings score. 13.766

Belyavskiy hit horse during that for 14.666. Now Eltcov – clean, good line and then struggles up in his dismount, lowers his hips and then goes back up for a very complex dismount but will get hit for that hesitation.

Xiao Ruoteng had one struggle landing with a large lunge to the side. Final 3/1 was good.

Ruben Lopez of Spain fell on high bar and is being immediately attended team by a medical team.

He’s up now with his mouth covered in a bandage like from Christmas Story when the kid had to have his tongue removed from the pole.

Lin – FX – double front pike 1/2 out – hops forward and OOB on second passs – quite short on double double with a lunge forward – front full to front 2.5, with legs and a hop to the side – 14.100

Hit for Nagornyy on horse.

Kenzo is starting us off on rings, even thought he’s a little stick baby and isn’t supposed to be good at this, but he can do it!

China is pulling a UK and only introducing the people who are going on the first event. (Japan and Russia same. It’s a total trend now.) Also, Lin’s giant warmup jacket makes it look like he’s wearing no pants.

The PA announcer literally just Halloween cackled through a silent arena…

Lord and butter there’s still another subdivision left. And it’s the best one!

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 6

Valle of Mexico on horse is the last competitor in this subdivision, which has been endless.

Molinari ofArgentina is another good strongie on rings but then he died on his dismount.

Naddour – rings – he did a rings. It was hit. (Can you tell it’s the sixth rotation?) short on dlo 1/1 dismount, though, with a medium pace forward.

Whittenburg – rings – actually starts to swing and struggle a little more in handstand than we should see from him – a little uncharacteristic there, but just a small hop on the double double lay dismount. 14.633 and into 4th.

Moldauer – rings – oh our special little broomstick – small hop on double double tuck dismount. Good set. Five good-enough events today, just the mistake on horse. High bar wasn’t great but it was never going to be great.

Yusof with a stumble back on his double pike vault.

Vega Lopez – FX – frotn 2.5 and OOB – front double pike with lunges – lovely DLO 1/1, good open – front 2/1 to 1.5 – a little hoppy and short on landings here and there but good form – small hop on 3/1.

We open with Nile hitting his Kas 1.5 to finish a pretty strong day for him that should rank well in the AA standings.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 5

Kevin Cerda opens double double on floor – very clean work – 2.5 to front full, small hop – back 1.5 to front 1.5 – sticks double arabian – loses his legs a little in final 3/1. Good one.

Naddour – PH – “I’m still the ONE who can do pommel horse, love Alex.” 14.966, into second behind Whitlock.

Rydberg of Denmark just flew directly off the podium landing his final floor pass and it was amazing. Denmark is bring it with the comedy floor.

Kimble – PH – had some good one-arm work and then came off immediately after doing something good. 2 falls out of 2! And a second fall for him. 3 falls out of 2!

Fuglsig’s legs went crazy on his final pass and he did a little dance around in a circle on his landing, which I enjoyed.

Moldauer – PH – I love everything about Yul Moldauer’s legs, you gem – and then he fell. Because why not at this point? Got back up and rushed through the dismount as well. Not one of his better sets even with the fall notwithstanding.

Thailand just did a double arabian to sit split cover up on floor and I’m all about it. I meant to do that double arabian to my hands!

Tulloch also on rings, his one action of the day – strong and clean in his movement to connected strength holds  – only a pretty significant arch in his final handstand – small hop on DLO 1/1. Good.

Wilson is up on rings, but sadly I’m not at and angle where I can see hit little purple face, which sort of defeats the purpose of Nile on rings. DLO full with a step back.

This competition is dead to me. What, we still have to do more? Ugh, fine.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 4

14.633 for Penev means he’s getting two-pered. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Wrong. Stupid. Boo. I hate everything.

Penev – FX – DLO 2/1, near stick, just a little shuffle – a couple hops on landings, not large – back 2.5 to front 2/1, super clean – sticks double double tuck – back 1/5 to front full to front 1.5, excellent – a little short on 3/1 with a hop, but still a very good one. Great form. A couple hoppy landings but also a couple good sticks.

15.033 for Whittenburg, now he’s into first on floor.

Whittenburg – FX – front 2/1 to double front  tuck with a lunge – excellent front double pike second pass – DLO 1/1, small bounce – back 2.5, stuck landing – this is one of his good floor sets – stuck final pass double A 1/2. Excellent.

14.700 for Moldauer on floor. That’s first on floor, and puts him currently first in the in-progress AA standings. Well deserved.

Moldauer – FX – frotn 2.5 with a bounce – double arabian half out, very small hop – back 2.5 to front full, comfortable – flares are fast and extended – landings getting more secure as he goes – 2/1, easy – small hop on 3/1, just slightly under. Very clean set. Hopefully rewarded in E.

Eddy Yusof comes off on horse. He’s the one having a rough day. Three missed routines in four rotations.

Braegger goes on horse  – struggles up to handstand at one point but makes it – same on his dismount with a little too much of a pause but otherwise solid.

Exhausted hugs for Kevin Cerda after finishing HB.

Whitlock – PH – he’sa step above in his confidence and ability to work through those spindles and so many different shapes. Good hit! That was more like it than floor. They’ll have that set into the final no question. Easily into 1st.

Wilson – PH – Wilson goes through smoothly. A little pike in his hips throughout, but no breaks or hesitations and a clean overall set.

Hall – GB – PH – loses his leg form on one of his travels but keeps going through his dismount with a hit.

It hasn’t been a super fun day for GB except for a couple sets from Nile that will be borderline final, and now they have to go to horse. But, that’s their good one.

Also Pablo Braegger is currently leading the in-progress AA standings. So that’s happening.

“I appreciate the effort.” -Carol Angela. Yeah. Exactly.

Well, everyone’s a little broken here after the Whitlock and Mikulak mistakes taking them out of those finals.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 3

Kimble – HB – Liukin, hit – layout tkatchev to layout tkatch 1/2 – pauses in swing but works through it – will get hit for pirouettes – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – DLO 1/1, holds onto the stick.

Mikulak – HB – hits Cassina – and Kolaan, both good, and then he falls on a tkatchev. A TKATCHEV YOU GUYS WHY. Redoes into tkatchev 1/2 and hits, Zou Li min – hop full – I think he should have done his new dismount because WTF at this point, but no. I sort of love that he’s still in 7th.

While Seligman fell on horse, Ude went through successfully and is into third.

There should be a “finishing with a 3/1” penalty on men’s floor.

Braegger – FX – starts front 2.5 – cheats full twist around out of second pass – double double tuck is good – double arabian, small hop – 3/1.

Whitlock – FX – punch front 2/5, good – double double tuck and stuck – 2.5 to front 1.5, just got that 2.5 around to punch cleanly but he did – air flares giving the people a thrill – FALLS on his fourth pass! Large bounce out of triple full.

Seligman falls on horse!

Wilson – love the way he opens out that front double pike second pass, high and comfortable – 2.5 to layout is good. Good controlled landing on his final 3/1, better than most of those final 3/1s today.

Vega Lopez – VT 2 – Kas 1.5, small hop. Into second ahead of Penev, who drops to third.

Hall – FX – First two passes strong – Lands OOB on his combination pass – can get a little Ponory in the twisting department – two steps back on 3/1. Not having an awesome time on a couple of those passes – but 13.733 puts him into 5th. Good difficulty

Moldauer – HB – yamawaki – zou li min is good – very late full twist – stopp 1/2 is OK – lovely kovacs as always – hop full and 1.5 – DLO full and holds the stick – good, but we’ll see what they do with the pirouettes. 13.066. Yeah.

The US men move to HB and the GB and SUI group moves to floor.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 2

Whittenburg – PB – peach, peach 1/2 good vertical – high releases, catching them mostly well, hits double front 1/2 out. Strong one. Into 5th with 14.766.

Hegi – HB -glorious difficulty and higher than most in all his releases, which allows him to catch them more easily. Does a def, so automatic points for that. Sticks dismount. Excellent. 14.333 for Hegi. Right in with Braegger and Srbic but third. I’m not used to such low HB scores overall.

Wilson – HB – Hits Cassina – hits Kolamn – layout tkatchev, tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – stoop full very late – stoop 1/2 is good – couple small steps on double double layout dismount. Saves that rotation for great britain. Solid set. Just 13.933. I thought it was better than that? Oh well.

We really have seen SO many people not come close to landing vaults. Not necessarily dangerously, but like, you’re never going to land that 2.5 not on your back.

Hall – GB – HB – ridiculous fall on his opening release. He’s fine but definitely did a straddle flail salto in midair as he peeled off the bars. Continues with a Kovacs and Kolman, great on his massive mid-routine difficulty – sticks landing.

Fraser – GB – HB – yamawaki – good Cassina, followed by a Kolman, every so slightly sluggish swinging out of it but fine, then misses his layout tkatchev. Shame. Finishes double double lay, fine, late twisting technique.

Kimble – PB – holds on one rail well – had a couple loose body positions in handstands in there, but he hit a PB routine at worlds! It’s a miracle!

Bragger – HB – strong Cassina – hits Kolman as well, fingertips – good layout tkatchev and tkatchev 1/2 series – layout tkatchev 1/2, stoop full a little late – step forward on double double lay. Good. 14.433 puts him into new first place.

Likhovitskiy’s PH routine is 17 hours long but hit. Just lost his shape late in the routine but nothing major.

Yusof stuck his double double lay dismount on HB but had fallen earlier in the routine. Bad day so far.

Moldauer – PB – great high front straddle – very clean peach 1/2 – such nice handstand finishing positions on most of his stills – layout 1/2 andtuck 1/2 are both hit – double front 1/2 out, near stick, small step. Good one for him. 14.633, into 6th.

The US jumped up to start prepping the PBars the moment Nile finished his routine in the last routine, and they’ve still taken the entire allotted time to prep them.

This is a big HB rotation with the Swiss and Nile.

SUBDIVISION 2, ROTATION 1

So, a solid rotation for Penev, but no one else will be too pleased with that. Braegger’s 14.800 on PB is also a solid score, though it’s already 4th with the best subdivision still to come.

Just a 14.200 for Nile, mostly because of those early hesitations in handstands.

Nile – PB – peach half, travels on the bar with a hand, but saves it, just a couple hesitations after turns early – hits Bhavsar – tippelt is good – double front dismount with a step. Fine, but not his best.

We’re seeing a LOT of really bad vaults. Bad DTYs and double fronts. A lot.

Hall – PB – peach – tuck 1/2 skills, from swing and from arms, buth quite good – has to tuck his straddle front salto a little – very clean stutz – holds stick on double front. Good.

I missed Tin Srbic on HB while Purvis was going, but his 14.366 puts him into first.

Purvy – PB – peach to one, holds it well – full twist – peach – loses himself on a full pirouette and clatters onto the bars, ultimately realizing there was no way to save it and comes off. NOOOO.

Gutierrez of Argentina just vaulted off the podium!

El Maraghy of Egypt is getting no punch on any of his connected twisting elements on floor and just going sideways.

Hegi – PB – peach 1/2 – struggles on one rail but works it into a healy well – half twisting tuck is good – PBJaeger and Tippelt are solid – comfortable after that early error. Double front 1/2 out with a step.

14.800 on PBars for Braegger.

Whittenburg – VT 2 – falls on tsuk full in – never had the landing, falls off the padding and onto the podium. So no final for Whittenburg, but Penev is in 2nd.

Whittenburg – VT 1 – just a double front with a large lunge forward. 14.066.

Penev into second on vault, ahead of Verniaiev, behind Radivilov.

Eddy Yusof fell on PBars while Penev was vaulting.

Eddie – VT 2 – Lands his ro 1/2 on double full in the competition version! Much better than in the touch, obviously, but also one of his better attempts at what is definitely his weaker vault.

Eddie – VT 1 – Shewfelt, not his very best, clean, a little off direction and a crossover step. He can stick that one.

Moldauer – VT – Kas 1.5 is quite clean because Yul, hop forward.

Eddie fell on his first attempt at the 1/2 on, double full in the touch warmup. Get it out of your system?

Only Purvy, Hall, and Wilson came out for the intro for GB, the ones who will be going on the first event.  Weird. All the other complete teams came out.

Guatemala’s gymnast is the tiniest human in the world.

The US starts on a very important event with vault given that both Penev and Whittenburg are going there.

The second subdivision is the USA, GBR, SUI subdivision, and that will be the primary focus.

The big news from the first subdivision was Manrique qualifying ahead of Oleg for the all-around finals. In the mixed zone, Oleg was very cagey about adding more difficulty for later in the competition but seemed to indicate that he would add things here and there.

Major medal threats Petrounias on rings and Oleg on PB are both in the lead by a billion tenths on their events.

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 6

So it will be Manrique qualifying to the AA final ahead of Oleg by over a point!

Bretschneider – HB – Cassina caught – tries the Bretschneider I (the tucked one) but falls – we can’t have nice things. Stoop 1/1 – stoop 1/2, some late handstands in here as well – double double lay with a step back.

Rittschik – GER – HB – Kolman caught – Kovacs is easy – stoop full is usual late – solid dismount, hit routine.

Radivilov – VT 2 – Tsuk double pike is good enough, step to the side and out of the area. Sounds like the world has broken when he lands, which is normal.

Radivilov – VT 1 – good high dragulescu as well – a step back like Oleg, TWINSIES, perhaps a slightly bigger step back.

Larduet – PB – His number is flapping off distractingly throughout this routine – strong bhavsar and PBJAeger – comfortable on stutz – STUCK landing. He had a FANTASTIC day.

Verniaiev – VT 2 – not so great, nearly knee down

Verniaiev – VT 1- strong dragulescu from him as well, step back but not a large step. 14.833.

Leru of Cuba has a very high PBJaeger, just holds the stick on his double front dismount.

Herder HB – Yamawaki – layout tkatchev – tkatchev, doing the skills but not a lot connected – late 1.5 twist – falls on doubler double layout dismount.

A Davtyan FX – not the most complex routine but good amplitude – finishes 3/1 with a step like most do.

The benefit for Oleg here is that he gets to vault, but Manrique is on PB which is among his best.

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 5

Fuentes Bustamante on horse will be the last competitor of the 5th rotation. Oh god. There’s still another rotation after this. Invented an entire circle series in straddle position, so that was fun. Falls just before dismount.

It’s a nine-tenth lead for Manrique over Oleg with one event left.

Radivilov – ring s – so he’s like strong, but the large lunge back on the double double tuck dismount won’t be his friend.

Nguyen – PB – series of double backs, strong and well swung out of – huge tuck 1/1 dismount with just a small step. That was a pretty good set. Like most, a single iffy vertical but had control the whole time. 14.933. Second on PB for now. Just a billion tenths behind Oleg.

13.800 for Oleg on rings. So it’s back to advantage Manrique with Manrique left to go on Pbars and Oleg left to go on vault.

Oleg getting going on rings – my side view of rings that I thought was bad is actually really good for judging handstnds and control of swing. You can really see who’s swining all over the place – Oleg did not do that and stuck his dismount. Back on track.

Rittschik – GER – PB – goes over on a turn to one rail and has to kip back up – dismounts with good double pike.

Some really short-of-twist landings on vault today (just saw one from VIE) that look like you’re going to tear your everything.

Manrique VT – FAB dragulescu, very high, just a hop back.

Herder – PB – GER – arches a stutz but saves it – double front dismount with large lunge forward –

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 4

Jamaica is in the crowded rotation and Beckford is always last for them, so he has been doing most of his routines with no one else around. He can double front, prefers front tumbling (I say that because his 2/1 side pass was the weakest landing)  – double front to 1/1 – good double arabian finish. Better set.

Daniel Williams of Jamaica just had an “I stepped on a bee” landing on floor, looked like it might have been an injury but he’s continuing the set with no apparent ill effects. Maybe a cramp or something.

Oleg moves back ahead of Manrique by two tenths after four events.

Clean double pike dismount on PB from A Davtyan. Petrenko comes off horse. Oleg’s having an only-OK day, but the other Ukrainians are having a reee-ough time. Hit for Sienichkin, we think. It was one of those “are you falling or dismount?” endings.

Oleg – horse – lovely one-arm swing – good curcles between the pommels – allowing a little too much of a pike to creep in through the middle of the routine but works through it – It’s a hit routine!

Manrique – Rings – holding strength positions well, smooth transitions, one struggle handstand – stuck dismount! He’s ONNNN today.

Yu of TPE just vaulted a Yamilet Pena.

Kadirov of UZB was hinging out in a U-shape on one rail for a wait but was not giving up, stayed on PB.

Herder – GER – VT – a little deep landing on a double front with a hop back.

Manrique now ahead of Oleg by three tenths. Oleg hasn’t fallen but has been a little trashy on the last couple events, particularly floor. Pommel horse now. Moment of truth.

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 3

Beckford – HB – good height and shape on Kovacs but doesn’t catch, JAM coaches can’t believe it, nor can I really. High DLO 2/1 dismount with a step back.

Pakhniuk – 2.5 twisting double tuck first pass is good, OOB on second pass – then falls on 2.5 to front full. Not a good day on either of his best events today.

14.200 for Manrique on PH. Third overall there.

Long wait for Oleg’s score. 13.233 with two OOB deductions.

Larduet – PH – was at the same time as Verniaiev on floor, but he hit and I didn’t see any major errors.

Verniaiev – FX – no punch into second element of first pass, just gets it around but lunge OOB – double double was stronger – OOB again on a front double full – hop to the side on 3/1. Not his best.

A Davtyan VT – falls on handspring 2.5

Saw Dolgopyat bouncing OOB at least once on floor, but good twisting speed and bigger difficulty than we’ve been seeing. Just holds onto a stick on his final 3/1.

Fuenmayor hands down on HB dismount.

Sorokine just holds onto a cowboyed double front first pass on floor. Simpler passes are fine for him, like 1.5 to half, but we won’t see much of a score here.

Mosa for QAT just clattered to the floor with a thud on PH.

Tai for Jamaica just did the most insanely shapped HB dismount. It was laid out, piked, and tucked all simultaneously.

Yudenkov – FX – double front 1/2 out, low but fine, 2/5 to 1/2 – slightly hoppy but secure on his landings – sticks double full side pass – 3/1 dismount with hop back. Fine.

Ukraine is moving to floor now, and probably some other people. Like Manrique on horse.

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 2

Reiss Beckford finishes up the second rotation with a double puck dismount with a step on PB.

Reinhardsson for Iceland is not bad at all on PB. Threw some real skills, hit verticals, and nearly stuck a double pike.

Oleg six tenths ahead of Manrique.

PB is the late event this time, but there are also a thousand more people on PB than the other pieces in this rotation.

Petrenko – UKR – HB – layout Kovacs – fall, no chance, about 1500 miles away from the bar. Hit a Kolman, but then falls again on a Kovacs. Nope nope nope. Third fall on the dismount.

Larduet – FX – Front double pike, high with a hop – huge MANBILES, also a small hop, basically small hops out of every pass but nothing major – didn’t hop more than shoulder width on any of this landings.

Leru is up on floor. Leru OOB on a double front –

Artur Davtyan on rings now – tuck and pike positions look good, secure handstand out of them – nearly sticks double double tuck dismount, has to hop forward.

Other Davtyan follows, one significant arch from this angle, but very very smooth in all his transitions through strength elements – but he is struggling to hold some of these handstands still – DLO 1/1 dismount with step back.

Bulgaria is having a no no no good day.

Verniaiev – HB – Yamawaki 1/2 – tkathev 1/2 – stoop 1/2 good vertical – tkatchev 1/2stoop 1/2 in pretty late – Yamawaki – comfortable, just some quite late verticals – large bound forward on double double lay. Two hits. 13.366.

Nguyen doing a press handstand on floor got a huge cheer from the crowd? Bless.

Pakhniuk – HB – stoop 1/2, good vertical – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2 – super super late on on a full twist, he’ll get hit for handstands in there in several places.

In this rotation, we’ll have the Ukrainians on HB, Davtyan on rings, and Manrique on floor.

SUBDIVISION 1, ROTATION 1

THE FIRST ROTATION IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!

Merdinyan – PH – such a high circles position – just spreaking his legs and circling and spindling for days – a little dumpier on circle between the pommels – one form break, but a hit and no one has compared to his difficulty, speed, and position so far. 14.433 for Merdinyan.

A Davtyan – PH – good rhythm, very quick hands on the end of the horse, confident one pommel work – fake-o dismount but should be the best score so far as it was the only good routine on horse so far. 13.866.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Just make up scores at this point. I don’t even care!!

Carol has resorted to telling the audience about the virtues of instagram, so yeah. This rotation has been rough.

Shaulov of UZB on horse – he had good rhythm at the start, then completely slowed down and allowed a major pike in his body position throughout his circles toward the end. Fake-o horse dismount.

Kadirov of UZB next on horse – attempts a circle in handstand and comes off immediately – a couple leg separations in travels – good difficulty on dismount.

We’ll see how long this score takes…
Faster.

Aleksandrov next. Wishing it were Alexander Alexandrov, just being like, “I’m going to do horse now.” Loses his legs on a couple travels but does well to keep it going and not come off – alllllmost got theough the whole thing – lost form again going into his dismount and had to come off before completing a dismount. Will remount.

We finally got a score for Dimitrov! It’s a miracle!!!!

Metidji – PB – nice secure Tippelt, comfortable with that type of skill as the bhavsar was nice too, many variations on that skill – pace back on double pike. Respectable showing.

We’re done on vault, HB, rings, and floor for the first rotation. One more on PB. And we still have one routine done on PH and no scores.

A couple OObs from Dunkel on floor for Germany.

Sorokine for Israel on PBars, not fair going after the the Ukrainians as it makes his legs look like trash. The Ukrainians are rail straight.

Air flares from Herder on floor get a big roar.

We’re literally still waiting on the first PH score??????

Pakhniuk on PB – struggles slightly to hold his peak to one rail – struggles again moving to one rail losing shape on legs, some tense mistkes here – double front half out dismount is great but a couple leg breaks in there should take the score down.

Kas 1/1 from Fuenmayor with a hop to the side.

Stuck DLO 1/1 dismount from Leru on HB.

Oleg – PB – WONDERFUL LEGS, HOLDING HIS POSITIONS WELL AND SECURELY – THAT HUGE TIPPELT THAT I LOVE – STRONG Bhavsar – (just realized I was in caps, not intentional, uncle tim did not take over) – pace forward on dismount, but a good set. 15.466.

The judging delay on the first horse routine has been 700 hours.

Larduet – HB – going at the same time as Petrounias. Planning! tkatchev 1/2, stoop 1/2 to layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – stalder rybalko is usual stalder rybalko lateness, some late piros in here but nothing major – massive dismount (triple twisting double lay?), larrrrge lunge forward.

Petrounias – SR – my side view of rings emphasizes how still Petrounias keeps the rings compared to the others. Holds the stick on the dismount with a lean. Good set. 15.4000. You know, NBD.

Yudenkov is the first on PB for Ukraine – peach to one could be held longer- stutz is solid, good vertical and toes, an arch after a full twist, good stick on back full dismount. Solid start, though he has better teammates coming up.

Tseng for TPE fell on punch front full out of his second pass, but the adorable Taiwanese children in the crowd don’t seem to mind.

Carol-Angela: “I have never seen an event like this.” That is objectively false.

Warmups for first rotation now. We’ll be keeping an eye on Ukraine on PBars, as well as Manrique on HB, Petrounias on rings, and Merdinyan on horse. A pretty packed first rotation with medal contenders on medal events.

For the moment, Carol-Angela is telling us about which event is the most thrilling and high-flying. This is a gigantic arena, so it’s going to look perpetually empty, but for a morning subdivision of men’s qualification, the crowd is not too bad. Qatar and Algeria have small but loud contingents.

It was coincidental this time, but I have a terrible view of rings. Oh, look how that worked out. The other events I can see pretty well, particularly HB. So that’s all that really matters.

 

Making Sense of the Women’s All-Around

Simone, where art thou?

In the absence of obviousness, this year’s all-around class and assembled helpers may seem a bit of a mess. They’re all so…there. In that spirit, let this be an unsuccessful effort to sort things out and clarify favorites from underdogs using recent scores.

I have taken the top 10 all-around contenders at worlds this year—in my view (and Dawn agrees with me)—and broken their 2017 scores down by event, including the average of the last five scores they received and their range of D scores during that period.

This should provide us with some method of ranking the contenders as well as highlighting which events gymnasts need to take advantage of to get into the medal race.

Let’s begin with vault.

ZZZZZZZZZZ.

I mean…YAY I AM UTTERLY PUMPED.

Vault isn’t the most exciting of events in the all-around this year because, among the most likely medal winners, it’s a flatline of acceptable and normal DTYs where all the best ones should score pretty similarly.

Vault is not going to be the decider. We’ve seen meets this year where basically every DTY got the exact same score, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we’re rehashing that complaint throughout the next week.

Smith’s vault is cleaner than Iordache’s, but Iordache’s tends to be bigger, so 14.4 it is! The Russians fall down the rankings because of inconsistency, but…you’re not going to fall on a DTY at worlds, right? Oh god, of course you are. Continue reading Making Sense of the Women’s All-Around

Nation-by-Nation World Championship Preview

In many respects, the first worlds of the quad is the practice worlds. Podium training for the quad to come. There’s no team competition, no qualification consequences, just a chance for a handful of top individuals to get their titles before they get irreparably injured.

For those select few, career-defining major world medals are within reach, but for those outside the top four and a half countries (Romania still counts as half a country because Iordache/Ponor), the first worlds of the quad is about assessing how they might stack up against the rest of the world and their peer-group countries, evaluating the international competitiveness of new gymnasts, and maybe setting some national records in the rankings.

So, by way of a worlds preview, here’s a brief account of all the teams heading to Montreal (as we know them now) and notes on what would constitute a successful and victorious competition for each of those teams.

United States
Ragan Smith, Morgan Hurd, Jade Carey, Ashton Locklear

The US is a victim of its own dominance in that there is no longer any way for the Americans to exceed expectations at a major competition. You either win all the medals, or you are disappointing trash.

But diving deeper, the US will expect Ragan Smith to win the all-around title. At least, she’ll enter the competition as the favorite. It’s not a dominant favorite status as there are certainly those who can catch her (most notably Larisa Iordache), but she’ll start as the expected winner. The US has won the all-around every year since 2010 and won’t abide breaking that streak. It may not be fair (in fact, it isn’t), but anything less than winning the world AA title will be considered a disappointing competition for the US.

On the events, the US will be looking for something in the ballpark of four medals. The US hasn’t won fewer than three event medals since 2003, so while we shouldn’t expect the six medals of the Simone years, there are still some standards to uphold. Jade Carey has been selected in the expectation that she can get a medal on vault and floor, while Ragan Smith will hope to medal on beam and is quite capable of a medal on floor as well. Ashton Locklear is going for bars, but with her current routine she would not be a pre-competition medal favorite. She would need some mistakes from those who are breaking 6 in D score.

As for Morgan Hurd, the issue throughout the selection process was that she’s not a SHE’S GOING TO WIN A MEDAL ON THIS EVENT gymnast, meaning that her best hope will probably be the all-around. As of now, I see Hurd’s position in the international AA picture as similar to that of Aly Raisman’s early in her senior career, where she’s sort of in the 3-6 zone (alongside the Russians and hopefully a few of LTT, Murakami, and Andrade) and could get a medal if things fall right but could also finish heartbreakingly 4th.

This year, Hurd’s most competitive single event has been floor, where she can record a medal-level score. Her biggest floor obstacle is that she’s the third-best floor worker on the US team and may need some help not to get two-per-countried. Hurd is also quite capable of a very strong score on beam, especially now that it appears she has added back her full-in—a four-tenth boost in D that can help account for why she moved ahead of her AA peers at selection. Her 2017 hit record on beam being what it is, though, I’d consider a good finish on beam for Hurd a bonus rather than an expectation.

Russia
Elena Eremina, Angelina Melnikova, Maria Paseka, Anastasia Ilyankova

After a couple potential dramas died down regarding a potential injury to Ilyankova and the [GIF of car falling into pond] that is Paseka’s 2017 vaulting, we’re back to the expected Russian team.

We know not to take giant Russian Cup scores to mean anything, but Eremina and Melnikova are nonetheless competitive enough in the all-around to qualify into the top-6 group. A medal for one of them would certainly make this a victorious competition. Russia has a successful recent medal record in the all-around, though that record has been a two-woman performance. Recall that the last Russian to medal in the all-around not named Mustafina or Komova was named Khorkina. Russia absolutely does not want to start going all Romania and having to rely exclusively on Mustafina coming back again and again to win medals. An all-around medal from one of the newer ones would be refreshing.

I would say they’re “hoping” for a medal in the AA, but it’s unclear whether Valentina is happier when Russia wins medals or when she can run to the press and complain about Russia being unfairly robbed because being victimized for being white or whatever.

On the events, we’ll say 2-3 medals would be a good haul. At least two is a must, three or more would be great. Paseka is here because of her medal potential on vault. She has the difficulty to win the title even when her form is really Bee Farm, but then again ALL THE FALLING. We’ll see. On bars, it’s Russia, so at least one of Eremina and Ilyankova better win a medal otherwise Mustafina is going to crawl out of her birthing hut, throw a placenta at them, and instantly improvise a routine that’s a million times better.

Another possibility will be Melnikova getting into the medals on floor. She is European champion, but a medal is a tougher prospect now when asked to go against the Americans and Japanese. Then again, it’s a relatively weak field, so she’s not all that far down the depth chart. On beam, I have no expectations for medals because Russia. The capability is there of course, and it would be a disappointing beam final without any Russians, but also Russia.

China
Liu Tingting, Wang Yan, Luo Huan, Fan Yilin

Because of only being able to use three people on each event, China has elected to go with Liu and Luo in the AA, instead of Liu and Wang (their two strongest all-arounders). This is a strategy to maximize their opportunities on bars and beam, which is a giant neon sign pointing us to where China views its medal hopes. If Wang were to do the AA, only one of Luo or Fan would be able to go on UB, and they want multiple legit medal contenders performing there to guard against a qualification mistake.

Bars is not the extend of China’s medal opportunities, however. Liu Tingting should be in the mix for an AA medal. Her obstacle will be low difficulty on floor, as well as occasional issues with the DTY, but she can make up for that with big scores on bars and beam to keep herself squarely in the top-6 group. China has not managed to win an all-around medal since 2011, so breaking that streak will be a goal this quad. When looking for ways to make this a victorious worlds, getting LTT into the AA medals would certainly do it.

China’s most likely event medal would come from Fan Yilin on bars, though they’ll expect a couple more than that. Like Russia, 2-3 is the necessary result. Beyond Fan, look for Liu Tingting’s delightful and code-savvy beam routine as a strong possibility, and Wang Yan’s chances on both vault and floor. She’s among the five or six gymnasts with a shot on vault, and her high-13s on floor will be in the mix. Those are all realistic possibilities, at least for Shang Chunsong-legacy 4th-place finishes if nothing else. Luo Huan is very capable of getting into the finals on both bars and beam and being lovely, though shrugging off her heartbreaker destiny and getting into the medals feels like a dream.

Japan
Mai Murakami, Asuka Teramoto, Sae Miyakawa, Aiko Sugihara

Everyone’s favorite up-and-coming team is far from a constant on the medal stand, so for Japan, winning any medal would make this event a victory. Tsurumi’s 2009 medals are still their only recent hardware, making their status very different from that of the US, Russia, and China, who need to win many and multiple medals to make the event a success. Japan just needs something to take home.

At the same time, Japan is scoring well enough these days that we should begin expecting that medal, and there are several realistic possibilities on this team. Sae Miyakawa absolutely has the vaults and floor difficulty to medal on either piece, the main worry there being how she sometimes forgets what gymnastics is the moment she leaves Japan. She’s still yet to come through at the international level. It’s Mai Murakami’s floor routine, however, that looks like the most realistic medal for Japan. It’s tremendous, and it would be about time.

In the AA, Murakami is turning herself into more and more of a legitimate threat, especially if that Amanar exists. She may not be quite there yet, but I’d certainly keep her toward the top of the conversation. A good day from her can rival most everyone else in the meet. Teramoto should be Japan’s second AAer, and as usual will be lovely and finish 9th. And then finish like 10th on beam with the most secure routine. Basically every time. Her best-ever AA finish is 8th, so beating that would be a victory for her. Continue reading Nation-by-Nation World Championship Preview

The 2017 US Worlds Team

USA Gymnastics has just tweetnounced that the worlds team for 2017 is Ragan Smith, Jade Carey, Ashton Locklear, and Morgan Hurd.

So hmmmmmmmmm.

This was the rare year (among recent years) that we knew we were going to see a surprise no matter what because the second AA spot was so up for grabs. No clear option presented itself after the McCusker withdrawal.

BUT, it turns out that tonight’s big winner is Morgan Hurd, beating out Jordan Chiles and Trinity Thomas for the second all-around spot on the team. In the last post about team permutations, I noted that Hurd was close enough to the others to make it conceivable that she could beat both Chiles and Thomas at the selection camp. I assume that’s what must have happened for her to get the second AA spot since she was clearly behind Chiles and Thomas at nationals. She was still close enough that if she was the one who hit at camp…the choice makes sense.

As we learned from the videos (videos! From selection camp!), Thomas did not upgrade all the way to a DTY—put it on your Christmas list—still stepping up to the 1.5, though. That would have provided her with some lift in scoring potential, but not as much as she may have needed. Also, this is completely speculative, but while we got partial videos of everyone from the selection, Thomas’s routines were…more partial than those for the other major AAers. It could indicate errors that were taken out. That would make me more comfortable with the Thomas snub, if she totally botched selection. Otherwise, it is a snub, no two ways about it.

Chiles, meanwhile, has been named the alternate. I do still believe that Chiles has the higher peak scoring potential than Hurd when she hits because of her vault, but it’s close enough that just a few wobbles here and there would flip it, and if that’s what happened, then Hurd can very easily make sense as your AA option.

The thing is, however, that Hurd could show up at worlds, hit in the AA final, get a mid to high 56, and still not necessarily medal. She’s going to be in the hunt and a good contender, certainly, but it’s not a typical US-style sure thing.

That was going to be the case no matter who the US selected for that second AA position, but it’s something to get mentally accustomed to. Continue reading The 2017 US Worlds Team

A Brief Dispatch on the McCusker Withdrawal

I’m coming to you today from the Balance Beam Situation London offices (where I have successfully mastered using the terms courgette and aubergine, saying toilet instead of restroom, and spending an hour and a half on a train glaring at too-loud teenagers and choosing to be miserable the entire time rather than say anything about it—where’s my citizenship?).

As requested, here are a few thoughts and reconstructions of team possibilities based on the withdrawal of Riley McCusker from the upcoming US selection camp. What does it do to the US worlds team conversation?

What it does is throw everything in the bin (BIN!).

Here’s what I said the last time I discussed the US team:

Basically, if McCusker isn’t your clear #2 AAer…selection will become an all-around free-for-all.

Pretty much!

The US is now left looking for its #2 all-around gymnast, which is good news for the selection hopes of Chiles, Thomas, Hurd, and Frazier, the contenders for that spot. If I were Valeri, I would be tempted to say, “OK, whoever finishes second to Smith at the selection camp is my second all-arounder” because no one else has really claimed the spot so far this year. But of course, that’s basing the decision on one competition, which we don’t do. Martha raised us to believe that every competition is a selection competition.

Jordan Chiles’ second-place finish at nationals makes a very good argument for her, creating one of the more competitive teams the US can select. Continue reading A Brief Dispatch on the McCusker Withdrawal