End of the line, everybody off. Four more event finals to finish off our Olympic Games.
Men’s Parallel Bars:
Men’s High Bar:
Sabot of France has some handstand trouble (but not to the degree of Zhang) as well and a major pause on one bars but improves as the routine goes on, minor hop on the double pike. 15.566.
Feng – Really strong, tight tumbling, but the form on handstands wasn’t amazing and a minor struggle on a straddle release. Should be the best so far, but I wasn’t completely impressed. Isn’t it upsetting when people seem to overly celebrate based on performance level? 15.966.
Nguyen – Good rhythm, good positions, minor hop on tuck full dismount. I understand that it won’t outscore Feng, but it was the superior routine. 15.800.
Corral Barron – A fine but ultimately middle of the pack routine. 15.333.
Tsolakidis – moves through pirouetting quite cleanly with a tighter position than most. Impressive front double pike, just a step on dismount. I appreciated what was happening there, but there wasn’t enough difficulty. 15.300.
Tanaka 1 – I’m not completely pleased with these wonky handstands throughout, but very nice handstand on one bar and a stuck landing. 15.500. He should be doing better than that, but he was off at the start.
Tanaka 2 – I think I like this Tanaka better, but he’s having even more struggles than his brother with some cranky handstands. Poor dismount with big lunge forward. Probably the lowest score we’ve seen. 15.100.
Garibov – He had to be perfect to get into the medals, and some breaks with bent arms and a hop back on the double pike will keep him out of the medals. 15.300.
This final needed a little more Danell Leyva or a little more Marcel Nguyen winning. Smiley Sabot is making it better.
GOLD: Feng, SILVER: Nguyen, BRONZE: Sabot
I’m looking forward to this final because, while we can expect it to be the China/Romania show with a Komova cameo, nearly everyone involved has a shot at a medal. There aren’t any clunkers with no hope like in the vault and bars finals.
For yet another time at these Olympics, we’ll start with the favorite, Sui Lu. Front pike + swingdown is good, as is barani, no choreography, good swith ring. A minor wobble on a back pike the only issue with this routine so far. She’s hitting everything. Small step on double pike. That will likely be our gold routine. 15.500.
Ponor – her floppy switch ring as usual, wobble on double turn by making it 2.5 turn, huge wobble on her full bhs, with several steps. Boo. Glad she ended with the pike full dismount. Shouldn’t medal, but still fun to watch. 15.066. A little bit of Ponor scoring, but who cares? [Maybe Aly Raisman.]
Deng – beautiful in the layout+korbut series and confident in the switch ring, dismounts with a minor step back on the double pike. It was similar to Sui’s routine, but I think Sui was a little more confident and should score higher. Both will likely medal. They just need to keep that fluidity, grace, and choreography back to Chinese beam to get me on the train. 15.600 into first. I disagree. Deng had several more hesitations.
Iordache – Completely comes off on back full series after a valiant attempt to save, and follows it with more wobbles. Really found her confidence after the beginning and was more solid, finishing with a very nice 3/1 dismount. 14.200. This bronze position is wide open for the Russians and Americans.
Afanasyeva – wobbles on pike 1/2, otherwise excellent, moving through with grace. I question a couple of these connections. Big stumble back out of double tuck, looks like she had so much time that she overrotated. 14.583.
Douglas – wobbles on her walkover to lose the connection, already the biggest error she’s had over four routines, then a big wobble on her back full. She’s not quite on anymore, splits the beam on a switch 1/2 and comes off. Her gymnastics checked out after the AA win. Better that this beam routine happened during EF. 13.633.
We’ve seen multiple shots of Sui Lu and she is devastated that Deng went ahead of her. I didn’t see it either, Lu.
Komova – big wobble on L turn, series look nice but then a minor correction after her loso, huge wobble on front tuck and comes off. Shannon says she gave up, but her center of gravity was in Manchester at that point, so what was she supposed to do? Fall on Patterson. 13.166. Taking out her hair clips in disgust. That’s going to take a lot of work.
These gymnasts are going to let Ponor back her way into a bronze medal after a wobble factory. Just Raisman left. She could sneak a bronze, though.
Raisman – She’s wearing Flag Blender. Is it going to be good luck? Front tuck is good, as is layout. The front pike will be the big test now, another wobble but not the problem from the AA, though it may be just enough to put her behind Ponor. Very solid on everything else. Patterson now – big hop forward again. She will be the beneficiary of going last, can she pass Ponor? 14.966. Nope.
How does Ponor always do it? That was a bad routine, but no one took it from her.
GOLD: Deng, SILVER: Sui, BRONZE: Ponor
Petition? Petition. Love a petition. Reviewing Raisman’s D Score. This is a dangerous thing, because there is an argument for downgrade on most of her split skills anyway. They raise Raisman’s D Score. She’ll get third based on execution! Another tie for Raisman, and now she moves up to bronze.
Ponor’s face! Ponor’s face! Show it! Devastating for her. It’s like 2005 Beam Finals but worse. Aly better not go into any dark alleys anytime soon. Well, we’ll have something to talk about here.
GOLD: Deng, SILVER: Sui, BRONZE: Raisman
Men’s High Bar:
Some really fun routines (and Zou Kai’s low amplitude code demonstration) in this event final.
Leyva begins, full tkatchev and layout kovacs are nice, one or two minor issues with swing and handstand, and a pretty large step on his double double layout, so not his absolute best but a strong routine. 15.833. It may be tough to medal with that from the first position.
Zhang – big releases and swinging well out of them, connecting with difficulty. Does a little dance to hang onto the stick on the double double layout. That will pass Leyva certainly. 16.266.
Garibov – goes over on a handstand, which is a shame because it was an elegant routine until then. Same dismount as the others with a hop to the side. 15.333.
Zou – Hits. Feet and amplitude. 16.366. I have nothing. Whenever you want to make the argument about this code overvaluing difficulty, point to this. But Zhang was competitive in difficulty and superior on execution, so I don’t see that.
Hambuchen – wonderful height, rhythm and combinations. Great routine! One or two handstand issues, but he can’t do it much better than that. 16.400! He’s rewarded. I didn’t think they would do it, and I’m so pleased that they did. It was really excellent.
Zonderland – Absolutely tremendous releases and hair, which is why we forgive his frequent and extreme leg separations on every release. Excellent stuck dismount. Thrilling routine, epitomizes what high bar should be. 16.533. There will be much to discuss about this, but his difficulty was above Hambuchen. I can’t be mad at Zonderland, but I feel for Hambuchen because his routine is also thrilling and his form is superior. Nonetheless, Zonderland is also the kind of winner we want for this competition.
Horton – Great, clean releases but not connected in the same way as the others. They have moved past him on this event to some extent. Step on dismount, but a great way to finish out for him. 15.466.
Kim finishes for us – nice tuck position on his Kovacs, huge stumbles out of the dismount, but it was clean before that. 15.133
GOLD: Zonderland, SILVER: Hambuchen, BRONZE: Zou
Good podium considering we knew they were going to reward Zou. I’m absolutely right there with gold and silver. Our commentator said, “perfect dismount,” and it sounded like “birthing dismount.” That’s where I am with my gymnastics fatigue level right now.
If I have to see Shawn Johnson’s pretend flooded gym one more time, I really will die. That portrait of her floating in the mud. . .
Finally the floor finalists are entering. It’s a shame that Afan has to go first. Ponor is right behind Raisman in line. What does she want to do? I think I forgot Lauren Mitchell was a person since we haven’t seen her since day 1.
Now that’s how you present to the crowd. Everyone watch Ksenia. There are some delightfully severe profiles in this group.
Afanasyeva – Steps out of her double layout, some enemy of glory put her flag up. Boo. Nice attitude turn after solid 3/1. Stop clapping, audience, you’re making it bad. Steps out again on her third pass. Did commit to the leg work quite as much after her third pass. She’s tired and upset, but a good double pike dismount. Don’t they know they should expand the floor for her? She needs some Ponor scoring now. 14.566. Won’t be enough.
Wieber – Stumbles out of double double surprisingly. Does her stupid stag after the triple and goes out of bounds again. Don’t these people learn? The Americans were trained within an inch of their lives to peak for Team and AA, and they are past due by this point. Raisman is still in form because she is so sturdy. 14.500. Three medals still up to be won.
Raisman – Does she do the mount? Does it and hits it perfectly. She’ll wish that was there in the AA. Piked double Arabian with a pretend jump that I would refer to as little more than a balance check. Just the double pike left. That was the best one she’s done at these Olympics. That will be well over 15 if we go on precedent. 15.600. Can anyone match that?
Ponor time – perfect DLO to open, I was going to complain about the form on the second pass, but I’ll complain about the pretend tumbling out of the tumbling. Horrifying legs on the triple. Good double pike. Let’s hope for a medal here. 15.200. That could get one.
Mitchell – Whip double arabian looked too low but she got it around. Bizarre sissone out of piked full, almost falls on the 2.5 + layout. She’s off today. Fine double pike to finish, but it won’t be near the medals. 14.833.
Ferrari – small stumble out of double double, back tuck out of tuck full, solid passes to open. This leo. . . I can’t even talk about it due to delicate sensibilities. Goes straight up for her double pike but lands it well. It could go into third for now. 14.900. Izbasa can likely pass her, though.
Mustafina – This is not likely a routine that can go 15.000, and the triple full as a dismount was even leggier than usual. Great Olympics from her, though. Wow, 14.900! Did not expect that. She goes ahead of Ferrari on execution, though it will likely not matter.
Izbasa – Great piked full. That’s how you stag leap out of something. A little stumble out of Double L. Takes a tumble on dismount! Devastating.
And there we have our Olympics.
GOLD: Raisman, SILVER: Ponor, BRONZE: Mustafina.