Two Per Country

Obviously, in the wake of Jordyn Wieber missing out on the All-Around final, the subject of the two-per-country rule has come to the forefront once again. This is perhaps a positive side-effect of the result because it leads people to remember that this rule needs to be addressed.

However, I am a little resentful of the way this rule is being discussed both in gymnastics and in the wider sports media. Now, I agree with the large majority of people that a three-per-country rule makes more sense for our sport because it would provide a more engaging final competition and because the two-per-country rule doesn’t do anything. (I don’t buy this fairness argument, though, because sport isn’t fair. That’s what makes it sport. If it were fair, the US would be fielding a team of 11 here and everyone would get a participation trophy.) The true reasons this change should be made are getting lost behind emotion and a lack of understanding and explanation.

While everyone is quick to jump on the current rule and say how terrible it is because it was mean to Jordyn, during last night’s NBC broadcast, for instance, not a single person stopped to explain why the rule exists in the first place. There is an actual reason there. It’s not just arbitrary. The two-per-country rule is intended to encourage the international nature of the sport, cultivate the opportunities (and attention given to those opportunities) for people in countries without gymnastics history or a major program, and ultimately create a worldwide sport with true international parity. (I apologize for the use of parity. I’ve been watching NCAA for too long.)

I think we can all agree that those noble aims make complete sense and would nurture the health of the sport. While misguided, the FIG is at least coming from right place. However, the rule does not work because you cannot hope to build gymnastics programs by starting at the top and suddenly giving access at major competitions to people who aren’t prepared for it. Artificially bringing in gymnasts who don’t have the talent level to participate doesn’t make the country stronger. The attention needs to be paid to the lower levels of the sport, to increasing funding and access on the junior and domestic levels (note that this is difficult, which is why the FIG chooses instead to pay lip service to the idea with a stupid rule).

Creating a more international sport has to start from the youngest gymnasts at the smallest clubs, not at the Olympics. That’s why the two-per-country rule doesn’t do anything. That’s why we should get rid of it, and that’s what we should be talking about. Right now, the argument against the rule is coming from a “the thing I wanted to happen didn’t happen so now I want the rules to be changed!” place, which is petulant to say the least.

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Men’s Team Final

As we attempt to recover from the hoopla of women’s qualification and the NBC broadcast of it, which was a ridiculous endeavor all of its own (with Jordyn standing there right behind Aly and Gabby during their Andrea interviews. . . I died of discomfort along with everyone in history). Though it did allow us to discover my new favorite Elfi-ism, “This routine is a piece of work in every sense of the word.” I will be using that often. I don’t understand why people don’t like her. She cracks me up and is the shining star of that harrowing broadcast team.

But now we have a bigger event, the men’s Team Final. Our wacky qualifying day saw Japan and China qualify in the fifth and sixth spots, but don’t believe that makes them distant contenders in the final. I’m a little less optimistic for China because they seem to have legitimate holes in this lineup, while Japan’s struggles were less indicative of a pattern of errors than of a bad day. [Message from the future: look how super smart I am. . . HA]. That being said, there are legitimately six countries in medal contention who could be exchanging the lead all day.

We saw a lot of tight routines and bizarre misses in Qualification, and the nerves will only increase for Team Finals. Even though there are a number of relevant countries, it may just be that going clean enough is the requirement for a Bronze.


The interesting US lineup decision was keeping Horton off vault in favor of Orozco, as we see above. Though Horton did not go in Qualification to allow Orozco and Leyva the opportunity to do the AA, he is usually a stronger vaulter than Orozco. Given his struggles in PT and his poor competition overall so far, this is not such a surprise.

Commentary after the jump from 11:30 ET/8:30 PT


Rotation 1 will see the USA and Russia on floor, Great Britain and Germany on horse, Japan and China on rings, and Ukraine and France on vault. We’ll get Shannon and Other Guy on the NBC feed, but I do wish I could watch this competition with Christine, Mitch, and Matt. They’re like old friends now, and they’ll be losing themselves for Team GB.

We’re nearly there now. Introductions happening now. China’s success may hing on how many routine Guo has to do today and if it’s possible to recover from the kind of day he had in Qualification (and if he can, give those pointed to Yao Jinnan). France is without Cucherat, and they will be mostly making up the numbers today.

Rotation 1:
Leyva floor – double double lay with hop, clean in the Thomas skills, Manna to handstand is good, his front 1.5 is always a little low in the chest position which isn’t my favorite, slight short on the DLO with a step. Fine but not amazing.

Verayiev vault – pretty nice Dragulescu, easily stood up. Can you complain about body position on this vault? I don’t think you can, even though I want to. Radivilov’s is not quite as strong, with a major hop to the side.

Smith horse – good scissor handstands, he swings slowly like through molasses, very clean in the swing throughout, not a lot you can take there. 15.966.

Yamamuro rings – inverted crosses look pretty good, better in the holds than on day 1, completely stuck DLO 1/1. 15.366.

Beny a 14.566 in vault, which is not competitive with the other teams.

US goes 45.266 on floor, GBR goes 45.932 on horse, Japan goes 45.699 on rings, and Ukraine goes 48.065 on vault. The US is significantly lower than in Qualification, so they are in trouble after the fall from Mikulak, apparently.

Germany has our dear Philipp Boy come off on horse. Horse and its little friend vault have gotten together to try to ruin our Olympics, apparently. Second fall in a row for Germany.

Ablyazin floor – a little short on the triple twist dismount with a hop, but a strong routine with difficult tumbling. That should easily break 15.

Chen rings – extremely controlled with obviously a huge level of difficulty. They can rely on that routine for high 15s, but the 14s from the first two competitors will ensure they are below Japan here.

A look back at Dalton’s solid floor routine to recover from Mikulak’s error. Hop forward on triple full dismount. 15.466.

Ukraine leads after the first rotation because of vault, but Great Britain also finished a strength, and Japan is right there after a successful rings rotation.

Rotation 2:
Zou hits his vault today. They are improving, but is it enough? Definitely underrotated but it doesn’t really come up in his score.

Zhang has a large step back on his vault, but who knows with vault scoring? 16.200

Belyavskiy nearly loses it on one pommel spin but gains control, totally botches his dismount trying to come up to handstand. Disaster.

Nguyen on rings, trying to make Germnay recover, some struggles in both of his handstands, but a fine DLO 1/1 with just a hop. 15.133.

Sabot for France on pbars, a little hesitation off the start, lack of rhythm here (is that a deduction? It should be), a very strong double pike dismount. Few notable errors in the routine.

Russians and Germans held back because of horse disasters, so China is our clear leader out of the first group of four, and having done vault, I expect them to lead overall.

Uchimura vault – 2.5 is pretty good but some squat legs and a hop, excellent in the air of course. Kato follows with a 16.041, but Yamamuro has an ugly far – no where close and he appears to be hurt.

It appears Leyva has fallen on horse for the US, disaster. Two of four routines have mistakes so far. Mikulak now, this is a necessary hit. Who calls him “California Cool,” Shannon?

Purvis on rings,one wonky handstand and a very low landing with steps forward, but at least the flipping and holds were strong. Not his best. 14.600

Japan still moves up into second place, but they are significantly behind China now after the fall. China is the only team that has completely delivered so far, actually, well other than Ukraine, but this is getting all kinds of interesting.

Waiting on the Orozco score for horse now. It was apparently another disaster, the US has missed 3 or 6 routines and sits in 7th. They had a shot at a medal here, but that’s a terrible start. Time to focus on GBR now. In a fairly solid 5th having not yet done vault.

Rotation 3: 
Whitlock starts with a hit on vault for GBR with some direction.

Huge leg separation for Ukraine from Nakonechnyi, otherwise fine, DLO 1/1 dismount.

Purvis on vault, his run just makes me smile, nice Y2.5 with a hop.

Horton trying to get it together on rights, this is looking a bit better, still he’s not super solid in the holds or inverted crosses. There are placed to deduct here, that’s for sure, struggle before dismount but hits the double double.

Orozco on rings, minor hesitation in the straddle support and a poor handstand after that. Is it bad that I want to call his dismount “a Mustafina”? Probably is if you’re a MAG fan. OK but just OK.

Uchimura pbars – much better than day 1 so far, very little to take until a hop back on the double pike. I do think his issues on day 1 were not symptomatic of larger problems, and we’re seeing that so far today.

The US puts up an equivalent score to day 1 on rings, which is a victory by the way things are going. Ukraine maintained on hbar, but they don’t have the scores that the other teams do. They fall a bit more behind GBR and Japan.

Boy on vault does just the double front this time with a large step back.

Feng on pbars, good double pike, a notable leg separation in handstand, step back on double pike. 

Sabot high bar, smooth clean routine but not dynamic, relying on pirouette skills for difficulty.

Zhang has a few breaks in his routine today, but the score should be fine. The major question is what we will see from Guo now after the problems of day 1. Guo’s routine was just OK but China will certainly take it.

Very fluid routine on rings from Balandin, it doesn’t look like a struggle, double pike dismount. Russia had a fall on horse, but they have been clean otherwise and will still contend for a medal.

After 3, China, Japan, and GBR are our leaders, but Russia has yet to vault so look for them to move up. The US is in 8th, but they should probably be 6th after vault. China has a totally unexpected two-point lead over Japan right now. They have fixed the problems it seems.

Rotation 4:

Tsuk double pike from Russia, so they get a score over 16 after Pakhomenko’s problems. Ablyazin sticks his version, so that will be over 16 as well, but they needed to gain more ground on the top teams than they will because of the score in the 14s to start.

 One issue on a giant for Zhang and I still question some amplitude on releases, but a hit, and expect a big score from Zou after him. They will move well ahead of Russia by and will be difficult fo Japan to catch right now.

Orozco vault – nowhere close – no block, no lift. Bad fall. Should Horton have been in? Fourth fall for the US. There’s always Rio.

Mikulak’s vault is nice with a larger side step, but it’s largely just to finish out at this point. The US will move ahead of Germany and France after this rotation. Little victories.

Whitlock on pbars, muscling up a little at the beginning, big steps back on the double pike. Got through, but iffy.

Y Tanaka on hbar – strong routine, good height on releases, maintains body position the whole way, obviously a huge improvement from day 1. 16.000. This is the only way they will have a shot at China, though the deficit is large.

Vernaiev has not the best landings on floor, a little sloppy all over the place.

Uchimura on hbar – has to muscled up a little out of his layout Kovacs full and the tuck version, but a huge improvement and just a hop on landing. Thank you, Japan.

After 4: 1. China, 2. Japan, 3. GBR, 4. Ukraine, 5. Russia, 6. USA, 7. Germany, 8. France.
Now that everyone has vaulted, we have some more realistic standings. I expect a fight for bronze, and Ukraine is hanging around a bit more than I thought they would.

Rotation 5:
Tanaka has a handstand mistake on floor and then takes a fall. Congratulations, China. We obviously knew China had the ability, but I didn’t think they had the mentality or health to actually do it. Things have come together for them once again. 13.733 for Tanaka.

Kuksenkov hits a very nice 15.100 on horse. Ukraine is not fading right now. Big horse floors, and they got through the bars events and floor, which is where I expected them to have more problems. Ukraine, Russia, and GBR for bronze? This is getting good.

Uchimura hits a strong floor routine, a few more hops than I would like to see, but that first score will be the death of them.

GBR has a fall on high bar, which puts them down. Advantage gone there. Ukraine moves ahead of GBR by .3 going into the final event. The US apparently completely hit pbars, which will be important for confidence. Two points behind GBR and Ukraine now.

Big slip for Russia on pbars but stays on. That will be a low score.

Zhang on floor should be safety maintaining China’s lead. I know they have the deadly horse still to come, but no other team is looking on enough for that to even matter. Do we trust Japan to hit 3 horse routines in the final rotation right now?

Zou on floor, sticks double double lay, one or two minor hops, but he will probably get like a 28 or something. China has been unbeatably clean today while everyone else has been blech.

Hambuchen on bar – great amplitude on his releases without breaking the swing, rooting for him in the AA, hop on double double. Good routine.

China will maintain the massive 2.5 lead on Japan going to pommel horse, Ukraine has a minor lead in the bronze position, but it could still be them, GBR, or Russia for that bronze medal. Let’s focus on that bronze matter more than gold in this rotation, or is that a ridiculous request? Keep in mind that the US can gain significant ground on high bar. The problem is that they HAVE to be completely clean and they HAVE to get some help from ALL of the teams above them. It’s time to try to salvage something on what could be their best event. It’s going to be a bit too far for them, but the score might end up respectable. Great Britain still has a great shot at this bronze though. I would be so thrilled for them.

Rotation 6:
Oh, I’m so glad my browser crashed at the beginning of the sixth rotation. Thanks.

Chen gets a 14.733 on horse. No surprises there. Guo manages through his horse routine somehow. I thought he would be the disaster for them today, but they’ve been able to avoid their weaknesses.

Zhang to finish things for China, and he does. It will be gold for China again. I would not have called China hitting every routine today, that’s for sure.

Russia improves on day 1 with a 45.033 on hbar, so GBR and Ukraine (and maybe the US) should feel good about passing them up.

Japan takes a fall on pommel horse in the replacement routine for Yamamuro, so I’m switching over to high bar momentarily for the final US performances. Orozco gets a solid 15.333.

Horton hits the layout Kovacs full and Kovacs and Kovacs full all very good. Good for him. One bit of sloppiness in a piroutette. Sticks DLO full dismount. Good for him for getting it back together fir the team finals.

This really is going to be routine for routine for GBR and Ukraine. They’re within tenths after the first routine of the rotation. Exciting! Big score for Purvis, 15.533. That’s exactly what they needed.

 Leyva finishes with a great routine. Should feel good for the US to finish out with two good rotations. 1 fall on floor, 2 on horse, 1 on vault. You can’t come back from that.

GBR moves ahead of Ukraine by less than .2! And the world feed didn’t even show it to us. THey showed us Leyva. Love Leyva, but come on! Awareness! This is for bronze.

Disaster for Uchimura on horse. Will Japan completely throw this away? They just had to be clean or suffer one fall on horse to get silver easily.

The US will move ahead of Russia for fifth. Maybe they can take something from that. . . or not.

Japan out of the medals entirely after Uchimura’s fall! GBR gets surprise second and Ukraine gets surprise bronze! Love it. So incredibly excited for GBR. I’m totally shocked about Japan’s complete  collapse there. Uchimura. . . how does the AA go now?

Japan is protesting! Awesome. This is getting even better. Don’t go away, we need to have a stick around about this. Addressing Uchimura’s dismount now. This cadre of judges. . .

It’s bad enough that we have to wait, we also have to listen to the Black Eyed Peas? Come on, arena!

Inquiry accepted, and Japan moves up to silver! Crazy! Great Britain still at least gets a medal, but Ukraine needs 10 times the hugs of Jordyn Wieber right now. I feel so horrid for them after they already celebrated. A world of boos from the crowd. Imagine if that had knocked GBR out. Judges get a massive boo as they leave. Awesome. Prince Harry loves it.

Say it with me now, counterprotest! Counterprotest! Counterprotest!

Live Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 5

We’re almost home. Just one more subdivision to go. I would not expect Romania to have any trouble placing ahead of China, but it may be too much to expect them to challenge Russia or the US. There has been conflicting information about Iordache’s health, but it does appear that she will attempt the AA today. How much difficulty? We wait and see.

Japan needs a 167.332 to advance to Team Finals, which I expect them to get.

Also to watch are the tenuous spots in the Event Finals, such as Afanasyeva’s current 6th place on beam. If two Romanians pass her, it would take only one more routine to knock her out of finals.

Here we go!

The PA announcer has asked me to raise the roof as the athletes enter the arena. No, shan’t.


Rotation 1 – Romania on floor, Japan on bars:

No Bulimar on floor, which is interesting. Depth, yes, but I prefer her to Chelaru. Top floor score so far is 43.757 from the USA, which Romania can beat.

Phan on vault – World Bronze medalist. She’ll start with a DTY. Completely underrotated, landed a bit sideways and put a hand down. Handspring rudi (I think she was attempting layout but I wouldn’t give it), very low and major step to the side. Nowhere near the quality from last year.

Teramoto opens with a big 14.566 on bars for Japan.

Ponor on floor – Yes, please. Fantastic DLO. Quad spin was all the way around. Huge mistake on the third pass. Totally bailed and did a tuck full. Are we going to have to start calling her Mattie Ponor? Double pike was solid. No floor finals for her, then? Boo. Still gets a 14.600 with a botched pass. It actually doesn’t end up changing the D Score much if there’s a backup dance element to count.

Tsurumi on bars – Where is Christine Still to call her an efficient little gymnast when you need it? A few leg breaks and missed handstands. There are things to take, but she has some great qualities as well. 15.033, which knocks Kyla Ross out of finals.

Izbasa on floor – actually, you know, gets her complex dance elements around. Very short on tuck full, but otherwise a strong routine, should be well over Ponor’s score. Yes, 15.066. Second best score so far on floor. The commercials are out of control right now. It’s like after every half routine.

Iordache on floor – let’s see about the injury. Double double is fine and right into the corner. Sticks tuck full. Totally missed her third pass, got no amplitude, didn’t complete the twists and fell. So strike what I said about Ponor not making floor finals. She should be there and Iordache will not.

Still, Romania can drop the score and still have the top floor score of the day, 43.999, but that’s not enough of an advantage given the bars to come.

Japan records a very strong 44.232 on bars, which is 5th on the day and puts them in great shape.  Tanaka shows multiple shaposh elements with good style, few form breaks, great DLO.

I was just about to say how helpful it is to be given the scores for each country after the completion of one rotation when our commentator said it was “more misleading than helpful.” I don’t think he gets it.

Rotation 2 – Romania on vault, Japan on beam:

Shintake on beam – very nice form but few creditable connections, which will keep her score low. Major wobble on the loso, but that’s really the only thing. Clean and pleasant, like all the Japanese routines.

Ponor on vault – very high DTY with a little bit of usual Ponor legs and a smallish hop forward. 15.133, which is a little Ponor scoring because Mustafina’s was better for the same score.

We don’t get to see Isbaza’s first vault which earned an impressive 15.500. “It’s hard to be very autistic in the gymnastics portion.” She meant artistic, right? DTY as second vault, very strong. She should easily move into second place for EF.

Iordache finishes with 15.100, so they will score lower than Russia on this event, but clearly third best.

A few minor stumbles for Minobe on beam, but also some graceful, light work. Extremely low double pike. Head near the ground. 14.133.

Teramoto finishes on beam for Japan – dismounts with a triple full. This team seems very fifth place right now, which is great for them.

Now we get to see Isbaza’s tremendous Mustafina. Not quite as strong as Maroney’s, but very good.

A sleeveless leo from Lithuania is performing on floor. Clean, low difficulty, dismounts with a low double tuck. Van Gerner gets a pretty impressive 14.866 on bars. I didn’t expect that. Almost made finals.

Rotation 3 – Romania on bars, Japan on floor:

Romania is going to bars, so it’s time to brace ourselves. Japan always has very fine work on floor but gets hit for lack of amplitude in the tumbling, so it will be interesting to see what the judges do with this.

As it stands now, it looks like the AA final cutoff is going to be around 54 flat.

Shintake on floor – Not a ton of difficulty (double full third pass), but no real errors, just some minor landing position issues.

Bulimar on bars – better rhythm and handstands than we see from some of the others. Errors like a dead hang and a little piked in her bail hs – she will be in danger of getting no credit for that. 14.000. They’ll take that any day.

Here comes Chelaru – legs are a little insane, straddled gienger. It did look like she got help from the coach, but on replay he probably didn’t on the jaeger. Awkward but fine landing on the dismount. Messy routine that should not score that well. 13.733.

Iordache – the good one, some form breaks in the legs, and a missed handstand, orphan 1/2 a la Komova. Good not great, which is better than usual for Romania. Nice that she will be able to do AA finals. 14.100. It’s fine, but they can’t afford to lose this much ground.

Teramoto on floor – so compact on her tumbling. They’re counting a 13.633 already, so they need her to start getting into the 14s. Not much in terms of obvious deductions to take. Should be a solid score but not near the best. 14.233. That sounds about right and makes it nearly impossible for Japan to fail to make TF. They’ll be there in solid position with GBR as expected. Canada will be the surprise there.

Going into the final rotation, Romania will need a 45.100 on beam to pass China. Very doable, both the US and Russia exceeded that score.


Rotation 4 – Romania on beam, Japan on vault:

Excited to see Romania on beam. Expect Ponor and Iordache to come back for beam finals, but it could be any of them, really.

Bulimar on beam starts with a very encouraging 14.866 for them. They will gladly take that if necessary. Good double pike dismount with a minor hop.

Izbasa on beam – a little legs in an otherwise nice series. Small wobble on switch half, and dismounts with a 2.5 with a larger lunge forward. This will score well, but I would consider Bulimar for Team Finals, or am I crazy? Waiting on the score. 14.600. Yes, may I interest you in Bulimar?

Iordache on beam – major wobble on on back full but stays on. Some great double turns happening today on beam. Wobble again on walkover. Finishes with well-rotated triple full dismount. Much more around than most are. Just OK as a complete routine, though. Too many wobbles. 14.800.

Japan has finished on vault with a 42.033 to go into 5th place for the moment, which will become sixth after Romania finishes beam.

Because bars was so bad, Romania will move behind China in spite of China’s Yao-tastrophe. Interesting.

Ponor on beam – Terrifying switch ring and almost a fall because of it, on other wobble but otherwise confident. Maybe a bit too rushed and aggressive. Big lunge back on double pike. They will need her to be much better at Team Finals. She did not have her best day. 15.033. She has received some fancy creative judging today.

Thus ends our fifth subdivision.

Final Qualification Standings:

TEAM:
1. USA – 181.863
2. Russia – 180.429
3. China – 176.637
4. Romania – 176.264
5. Great Britain – 170.656
6. Japan – 170.196
7. Italy – 168.397
8. Canada – 167.696
————–
9. Germany – 167.331
10. Australia – 166.721
11. France – 164.796
12. Brazil – 161. 295

All-Around:
1. Komova – 60.632
2. Raisman – 60.391
3. Douglas – 60.265
Wieber – 60.032
4. Mustafina – 59.966
5. Deng – 57.998
6. Ferrari – 57.932
7. Teramoto – 57.865
8. Iordache – 57.800
9. Huang – 57.707
10. Izbasa – 57.532
Grishina – 57.332
11. Lopez – 56.665
12. Seitz – 56.466
13. Tunney – 56.391
14. Gomez Porras – 56.132
15. Whelan – 55.699
16. Pegg – 55.657
17. Van Gerner – 55.632
18. Ferlito – 55.500
Pinches – 55.266
Yao – 54.798
19. Steingruber – 54.715
20. Little – 54.498
21. Malaussena – 54.399
22. Pihan-Kulesza – 54.365
23. Tanaka – 54.333
24. Brennan – 54.232

Vault:
1. Maroney – 15.800
2. Izbasa – 15.316
3. Paseka – 15.049
4. Chusovitina – 14.808
5. Pena Abreu – 14.699
6. Berger – 14.483
7. Rogers – 14.483
8. Black 14.366

Bars:
1. Tweddle – 16.133
2. He – 15.966
3. Komova – 15.833
4. Yao – 15.766
5. Mustafina – 15.700
6. Douglas – 15.333
Huang – 15.266
7. Seitz – 15.166
8. Tsurumi – 15.033

Beam:
1. Sui – 15.400
2. Komova – 15.266
3. Douglas – 15.266
4. Deng – 15.166
5. Raisman – 15.100
Ross – 15.075
6. Afanasyeva – 15.066
7. Ponor – 15.033
Grishina – 14.900
8. Bulimar – 14.866

Floor:
1. Raisman – 15.325
2. Izbasa – 15.066
3. Ferrari – 14.900
4. Afanasyeva – 14.833
5. Mitchell – 14.833
6. Wieber – 14.666
7. Ponor – 14.600
8. Mustafina – 14.433

Live Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 4

This subdivision comes up too soon! I haven’t yet fully processed the idea that Aly Raisman is in AA finals or why I am inexplicably thrilled about it. I’m no huge Aly fan, nor do I harbor any ill will towards Jordyn. It’s just the joy of the unexpected. I’m going to need 18 montages about this on NBC. Jordyn’s agent needs to be making sure she gets the big “get back on the horse” narrative during team finals so that she can maintain some press from this after we forget that she didn’t make AA finals.

Now it’s up to Mustafina and Komova to make me forget all about Team USA. Don’t be surprised if multiple Russians outscore Raisman. Will Komova stay on all the apparatuses? After Wieber was knocked out, we need Mustafina and Grishina to knock out Komova. (I apologize for saying that.)

What are we going to see from China? Greatness or great mess, neither would be a surprise.

Notes coming soon as we get underway.


Gymnasts emerging already. I would have loved to be around the Russian team when they heard that Wieber was out of AA. It would be further proof that Ksenia Afanasyeva is my face soul mate.

Rotation 1 – Russia on floor, China on beam:

Mustafina beam – very nice DbA, sloppy legs in the 2.5 + full but landed very well. Ha, she almost went OOB on a Y spin. Double tuck is too easy for her. Crazy legs on the triple full. Very nice routine. Let’s see how this compares to the Americans. 14.433, same as Tweddle received.

Colombia’s. Leotard. Deng opens with a big 15.166 on beam.

It’s important that we’ve seen Bounty’s “Got a spill to share?” commercial before China goes on beam. Sui is crazy clean so far in her routine.This is similar to some of her 2011 Worlds routines, almost no deductions. The Bounty commercial did not jinx her, which is vital to note. 15.400, highest score so far.

Seitz bars – almost Wieber’s her shaposh to stalkder half – insane legs in the def but hits it. She’ll get knocked for execution but it’s a dynamic routine. 15.166. Too high given all her form breaks, but I’ll allow it.

We didn’t get to see Komova on floor but she receives just a 13.900. How very Gabby Douglas of her.

Grishina hits the double double but appears to step out afterward and nearly lands out on her triple full as well but maybe stays in, clean double tuck, short on the double pike. 14.066.

Huang gets a 13.866 on beam, which is expected.

Yao on beam, this will be telling as to how well she has recovered. Are we missing Afan on floor, though? Not pleased. Yao is totally off on the standing full. They’ll have to count Huang’s score now. 
Another major break. She is not ready. Hits the rest of the routine. 12.833. China scores a point lower than the US on beam, which was their only hope. Who goes in TF now? Afanasyeva’s floor that we didn’t get to see gets a 14.833. They are behind the US on floor and will drop Komova’s score.

Germany scores the same on bars and Russia on floor. So there’s that.

Rotation 2 – Russia on vault, China on floor:
I’m fascinated to see the Amanar situation for Russia. If they hit two of them, they will have a good shot to pass the US on bars.

My stream has decided to lose right itself before Russia’s vault. Thanks. Let’s get this fixed.

It appears I missed on Grishina on vault. On replay it looks very low with a large step to the side. 14.333. They will want to drop that.

Komova’s Amanar now. Here we go. Beautiful – a little leg form and a little locked legs. Not Maroney level in the air, but it should score right where Wieber and Douglas scored. 15.633.

Mustafina scores 15.133 for a nice DTY. That’s not so much worse than an Amanar.

Paseka – goes for Amanar and lands it pretty well with a step to the side and a little sloppy legs. This is major scoring for Russia. 15.533. They keep within sight of the US. Clean second vault, but I think she was going for layout and I would credit piked.

We see that Sui gets a 14.233 on floor. No finals for her. Huang now. Low on her 2.5 + full. Under on her triple full, verging on credit 2.5, but I think the judges will be nice. There are significant deductions in all of these passes, but she’s doing OK. Low double pike dismount. The judges could really hit her if they wanted to. 13.575. They’ll be counting Deng’s 13.833.

Yao – I’m concerned for her. Minor bounce out of triple full, Just a double full second pass. Double Y is nice. Fall on the third pass. She is nowhere near ready to be back. Frankly, why is she on the team? China will count two scores under 14.

Russia scores 46.299 on vault, 1.300 lower than the US, which they will need to make up on bars, so let’s look for at least 46.300-46.400, which is doable for them. China scores just a 41.641 on floor. Bars may be the only thing that keeps them from being Italy at this point.


Rotation 3 – Russia to bars, China to vault:
I like that Shannon and Other Guy are referring to Russia as “the Russian Federation.” Let’s do that always. It’s more official that way, anyway.

He is vaulting. This is where we are. Her Yurchenko full is very Oregon State leadoff. 13.733. At least Sui didn’t have to go.

Deng on vault – this could go any which way – pretty good. She’s worked on this. No distance and a step, but everyone will take it. 14.833.

We didn’t see Grishina on bars, but she scored less than Aly Raisman.

Mustafina bars – Absolutely excellent. She is having a great day, by the way. A few issues with legs, but little else. She’ll be in finals easily. 15.700.

Huang – DTY – very nice, stuck landing. That will be a good score and desperately necessary.

Komova – Very similar to Mustafina in terms of quality and the minor deductions. Who will score higher? 15.833. Komova wins that little battle, but the Grishina score will be an issue for them catching the US. Paseka touches. Well done.

Yao tries a DTY on vault and plants it to her face. May I once again ask WHY she is doing these routines? What are they going to do for TF? They should still be able to pass GBR, but they cannot imagine being in top 3 at this point.

Russia needs 46.700 on beam to pass the US. I don’t think they can do that.

In the AA, Komova is .1 ahead of Mustafina. Komova needs a 15.033 on beam to pass Raisman. Mustafina needs a 15.133. It’s doable.

Seitz saves Germany on floor after some 13s and a very poor beam rotation. She struggled to stay in bounds and certainly incurred more than a tenth in checks so it was not worth it.

Rotation 4 – Russia to beam, China to bars:

Mustafina beam – double turn, just minor balance. Another wobble. She’s having to check almost all of these acro skills. .1-.3 on every one, plus lost connections. Great amazing double tuck (take notes Kyla), but that was the kind of wobbleburger I expect from Komova. She will not pass Raisman with that. 14.700. Just a few tenths behind the Americans. Don’t think for a second that she can’t win the AA.

Huang bars – she hits it. China needed her today. Some minor breaks and one very late pirouette at the end, so the judges will get her for that, but it’s a good score. 15.266.

He bars – so proficient on the pirouettes but she made that jaeger half just BARELY. A muscled kip, but this is better than she’s been for a fair while. 15.966 below Tweddle. Expect the same in finals.

14.900 for Grishina on beam. Looks like no finals for her.

Chusovitina’s rudi – exact copy of what she’s been doing for 1500 years. Are you allowed to criticize her legs or has she surpassed deductions?

Komova beam – here we go – very clean early on, she manages the double turn and the arabian very well. They will be itching to give this well over a 15. Oooh, major wobble on punch front, and another maor one on the side somi. That could be enough to push her down, it will be VERY close. We’ll see. Great Patterson dismount. 15.266. yes, she moves into first in the AA.

China gets huge bars scores from Yao, He, and Huang to move ahead of GBR quite easily, but they are not in contention with USA or Russia. They would have been with a healthy Yao, but its not like she’s going to get there before TF. She looked months away today.

Current standings with Romania and Japan still to come:
Team:
1. USA – 181.863
2. Russia – 180.429
3. China – 176.637
4. Great Britain – 170.656
5. Italy – 168.397
6. Canada – 167.696
7. Germany – 167.331
8. Australia – 166.721
9. France – 164.796
10. Brazil – 161.295

Huge accomplishment for Canada to make team finals, even without Peng Peng Lee.

All-Around:
1. Komova – 60.632
2. Raisman – 60.391
3. Douglas – 60.265
Wieber – 60.032
4. Mustafina – 59.966
5. Deng – 57.998
6. Ferrari – 57.932
7. Huang – 57.707
Grishina – 57.332
8. Lopez – 56.665
9. Seitz – 56.466
10. Tunney – 56.391

Vault:
1. Maroney – 15.800
2. Paseka – 15.049
3. Chusovitina – 14.808
4. Pena Abreu – 14.699
5. Berger – 14.483
6. Rogers – 14.483
7. Black – 14.366
8. Steingruber – 13.924


Bars:
1. Tweddle – 16.133
2. He – 15.966
3. Komova – 15.833
4. Yao – 15.766
5. Mustafina – 15.700
6. Douglas – 15.333
Huang – 15.266
7. Seitz – 15.166
8. Ross – 14.866

Beam:
1. Sui – 15.400
2. Komova – 15.266
3. Douglas – 15.266
4. Deng – 15.166
5. Raisman – 15.100
Ross – 15.075
6. Afanasyeva – 15.066
Grishina – 14.900
Mustafina – 14.700
Wieber – 14.700
7. Ferrari – 14.433
8. Ferlito – 14.425


Floor:
1. Raisman – 15.325
2. Ferrari – 14.900
3. Afanasyeva – 14.833
4. Mitchell – 14.833
5. Wieber – 14.666
6. Mustafina – 14.433
7. Tweddle – 14.433
8. Pihan-Kulesza – 14.333

We get a break before the final subdivision! Yay!

Live Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 3

We are soon to get underway in the third subdivision of Women’s Qualification, which features the US, Great Britain, France, and Canada. The final three subdivisions are the main event today, and I’m  excited to see what the US can put up. Does it make me a bad gymnastics fan if I’m going to follow the US team from apparatus to apparatus instead of watching the main feed? I can watch the other important routines (so, Tweddle’s bars) on replay. The non-US question of this group will be whether a PPL-free Canada can beat Australia’s fall-laden score.

For the United States, the most important routines will be Maroney’s vault (is she really ready to do it at the 16.000 level she needs?), Wieber’s bars (that routine composition is hanging by a thread), and Douglas’s beam (obviously). If they get what they need out of those performances, it will be a successful day. Also, keep your eye on the ball, and the ball is Aly Raisman. She’s not so far behind Wieber and Douglas in AA scoring potential. A fall from one of them could become a total thing.


What’s going to happen here?

Current Standings after two subdivisions
Team:
1. Italy – 168.397
2. Australia – 166.721
3. Brazil – 161. 295

All-Around:
1. Ferrari – 57.932
2. Gomez Porras – 56.132
3. Ferlito – 55.500
4. Steingruber – 54.715
5. Little – 54.498

Competition begins at 9:45 ET/6:45 PT with commentary here.


AA competitors in this subdivision will be Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Hannah Whelan, Rebecca Tunney, Jenny Pinches, Victoria Moors, Kristina Vaculik, Anne Kuhm, and Aurelie Malaussena.

We’re having the march of the darkness, which has now become customary. Entrances now, warmups immediately. Like the opening ceremonies, they have been mocing at such a fast pace for all these events. These subdivisions are getting done in like 30 seconds each.

Rotation 1 – Vault:
In warmups, Raisman overrotates and takes a fall. Kyla is sitting all by herself. Wieber and Douglas look solid in warmup vaults. Maroney warms up a brilliant Mustafina. Here we go.

Raisman – much better than the warmup. Looked pretty full around. Minor hop. Great start. Still the leg form as always, but an improvement. Mihai has a lot to say from behind the barrier. 15.800. Big score.

Douglas – Very nice as well. Only a minor shuffle on landing, but not quite getting the distance. Very nice form in the air. 15.900. Two great performances so far.

Wieber – Nice. A little off to the side and she might have landed with a foot in the red, but otherwise very good. Maybe she just hopped into the red afterward. Not a locked landing, so that’s good to see. 15.833 including .1 in penalties. Oooh, Douglas wins vault in our “rivalry.”

Maroney – Here we go. Crazy high as always but very uncontrolled landing. big lunge and then a couple hops in place. May actually be the lowest score because of landing deductions. 15.900, so they probably took .5 for landing and .1 for something else.

Maroney 2 – Brilliant Mustafina. That has improved so much. Stuck (basically – hop to salute but minor). Amazing. 15.700. Tim Dagget will tell us that was low tonight.

USA goes 47.633 (anything over 47 was going to be a victory), Canada goes 42.699 on bars, which is the highest so far. Great Britain has a very poor beam rotation, failing the break 40, the lowest score so far. If they don’t make finals, I may die for them.

Rotation 2 – Bars:
Warmups now on bars. McKayla’s job is to be very cheerleader-y right now.


Rasiman – usual legs and pirouettes, hits jaeger and tkatchev – sticks double front. A good Aly routine. This will be a telling indicator of how generous the scoring will be at this event. Closeups of her leg form aren’t helping. 14.166 (8.266 on execution).

Wieber – almost goes over on clear hip full but hangs on. No one is surprised. Very low on tkatchev, really piked in DLO full dismount but sticks it (one layout one pike). Some major places to deduct there. 14.833.

Ross -big leg fly apart on shaposh swing back, clean after that, sticks DLO. I think she was a little nervous/rushed at the beginning, which is expected, but she had her usual cleanliness after that. Best of the three so far certainly. 14.866. Nearly the same execution as Wieber, which is bizarre. Yes, it was not her best, but to say it was the same execution as Wieber? Maybe they deducted for the one foot at a time technique. They’re not supposed to, but I would love them for it if they did. Gymnasts are talking about how the green light is coming up quicker than they expected.

Douglas – perfect through the beginning, tkatchev to pak goes well. Best DLO I’ve seen her do. Couldn’t have done much better. Let’s hope for bars finals. “Your tkatchev pak was amazing,” says Aly. I agree. 15.333.

The US goes 45.032 on bars, which is the best so far. France puts up strong 14s on vault. Vaculik just had a fall on beam for Canada. Tweddle gets a huge round of applause for floor, obviously. These choreography choices. . . Hit routine.

Canada dies on the beam for an even lower score than GBR. Tweddle gets a 14.433 for floor, which is third as of now.

Rotation 3 – Beam:
Douglas currently holds a .5 lead on Wieber, but that doesn’t really mean anything until after beam.

Ross – a little slow in the switch ring (one of the few I’ve been fine with today) + back tuck connection but may get it. Loso was nice, followed by clean side aerial. She looks ever so slightly tentative in her movements (always) but it’s not reflected in her performance. Small wobbles after punch front and sheep. Hop out of double back (fine but it needs to be stuck). Big start for the US. Split positions to die for. 15.075. What does a girl have to do to break 9 on execution around here?

Douglas – wobble on loso series but no fall. standing full is good. Misses connection on switch + back tuck, good switch 1/2 + back tuck and front pike. She’s getting more comfortable as she goes. Basically sticks double pike. There was one mid-range wobble but we couldn’t have expected any more from her in that routine. 15.266. Now we have a TF decision on our hands, don’t we? Do we? This will be a debate.

Wieber – good aerial loso series, standing full sandwich is on but certainly not connected. side aerial is clean, side somi is a side somi. Major wobble on switch side. Weird. Didn’t do the turn combo. Hop forward on dismount. Fine but not great. Gabby is having the much better day. 14.700. Douglas will have a point lead going to floor. 

Raisman – good punch front, also bhs + layout. Alicia’s her front pike + loso combo. back foot on switch half may have been lower than usual, but she’s not wobbling at all. Hope forward on double arabian (that could have been better, but fine). No significant problems for the US so far. 15.100 she edges Kyla for potential EF place. I can’t wait to hear what people say about that. Hehehe.

45.441 for the US on beam, which is about what we would expect from them. Note the hit rotations from Romania and China will go much higher. The US would need just a 30.300, which they could do in two routines potentially.

Strong vaults from GBR put them ahead of Canada and France. Canada needs a 42.700 on vault to pass Australia.

Rotation 4 – Floor:

Ross – Goes OOB on her double arabian with little control. Low on her double back dismount. This was always a drop routine, now even more. I miss McKayla. Now that girl knows how to go out of bounds with style. 13.733.

Douglas – stumbles out of her double arabian like crazy as well. What is happening to these girls. Martha, time to go to work before Team Finals. Tuck full is fine, though. Finishes with good double back + split, but her score will take a major hit, though not enought o fall behind Wieber. Taking their sweet time with her score. 13.766. Rough. So Wieber actually could pass her, but she would need something up at/near a 15.

(Tweddle hits bars in spectacular fashion. Phew. I had a fear she would get herself out of finals somehow. GBR will pass Italy easily even after the poor beam rotation. 16.133.)

Wieber – double double is a little low but good, 1.5 to triple full, tries to do a pitiful leap out of it and steps out of bounds (ugh, that decision), 2.5 to leap was fine, double pike is slightly low as well but fine. It’s a good routine, obvious best for the US so far, but it can get better and it won’t get 15. 14.666. Douglas ahead by about two tenths.But both score in the lows 60s and will be very catchable by the Russians.

Raisman – does the layout of the mount, hop back on it though, might have been better to do the tuck. pike DbA is good, minor hop out of the triple full, double pike rebound into split. basically her usual routine. It was get a little cleaner, but that was solid. 15.325. Highest floor score so far by a large margin. WHAT? Raisman leads in the AA. I wasn’t even paying attention to her. WHAT? Wieber does not make AA finals. WHAT? Mihai is ecstatic. “You did it!” (It’s all about the team. . .) Didn’t I say keep your eye on the ball?

Interview. Geddert. Now. That’s all I have to say.

Subdivision 4 with Russia and China begins in about 30 minutes. There will be a new post for it because otherwise these get way too long.

Current standings:
Team:
1. USA – 181.863
2. Great Britain – 170.656
3. Italy – 168.397
4. Canada – 167.696
5. Australia – 166.721
6. France – 164.796
7. Brazil – 161.295

Looks like Australia is out what with Russia, China, Romania, and Japan still to compete.


All-Around:
1. Aly Raisman – 60.391
2. Gabby Douglas – 60.265
Jordyn Wieber – 60.032
3. Vanessa Ferrari – 57.932
4. Rebecca Tunney – 56.391
5. Ana Sofia Gomez Porras – 56.132
6. Hannah Whelan – 55.699

Vault:
1. Maroney – 15.800
2. Pena Abreu – 14.699
3. Rogers – 14.483
4. Black – 14.366
5. Steingruber – 13.924

Bars:
1. Tweddle – 16.133
2. Douglas – 15.333
3. Ross – 14.866
Wieber – 14.833
4. Tunney – 14.825
5. Rogers – 14.500
5. Dufournet – 14.500

Beam:
1. Douglas – 15.266
2. Raisman – 15.100
Ross – 15.075
Wieber – 14.700
3. Ferrari – 14.433
4. Ferlito – 14.425
5. Millousi – 14.366

Floor:
1. Raisman – 15.325
2. Ferrari – 14.900
3. Mitchell – 14.833
4. Wieber – 14.666
5. Tweddle – 14.433

Live Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 2

After skipping our first subdivision due to early start time and lack of competitive teams (what can I say? I’m a scoundrel), it’s time to start this thing for real with Subdivision 2, which includes Italy and Australia.

Neither team off to a great start, with Australia opening floor with a 12.666 from Emily Little.

Rotation 1:

Italy is led on bats by a 14.233 from Vanessa Ferrari, but they are also counting Ferlito’s 13.075. Everyone chasing the 161.295 put up by Brazil in the first group.

Australia earns the top score on floor so far in the competition, a 14.200 for Ashleigh Brennan for a solid routine, finishing with a double pike + leap. 8.500 on execution.

We’ll finish floor with Lauren Mitchell, who is injured as always these days. Double Arabian a little low but complete and landed solidly. Minor stumble out of the double pike. 2.5 to front layout looks regular. Leaps out of everything, including the final double pike. No problems in that routine at all. 14.833.

In the first subdivision, Brazil did not break 13.000 on bars as expected, and the top AA score was Bruna Leal’s 52.765, so expect both Italy and Australia to eclipse those team and individual numbers. It looks unlikely that Dos Santos will make floor finals. Our overall AA leader after one is Gomez Porras with a major 56.132. Anyone who watched Pan Ams last fall is not surprised. Australia leads Italy by 1.500 after the first rotation, Italy to beam, Australia to vault.

Homolova from Slovakia hits a serviceable routine with just a back 1.5 dismount, which makes me revert into NCAA mode (oh, how I miss it. I hunger for a nice SEC dual meet where we really need to start seeing some 196.700s). Steingruber follows her in the mixed group. 

Rotation 2:

Australia on vault, Bonora opens with a pikey but fine YFull. 13.800. Just a minor slide back.

We’re seeing Kononenko on bars, so someone did the necessary homework. It was a nice tkatchev half, but she had no momentum and no amplitude on her connected jaeger and falls. She found the bar but couldn’t hold on. Hits double front. Alas.

Ferrari on beam – bhs layout (lowish), misses aerial bhs layout stepout combo, solid on the acro but missing her connections. I’m not wild about her front leg on that switch ring. Double pike dismount was OK with a hop back.

Little on vault – Really nice on the DTY, just a hop in place. That could score 15 potentially but no, just a 14.766. Australia finished with 42.499 on vault.

Preziosa on beam – nice scorpion turn (you’re right Shannon, I like calling it a ring turn better). Nice sheep. Hands down on the double tuck. Disaster. She was short and rotated very slowly given how little amplitude she got. Buhh, why must you all fall? 13.266. They’ll have to count it.

Ferlito on beam – switch to back tuck, misses connection to sheep, layout 2ft is nice, major wobble on Y spin, but everything else looks on, 2.5 with a leap forward and then an NCAA salute. 14.425 behind Ferrari. She’s praying for beam finals. Pray harder.

Pihan on floor – 1.5 to 2.5 – Shannon is charitable by using the phrase “nice leap” after the pass – This is one her more composed routines. Front double full with lunge out to finish. Good routine, but this isn’t a World Cup event in Slovenia, so it will be the end of that routine for this year. 14.333 is second so far.  

Italy manages a 42.124 on beam, they lose a little more ground to Australia, near a two-point deficit now. Italy to floor, Australia to bars. Both will easily pass Brazil.

Rotation 3:

Steingruber to vault for us – HS Rudi, it used to be a bit better. Lowish with a major hop to the side. Should get credit for the layout but definite deductions for piking. There are so few people doing two vaults that we’ll probably need to make up the EF numbers with a Twix Bar, so she’s under no pressure there. Uh oh, hands down on DTT. Now that’s an issue.

We’re getting a lot of mixed group action. Maksyuta on beam, comes off on series. We have another camera person who is interested in foot close-ups during skills. Do they all go to the same bizarre school? More major wobbles. More falls. Three in all. 

Miller on bars – piked gienger, nice jeager, some late handstands, tuck full dismount is very nice. Good body position. She has fine difficulty, but she’s been a little passed by on the event. Shot of unimpressed Australians drinking beer. 14.025, 7.825 execution. I live for Shannon talking about Peggy.

40.724 for Australia on bars. Very few good scores from any team on this event so far. We’ve seen nothing of Italy on floor in this world feed, but Ferrari got a 14.900 to lead the way. Why was she going second? The concept of score building in modern elite makes me squint.

Fasana to finish floor for Italy – DLO good just a little short with a hop forward. Sturdy tuck full and creditably double Y. Bounces back out of double pike dismount. They will gain a lot of ground on Australia here and should move ahead.

With Italy going to vault and Australia to beam, you like Italy’s chances to stay ahead. It’s bad news for whichever team is in second after this subdivision because it will be totally reliant on poor performances from Canada and the like to make it back.

Ferrari on floor – double doublt is strong – full in to back tuck (at least good rhythm in connection that time even if the concept makes my skin crawl – looks like the judges are into giving credit for it), finishes with double pike with shuffle back.

Rotation 4:

Preziosa on vault – Y full with legs, feet, piking. Very 9.775. We’ll see what that translates to in elite. 13.733.

Ferrari on vault – DTY is slightly underrotated with total tucking and a step. Not great. 14.366.

Bonora on beam – switch to back tuck is strong, pause on walkover layout steput series, nice onodi, side somi with swimming, totally off on side aerial – no chance to save, a very no credit kind of switch ring follows (I havem’t been happy with any switch rings I’ve seen so far, really), double pike with step back. 

Fasana on vault – Y1.5 – OK, a little lacking in distance and another knee bend- not competitve with other teams on this event. Even Canada and GBR are passing them up here. Italy finishes with a 168.397 to go well ahead of Brazil. Ferrari leads the AA with a 57.932.

Brennan on beam – good aerial  + switch + gainer loso series, she’s on so far – pike side somi – nice to see the variation, and then wobbles on the full turn – isn’t that always the way? Hands down on double pike. So many mistakes on dismounts today. This could be the end of things for Australia. They haven’t missed a TF in a long time, but I think we all felt this coming. Not over yet, though. Lauren Mitchell needs to get a 50.

Mitchell on beam – good flight on layout series with step back – major wobble on aerial but stays on – If people would stop calling the tuck turn beautfiul, maybe others would stop doing it. Hits a low double pike dismount. She stays on, but there were serious wobbles. 14.300

After 2 Subdivisions:
1. Italy – 168.397
2. Australia – 166.721
3. Brazil – 161. 295

1. Ferrari – 57.932
2. Gomez Porras – 56.132
3. Ferlito – 55.500
4. Steingruber – 54.715
5. Little – 54.498

Our event leaders are Pena Abreu on vault, who performed her Prod with a 7.833 execution, followed by Steingruber who had that fall. Ferrari leads bars followed by Palesova and Pihan-Kulesza (on bars, seriously? Where is everybody?). Ferrari and Ferlito lead beam with Millousi following. Ferrari leads floor with Mitchell and Pihan-Kulesza following. So, it’s just the Vanessa Ferrari show so far. How 2006 of us.

Back in a few hours for Subdivision 3, featuring the entry of the major teams.

Men’s Qualification – A Day of Thoughts

Men’s Qualification day at the Olympics. I’ll be popping in and out of the coverage throughout the day with thoughts and concerns, mostly concerns.

Standings after 2 Subdivisions:
1. USA – 275.342
2. Great Britain – 272.420
3. Japan – 270.503
4. China – 269.985
5. France – 265.759
6. Italy – 262.085
7. Korea – 255.327

1. Danell Leyva – 91.265
2. John Orozco – 90.567
3. Kristian Thomas – 90.256
4. Kohei Uchimura – 89.764
5. Daniel Purvis – 89.199

Please don’t let this mean that the US will suddenly become the “favorite” to win everything in the minds of certain commentators. 

Commentary after the jump:



In the final subdivision of the day, we say Philipp Boy appear to injure his ankle while landing short on vault. That mat should be ashamed of itself. How dare it? Also, he got an 8.700 E Score after a fall. It eludes me.

Russia was able to leapfrog Great Britain for the second spot in team finals on the back of a major performance from Belyavskiy. OK, so who had USA and Russia starting on floor in Team Finals? Japan and China will be in the same rotation, starting on rings, as Germany used great scores from Hambuchen and Nguyen to make up for an off performance from Boy. Ukraine also snuck into team finals in the 7th spot. Spain just barely missed out behind France, and Romania fell way back.






Thoughts on Subdivision 2:

Not too long until the subdivision including the USA, Japan, and Italy, and Shatilov as our Mixed group standout. I’ve decided to watch the main feed, as I’m sure NBC will brief us fully on every US routine during the primetime session tonight.

The US will start on horse while Japan starts on hbar. Score to beat is 272.420, both the US and Japan will have a shot at it.

Shannon often feels the need to tell us that scores don’t carry over to finals.

Japan opens with a Tanaka error on a one-armed giant. Drop this one, obviously. Finishes with a double double lay with a hop forward.

Horton has a disaster on pommel horse to open for the US. So that happened. It seemed like he was getting more consistent, but this is the Olympics after all. Mikulak recovers for the team with a 14.333. 

Uchimura on hb – totally misses the bar on his full twisting Kovacs – not a chance. I really thought that we wouldn’t see the training problems pop up in competition. Let’s see how this continues. Double double lay dismount. 15.000 with a fall.

Orozco on ph – It was a great routine until a little bit of a weird hesitation on the dismount, but that is a minor problem. Horton never has to do pommel horse again if he doesn’t want to. He should have a massive grin because of that. 

USA scores higher on pommel horse than Japan does on high bar. That massive for them. 43.965 to 43.766. USA to rings, Japan to floor.

Dalton does a strong, serviceable routine on rings with one iffy handstand, but otherwise it was his usual routine. Solid start. 15.100. They’ll take that any day.

Yamamuro with several low or short landings on floor. They’ll be counting a 14.433 now.
Uchimura is almost perfect. He won’t make it back to hb final, but with just two bounces on landings, we should get to see him on floor.

Horton on rings, struggling a little with his positions, not maintaining horizontal. I see what people meant about him in podium training. This is not his best, big lunge on landing. I agree with those who’ve said he looks tired. 15.166 is a good score, but he can do better.

 Aside from Uchimura, Japan looked fine but not overwhelmingly impressive on floor. The 45.332 from the US on rings is the top score of the day on that event.

Shannon just mentioned her “very nice white scrunchie.” I died. Can Shannon do commentary on every competition? Can we keep her? PLEASE?

Orozco and Leyva hit their vaults. Looks like they might actually get through the event today. Orozco had a big leap on the HS double, but it was strong. Good Kas 2 from Mikulak. Low body and a hop, but that means less in men’s. Good vault. 

Really nice routine on horse from Yamamuro in terms of his rhythm and momentum. They need to drop a leadoff 12.200, so his score will help. Wow, a fall from Uchimura, so they will be counting that. He was completely off on his center of gravity from the beginning. Even after he gets back up, none of it was great. 12.466.

Kato has an issue in losing his first handstand, but it was a solid enough routine after that. Japan and China are sort of mimicking each other in the land of lackluster.

48.000 for the US on vault, just behind GBR’s 48.333. Just a 41.199 for Japan on horse. That’s 3.634 lower than GBR did on that event. Italy used a massive routine from Morandi to post the highest rings score so far, 45.698.

Shatilov on floor – the tall Israeli we’ve all been looking for in our lives. Nice, not his very best. USA to pbars, Japan to rings.

Vid (Why isn’t my name Vid?) on horse – very strong, face like he just invented the concept of famine.

Mikulak on pbars – lovely routine, minor hop on landing. He got nice amplitude there on every release. 15.316 is an exceptional leadoff score. Horton hesitates after his double back, totally off, takes a fall. He is nowhere near on today. He wasn’t in top shape at Trials, but it seemed like he was rounding into form. Instead, it’s starting to look like he’s not ready to be back. 

Uchimura gets through his rings routine well enough. It would be fine for other people, but for him it’s an underperformance.  Still, it is important in helping him get back on track.Yamamuro is solid but the strength positions looked like a struggle, and the positions were not always maintained.

Orozco doesn’t get a massive pbars score, so Leyva has pressure now. He has to kip up in a correction, struggle in handstand, big hop on landing. Not great. The US needed to do much better in that rotation. Leyva probably won’t make finals with that. 

Kristian Berki (I’ll combine the names, my new name is Vid Berki) – oooh unexpected leg form issue. We just expect him to be perfect every time. Shouldn’t have a problem getting back to finals.Well, actually 15.033, it may be close.

Hypolito takes a fall on floor. No finals for him. Oh, he needs a hug.

After four, the US still has about 6.5 points on Japan, but Japan is going to vault. The US needs to shine on hb, which they can. Horton will be one to watch considering his very poor day. It will be quite the discussion as to what he does in TF.

Japan is finding its form on vault so far. I jinxed Yamamuro who has a very poor landing.
Mikulak suffers a fall on high bar. Huge pressure on Horton and the others now. Orozco hits a very clean routine. He’s had an excellent day.

Missed some routines because of watching the huge upset of the US beating South Korea in men’s archery. That’s big.

Horton redeems himself on hb. That will be a big, necessary score for the team and for his confidence. 15.566 will get back. Danell is wonderful as well with only a step out of the dismount and a bit of muscling when swining out of the Liukin as the only problems. They will drop Mikulak’s fall and score well. 15.866.

The US leads Japan by well over five points going to the final rotation. USA on floor, Japan on pbars. The US needs a 43.300 on floor to pass GBR.

John Orozco had a fantastic day, very clean on floor and leads the AA as of right now. 15.166. Shannon thinks the score was low. I don’t. Leyva gets a 15.100 to move ahead of Orozco in the AA. They will be 1-2 going into the final subdivision.

Uchimura is incredibly clean on pbars. He improved as the day went on, and the last few events were perfectly fine. I hope he gets into the top group of AA qualifiers so we can just focus on one main rotation. Dalton finishes for the US with a great routine aside from a slightly awkward stumble out of his layour double arabian. 15.633

Standings after 2 Subdivisions:
1. USA – 275.342
2. Great Britain – 272.420
3. Japan – 270.503
4. China – 269.985
5. France – 265.759
6. Italy – 262.085
7. Korea – 255.327

1. Danell Leyva – 91.265
2. John Orozco – 90.567
3. Kristian Thomas – 90.256
4. Kohei Uchimura – 89.764
5. Daniel Purvis – 89.199

Thoughts on Subdivision 1: 

Unknown male commentator in for us today, displaying the excitement of a depressed cockroach.

In our first subdivision, we begin with Zou Kai’s near fall on the vault. And our commentator just called the vault the pommel horse. Excellent.

Zonderland has a hit routine. A little bit of form in the legs throughout, especially on the Kovacs variations, but no major errors. Hop forward on dismount. 15.966

China is led by Zhang’s 16.233 on vault to advance to the front after the first rotation. Should not see a knock from Zou’s average effort, which they will drop. Korea struggles on horse, recording two scores in the 12s. Purvis goes 15.033 on rings.

Great Britain is hitting the necessary Y2.5s in the early part of the vault rotation, and Thomas looks good on the double back pike. They need these landings, and they’re not far off. Korea is having a bit of an issue. Another fall, this time on rings from Kim Seungil, and another score under 13. Ouchie.

Commentator change! Fortunately, we’ve been joined by Shannon Miller, who sounds like she is broadcasting from a well. We’re coming to get you Shannon! Everyone can breathe easier now, she will save the day as always.

China had disasters from both Chen and Guo on PBars and had a few form issues that were not necessarily issues for the scores in the other routines. I haven’t been totally impressed through two rotations, and we see that China leads GBR by less than a tenth after 2 rotations. South Korea has had just one score break 14 through two events and trails by an almost comical margin already.

I’m officially done with these ads in the middle of routines. Done.

South Korea moves to vault. Fall on a DTY. Ruh-roh. Have you been training with the British women? Much stronger Y2.5 from Korea now.

Shannon is not impressed with the Guo’s height on release elements. Ha. Clearly the host country is not in charge of the world feed because we are seeing very few GBR routines. We see Yang’s awesome handspring triple. Low chest with step forward, but strong nonetheless. 

Purvis had some unfortunate leg form issues on PBars, which will hurt his scores a bit, but he improved as the routine went on.

Halfway through now, China with a fair lead over GBR now, but nothing hugely impressive. Zhang was strong on bar, and though I was not impressed with Zou (is that a controversial statement in MAG?) it was enough to significantly outpace GBR on PBars.

Shannon is very diplomatic about Paul Hamm 2004. There’s always a controversy… She’s also really into “Intricate hand placements” today.

South Korea struggling through PBars as well. This has been a very poor day so far. They look injured and tired, the whole lot of them.

Tommasone hits a lovely PH routine. Good for him. Zou is very confident with the landings on floor, gave little away. We’re moving through these rotations at a fast clip. I like it. Kristian Thomas is such a linebacker, but he hits a clean HB routine. Score is. . . high? China takes a 2 point least into the 5th rotation.

In our latest Shannon update, she has taken to calling Great Britain “Team G.” Awfully familiar, isn’t it Shannon?

Poor Guo. He’s having a poor day. Another fall on PH. China will be counting a fall on horse. Nothing is wow for them so far today. Even the strongest routines I would describe as “prudent” more than “impressive.”

Purvy (am I allowed to call him Purvy? Inappropriate?) has a bit of trouble on his second pass, but he held onto it. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a problem in the score. Landings overall were OK but not his best. Great hits overall for the team. So pleased for them to hit well at home.

China had a horrible horse rotation, counting two falls, which GBR succeeded on floor to leapfrog the Chinese by over two points going into the final rotation. GBR on horse, China on rings. My my my. Thomas and Purvis take the AA lead.

France takes a fall on the final vault, Zonderland had some issue-y issues on PBars, but at least HB went well. Still gets a 15.133. Low score from Purvis on PH, but we didn’t see it. Not sure why the world feed has become so concerned with France all of a sudden.

Chen will get a massive score on rings. GBR will need a big Smith performance on horse to keep the lead. It happens. They both score 15.800. Thomas trying to finish it out for GBR. It’s a hit routine. Not nearly the difficulty. They couldn’t have asked for a better day of Qualification, really.

GBR finishes with 272.420, and they will not be caught. Well, Great Britain will certainly have something to talk about now. Well done. Thomas leads the AA, followed by Purvis.