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:

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

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

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

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

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

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:
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.

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

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

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

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

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
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

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:
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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Women’s Podium Training Reflections

  • The big story of the day is the injury to Larisa Iordache’s foot. Basically, Iordache’s foot heard about Maroney’s foot and was all like, “Pssssh, I can beat that.” Iordache trained very minimally on vault and floor and looks like she will not compete them in Qualification. There is still hope that she will be back for Team Finals. Romania can certainly manage on floor without her, but they need her vault to help offset bars. Izbasa threw a Cheng on vault, and there are reports about Chelaru upgrading, but I have so many problems with her block that I’m not thinking about that yet.    
    • The United States looks to be on track. I don’t say the team looked good because I thought it was a sluggish day overall, but they looked fine enough for right now. It’s interesting that this team gets discussed as being among the most talented the US has produced because they clearly lack the flair of most of their predecessors. What they mean is that this team is more consistent and uses the code better than others. It’s a smarter, safer team, but not a more talented one.  
    • On the issue of the American’s safety, I think that’s one of the biggest obstacles this team has to overcome. Martha is a huge worrywart and won’t let people compete skills that they haven’t proven at numerous camps over numerous months. So while we see other contenders putting forward late upgrades and adding connections, the US stays the same and allows others to catch them. The US wins the Olympics in April and then lets everyone catch them by July/August.
    • There were a few issues in PT with Gabby Douglas’s Amanar and Kyla Ross taking a fall on beam, but all the other problems looked normal and minor. The decision as to who will be first up on vault and beam in TF will be an interesting storyline to watch during Qualification.  
    • Russia was largely Russian during training. Mustafina seemed in control, Komova seemed a little out of control, and Grishina was somewhere in between. Komova had some issues with falling, and usually that’s not a problem for Russia in training, but for someone with such a tenuous brain history, I’d like to see a little bit more hitting. She’s the runaway AA favorite if she does. 
    • Maria Paseka was not a happy Amanar camper and Mustafina trained only DTYs. Paseka will certainly attempt the vault in Qualification, but if she can’t hit it, does she go for it in Team Finals? These are the questions. I think she has to if they want a shot at gold. I’m not a big fan of going that far to play it safe. 
    • I don’t know what to make of China right now. They showed no vaults over 5.8, which puts them in such a significant hole. They have been destroyed for execution on bars over the last few years, so it seems like they may be a little too reliant on beam to dig them out of the vault hole. If Yao is not at full strength in a few days, this team will struggle. If Huang looks like the solid one, it’s a problem.
    • I have absolutely no time for the connection of a back tuck out of a tumbling pass on floor. If you connect it as if you were on the beam with no rebound, it should not receive CV. Judges, you have your instructions.

    US Women’s Podium Training

    After hearing nothing about NBC broadcasting podium training this time, I decided that there was no point to wait around by the computer for updates I could read and digest appropriately at any time. And alas, suddenly the broadcast appears. A little warning is all I ask.

    I’m going to watch it now, so let’s pretend this was a live blog after the break.

    This arena is awfully dark. . . and awfully pink, as are the US women again this year. I’m just going to announce that I don’t get all the complaints about the US women needing to drape themselves in giant flags. I don’t need a patriotic leo.

    Word from Birmingham about Anna Li seems to range from her being “fine” to her needing 150 simultaneous surgeries. Let’s wait and see and watch her Requiem 2010 routine as our version of praying.

    Various timers on vault look fine because they’re timers, except even Gabby’s layout timers look a little awkward, like they need to be taken in for repairs.

    Rotation One

    Ross Vault – Very nice DTY. Small hop back, good direction. She won’t go in competition so this is irrelevant, but good for her.

    Raisman Vault – underrotated and big step to the side. Pretty much the same as Trials.

    Douglas Vault – Very good for her. A little step back, but fine on direction and stood up. It’s ust an issue of whether we trust her consistency because her form is far stronger than Raisman

    Wieber Vault – Not great. Short and a step back. She needs to do better, but she’s never finishing her flip with time to spare, that’s for sure. When she does a better one, I can be a little locked.

    Maroney Vault – Does a Layout Pod timer.

    Back to timers now. Maroney does a Y 1.5 that finished so early it might have been a layout.

    Raisman Vault – a little better rotation. Hop forward. I’d take that one over the first one. Hop forward over hop to the side any day. The angle was worse to judge the legs, though.

    Douglas Vault – sits down a very poor attempt. No block, no distance, no chance.

    Wieber Vault – Better than the first, and the legs looked pretty safe. .1 hop to the side.

    Maroney Vault – Another pod. Um. . . Amanar please.

    Ross Vault – Very nice, basically stuck on the DTY. She certainly has the time in the air to do a 2.5. It’s a shame she couldn’t together, but you could see even from Pac Rims that it was not in control.

    Maroney Vault – Good 1/2 on full with .3 leap forward. It’s nearly the quality of her Amanar in the air, though.

    Raisman Vault – Under with a hop forward, not quite as poor as the first one. I would give this the silver medal of her vaults.

    Douglas Vault – Very similar looking to the previous one but she stays upright. Still not the quality we saw from the first attempt. This consistency is a concern.

    Wieber Vault – A little direction that time but very nice in the landing. Each attempt has improved, which is what we want to see. She’s peaking more than some of the others.

    Maroney Vault – Amanar. Good. Trials-sized step forward. She looks quite capable of doing this event, though. Followed by a Mustafina that was not as strong as the last. Step back, less clean in the air.

    Ross Vault – Stuck DTY. Excellent. Let’s talk about a code that makes her the weakest vaulter on the team.

    Rotation Two 

    Partial routines to start on bars. Ross and Douglas look clean. Too many shots of people chalking for my taste. Why is that happening?

    Raisman Bars – Yep, this is her routine. The usual deductions for leg separations and toes. A little struggle in her final handstand before a good double front. Low on the releases as usual, but they were not caught as close as we’ve seen sometimes.

    Wieber Bars – Labored in the Weilers. Works out her clear full combo well enough. Tkatchev is very low and DLO full dismount is very piked. I’m not completely happy with that routine.

    Ross Bars – clean though shaposh and pak, good shaposh 1/2, Jaeger is clean, some of these handstands are a little short, but that’s my only legitimate problem with the routine. Good DLO. I do wonder if the judges will be unhappy with her toe-on technique. I sure am.

    Douglas Bars – a little struggle out of the endo, piked tkatchev is improving its degree of side-ish-ness, so that’s nice to see. It’s still there, but less. Tkatchev to pak is excellent. DLO with a step back. Her DLO is growing on me. I wasn’t a fan at the beginning, but that looked fine.

    Raisman from above on bars, it makes her form look stronger. She should turn the judges into birds, then she could get a 14.

    Shots of Maroney, who is not doing bars at all, through Wieber’s second routine. Bits and pieces now, Douglas looking confident with minor .1 things here and there. I always think of maple syrup when I see Wieber’s Weilers. Take that for what it’s worth.

    Rotation Three:

    To beam we go. We’ll start with Ross. So Douglas is placed in TF position on beam right now. I have some concerns about that.

    Ross Beam – lovely switch ring with no wobbles to back tuck, free cartwheel is excellent, switch to pike is right on, I haven’t seen more than .1 or .2 so far. Side somi is fine as far as side somis go. Fall on the punch front. Where did that come from? Sheep is good. Hop in place on double tuck.

    Douglas Beam – opening series is excellent, major wobble on the back full (there had to be something didn’t there?), but everything looks very solid after that. Switch half is just OK, but the front pike is solid. I’d like to see more closure on the switch ring, but it was also a bad angle. Looked better on replay. Double pike is a little low. Well, she didn’t fall.

    Wieber Beam – Still trying to connect the bhs out of the tuck full to disastrous effect. Major wobble on side somi. Switch side is excellent, and the turn series is “very nice” (OK, Martha). Dismount is fine with a step. John’s not super happy. Neither am I.

    Raisman Beam – Front pike + loso is good. She certainly does it more often than Alicia. Well, if that’s the kind of switch 1/2 you wanted to do, Aly, you sure did a good one. . . side aerial is hit, near stick on the Patteron. Martha just yelled something unintelligible. It sounded like “SIDE OF BULL!”

    Ross Beam – Punch front is much better this time. Doube tuck has a small hop again. It’s great, but to be worth the easier dismount, it has to be stuck. I really hope Kyla sticks around. I’m looking forward to being a big fan in like two years.

    We’re in what appears to be replay training right now. Harrowing.

    Bird’s Eye Wier Beam – We’re still doing the hate sandwich, but it was better connected this time. Much more solid in this routine, but still a little wobble on side somi. Martha goes “Jord-unnn. . . ” Dismount is stronger. Small hop.

    Raisman Beam – Hit layout. There were reports she had been struggling in training, so this is nice to see. It’s exactly the same as the first time, which is what we want to see. Tries to hold onto the Patterson stick and does.

    Rotation Four:

    No Maroney on floor it appears. Not a big surprise but a shame. No one is allowed to get injured now. Bird’s-eye view of pieces of tumbling. Hard to tell who is doing what.

    Douglas Floor – triple full has hop forward – dbA is strong, hops a little on her Double L but perhaps sold it enough, tuck full is well landed, double tuck to finish with pitiful split jump out of it. Overall good routine.

    Wieber Floor – stuck double double, 1.5 to triple to stag, 2.5 + leap. They’re not getting much rebound off this floor into the connected leaps. double pike with hop back.

    Raisman Floor – tucks out of her first pass instead of the layout. Hrm. A little uncharacteristically sloppy legs in the piked DbA, triple full is underrotated. Not her best by any means so far. That’s a matter of concern. Double pike to split is fine, but once again nowhere near the rebound on the jump. They’ll have to get used to that.

    Random bits: Douglas does an OK triple full but all the way complete and a solid double back. Aly does her usual mount and it looks fine.

    There we go. Done. Go away. 

    Men’s Podium Training

    Disappointingly, this year we have no broadcast of men’s and women’s podium training, which we had in Beijing, so instead we have to rely on our bevy of reporters embedded in the Pink Nightmare Arena.

    Men’s podium training (we need to stop for a minute and talk about how I recently heard someone refer to it as “Po Tray” after which I died a thousand deaths, and now that’s all I can think of when talking about podium training) is notoriously unrepresentative of competition performance, similar to what we see from the Russian women. Unlike the situation with American women, a fall in podium training is not some kind of red flag that will get you taken out of the competition lineup. You know if Gabby Douglas falls on her Amanar in podium training tomorrow that Aly Raisman will become the #3 vaulter.

    So what have we learned?

    • Kohei Uchimura is better than you. And by “you” I mean everyone who has ever lived. The Japanese men are totally charming, and I’d like to see them smile their way to gold. Normally, for the sake of argument, more people would be trying to come up with the scenarios where Japan doesn’t win, but everyone just likes them the best. Even super patriotic Americans go, “Ohhh, the Japanese…”
    • OMG you guys, The US men just had a totally public breakup with the vault right in the middle of the competition hall and EVERYONE was watching. If you’re going to fall that many times on vault, the least you can do is go full Morgan White and start crying and saying, “Oh God! Oh God!” I don’t ask for a lot. The US is in an odd situation where they may have to sit a superior, Team-Finals worthy vaulter in Qualification so that Orozco and Leyva can muddle their way through the event to get into the AA. 
    • Jon Horton had a little bit of a cranky-pants day with the vault and the high bar. He’s not at his best level, just as he wasn’t at Trials, but I expect him to pull it together for competition. High bar is not much of a problem because the US has more than three capable workers, but vault might become a quagmire. If Horton continues to struggle, we may start looking back at that potential Leyva, Orozco, Mikulak, Dalton, and Legendre team. Then again, it’s not like Legendre is an exemplar of consistency even though he can score well. (Is it just me, or does it seem like men fall on vault at US competitions all the time and still break 9.000 on execution? I don’t understand.)
    • I was going to try to do a little thing like “broken China” but it was just too painful, so. . . China has injuries. Teng Haibin is out, and they had a wonky PT (Po Tray. . . ) overall. Expect them to still contend with Japan and still be amazing, but the men’s team, like the women’s, is suffering from putting all their eggs in 2008 baskets. 
    • I need GBR to make the Team Final, so it’s important that Daniel Purvis, the national bird of Scotland, convert on his good events. It appears he did so in training. I miss Daniel Keatings, and GBR isn’t quite forgiven yet. We’ll see. . . 
    • I’m really trying to become at least somewhat fluent with the men’s code before Qualification, but it’s not going that well. I’ve just given up pommel horse and am focusing on the other five events. I am American after all. . .

    Get Excited

    Last night, NBC slapped together a little “30 Greatest (NBC) Olympic Moments” retrospective that was supposed to get us excited about the Olympics (not that I need help), but it was a little bit of a missed opportunity. They rushed through too many of them without nearly enough grandiose language and sweeping instrumental music from a recent film score. It’s like they didn’t even want us to cry. Where were the dramatic overstatements and extreme sentimentality? That’s what we’re all here for.

    This is more the style that I’m talking about:

    OK, now I’m excited. The Opening Ceremony is on Friday, and I have high dramatic expectations. Don’t disappoint. 


    Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama