A while ago, this AA was seen as more exciting. Everybody predicted Jordyn Wieber, Larisa Iordache and Yao Jinnan up against Viktoria Komova, Aliya Mustafina and Gabby Douglas. Obviously now we are down Jordyn, Jinnan is injured and clearly off form and Iordache has been off form too, yet it's amazing she is here at all when she was written off just last week. It's hard to predict which Larisa we are going to see, I would imagine floor 6.7 vault 6.5 bars 6.5 beam 6.9 ie, her full difficulty is a bit out of the question, but floor 6.5 vault 6.5 bars 6.3 beam 6.7 is not. And that is still huge. Anyway, she is the one I am rooting for. My ideal podium is Larisa- Musty- Vika/Aly. What I actually expect is Vika- Gabby- Musty.
Who is the most likely to headcase?
Gabby and Vika. Vika has issues with endurance, Gabby has found consistency lately but beam should still be greatly feared and there's even more pressure on her now.
Least likely to headcase?
Aly! Then Larisa, then Musty. Musty might have another wobbly beam, yet actually having a huge error? Very very unlikely.
Who is the dark horse?
Aly and Larisa. Aly is the steadiest, Larisa's ability to shine as of today is not yet known.
What are Aly's chances?
Aly has the lowest difficulty out of her, Gabby, Vika, Musty and Larisa. She IS the steadiest. While she was the second highest qualifier, an underpar Vika still beat her. All of the others have improvements to make, whereas Aly shone and was at her absolute best at prelims. She doesn't have room for further improvements- though the improvement itself from Trials until prelims was phenomenal.
What about Vanessa Ferrari and Deng Linlin, the next highest qualifiers?
Ferrari is very strong on beam and floor, but aside from floor doesn't have the really high difficulty to really be boosted onto the podium. Deng's is higher, she is quite strong all-around but has already peaked and had a nightmare in TF, so her performance tonight will be very interesting. Both are very strong competitors, but not really podium material
Why isn't Larisa competing with Vika, Gabby and co?
She had a fall on floor and did not qualify to the top group. Hopefully BBC (and NBC and everyone else) will recognise that she should be broadcast!
Will we have a winner with a fall?
No, it's far too close. Beam wobbles will be the height of the winner's errors.
I don't know what it is about the question format, but I like it :) Prepare to be deafened by the noise of McKayla cheering from the stands! I watched part of TF back on the Eurosport livestream to catch the podium ceremony and without commentary, you can really hear her going mental!