This is exactly what we needed after yesterday's awful vault final. (Saved by Sandra Izbasa's great and emotional win). So, onto bars where the lineup was just spectacular..He Kexin the defending Olympic champion, Viktoria Komova the defending World and European champion, Beth Tweddle world champion along with the fabulous Aliya Mustafina, Yao Jinnan, Elizabeth Seitz and Koko Tsurumi.
He Kexin Looking amazing in a black leo with mesh sparkly sleeves with deep pink swirls and matching hair ribbon. Suits her so well. Leo of the comp for me. Moving on, this was an excellent routine and really set the bar high for those coming after her. Second jaeger of her Li Ya release combination was quite low which cost her and she had to muscle up some moves, but what a great routine. Well done to her, massive improvement for her on 2011 and proving that 4 years after all all the uproar over her gold, she can come back and show everyone she is still the one to beat even though she used her safe routine- she actually has higher difficulty but went for the consistent option. 15.933- and well deserved.
Viktoria Komova Beautiful blue leotard, I was hoping we would get to see it- it was shown in a screenshot of a video ages ago. Beautiful crisp lines with her pencil-like turns as always. Just lovely to watch. Unfortunately it looks like she hit her foot on her downswing before the dismount and had to take an extra swing to make up for it, which cost her. Great double double dismount, the hardest dismount we'll see here with just a step. Nobody does extension quite like what Komova has brought to these games. Sad that after all of her amazing and beautiful routines she will go home gutted with two silver medals and another dissapointment in these bars finals which she was a favourite for. Come on Vika, you can come back from this! That was an awesome score considering her mistake. 15.666
Elizabeth Seitz Nice deep pink colour on her leotard, really suits her. She brings great energy to this final- throwing a Def, a one and a half twisting geinger, which only a handful of female gymnasts have ever done. Great height on her releases and she has really cleaned up her form from what it was, but the slightly lower difficulty and her messy legs on the Def (although she held form on it for longer than usual, I thought) brings her down. 15.266 What a great routine from her! Not expected to challenge for medals but she is just thrilled that she brought her all on the day, well done
Yao Jinnan The defending World AA bronze medallist has had a tough year and a tough time at these Olympics, she injured herself on a DTY a few months ago and has been dealing with a thigh muscle strain at these games, so has been well underpar, suffering uncharacteristic mistakes. Along with Iordache, it's sad to see huge potential affected by injury at such a crucial time. She's wearing a white leo with a red pattern- I don't like it, but it's not ugly or anything. Yao steps up and has a FANTASTIC hit routine, showing her 2011 self in all of its glory. Extremely precise turns and handstands- her turns were my favourite here, everything done so well and then a stuck double layout dismount! Her slightly lower difficulty keeps her just out of contention, but what a way to bow out of a dissapointing Olympics for her! Well done and a very well deserved 15.766
Beth Tweddle The roar of the crowd when she was introduced and before she did her routine was amazing, and really touching. Beth is world champion on this event but has been dissapointed in the Olympics before- a step on her dismount put her just out of medals after a wonderful routine in Beijing. Now 27, Beth has been fired with determination to put it behind her and has increased her difficulty to keep up. Wearing a super-glitzy flag leotard, it really shows how much this means to her. Perfect routine from her, hits all of her difficult combinations, fabulous routine and so exciting to watch, helped by the roar from the crowd growing in crescendo...really nice double double, she holds the form really well but a costly step keeps her below 16. 15.916, wow.
Aliya Mustafina Her teammate Viktoria is dejected on the side, but Aliya has her gameface on. What a comeback this is! Wearing the red white and blue qualification leo which is quite bland, her beautiful eye-makeup and glittery hair make up for it! Perfect routine, she hit everything. Beautiful lines, precision, flight between bars and then she sticks her one a half twisting double back- which is original. Amazing to watch. What a thrill for her and a 16.133 which beats He and puts her into the lead!
Koko Tsurumi Koko, the Japanese veteran looking well in the Japanese rising sun leotard. A tiny gymnast, she zips well between the bars and has great lines and energy. Her releases are quite low and flat and her lower difficulty means it's a very good routine and great to watch, but not exceptional. Well done to her for qualifying and a great performance. 14.966
Gabby Douglas Huge roar from the crowd for the AA champion. Gabby has had the most amazing year and a truly exceptional games, but despite her signature bars routine, is not expected to contend for a medal as her difficulty is the lowest- tied with Tsurumi. While I may not be thrilled with some aspects of her gymnastics or the overscoring that accompanies her- this is a fantastic bars routine and incredible to watch. Starts off really well, lovely turns and amazing as ever on her height in her releases. Unfortunately she messes up a turn in handstand, and has to take an extra swing to cover up. It was really well concealed but that will be costly. Great double layout, she pulled herself together. 14.9, with an 0.3 deduction from her start value that really was costly. Dissapointing her her to underperform but she still has beam and goes home with gold in AA and TF regardless. Blinding silver leotard, very Kristen Maloney-esque. It's the tinfoil version of her and Aly's AA leotard and while she can pull off the colour, it was just too bright.
LOVED this final, delighted for Aliya, He and Beth. Great stuff from all contenders. I really love this crowd, so supportive and delighted with that feast of gymnastics they got.