Two more event finals, two more tiebreakers! FIG need an overhaul, and a huge kick up the arse. Moving on.
Beam had quite a few top contenders, Sui Lu and Cata Ponor the top favourites, with Deng Linlin, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Viktoria Komova relagated somewhat but still top contenders.
Sui Lu Up first. She has the old school beam grace, fluidity and form. Although the Chinese are awesome at beam, she's the best they've produced in quite a while. I could watch this over and over again. Her tumbling line is my favourite, incredibly difficult and she stuck it cold. Gorgeous leaps and toepoint. Tiny step back on a pike back. So close to perfection. Very nice red glittery leotard 15.5
Catalina Ponor After being incredibly fierce in the team finals, she loses it and returns to her qualifying routine. Overcooked a turn, wobbles everywhere. Fierce otherwise, chucked the full twisting double pike but it was incredibly low. Unfortunately not at her best today. Wearing a fierce black leotard with lots of silver swirls, decent enough but the silver kind of killed it 15.066..too high, that was a crap routine by her standards
Deng Linlin Total precision, great form and an incredible combination..almost ran out of beam when she stuck the Korbut on the end. She doesn't have the grace of Sui Lu and didn't have great rythmn, too many pauses. White leo with some colour swirls, decent. 15.6..too high, Sui Lu has been robbed already.
Larisa Iordache Larisa did not qualify, she was the first reserve. Diana Bulimar qualified ahead of her and was pulled. Sounded like a Bitang and Bellu stunt of old, but it has emerged that Diana is injured. Regardless of whether this is true or not, Larisa is quite clearly injured herself. So much so that Marina Bitang said she regretted allowing her to do the AA at all. Anyway, Larisa comes off on her tumbling line, which she has struggled with since her injury. Fought hard to stay on. Rest of the routine was lovely, beautiful jumps and total precision in her standing fulls and connections. Gorgeous triple twist with a small hop. Sigh. Larisa really regained herself well, but it was a mistake to allow her to compete in the state she's in. That was a heartbreaker. Brings back her yellow Pikachu leo from Euros and it is fabulous. 14.2
Ksenia Afanasyeva She of the amazing floor routine delivers again here on beam, lovely long lines in her tumbling and a fabulous full turn tour jete leap. So lovelyly but her difficulty kills her, 5.8 against 6.5/6.6. Wearing the bland but absolutely not offensive or ugly Russian team leo. 14.583
Gabby Douglas Here comes Gabby! Huge roar from the crowd. Has delivered strong beam routines THREE times in a row now, plenty are predicting it's too much to ask of her and her former headcase-ness to deliver again. Lovely lay-out step-out's, she has become more graceful I think in the last while. Leg up on a standing full but she fights it back on, but it bodes ill for her as she misses her foot seconds later, clings onto the beam and puts a foot down. Wow. Not nice to see- although I was afraid of her emdalling as I believe she is outclassed here and has been overscored on this event, I don't enjoy seeing falls from her, or anyone. Recovers well and finishes strongly. Can't help but mention she is wearing McKayla's vault EF leo and I'm surprised. It suits her more than McKayla but with the choice available she went for an unlucky one. Hmm. I can't see any of them going for white again, especially her and M. BBC's feed was really kind to her, the slow-mo recap showed absolutely nothing except her fall. Three times. 13.633
Viktoria Komova Can she put her unbelievably shitty Olympics behind her and deliver? Strong contender for a bronze. Wobbles on her first skill. Such extension and leaps, divine. Looking rattled and far from composed. Great sheep jump and lovely tumbling series. Huge wobble on a punch front, fights to regain control and comes off anyway. DAMN. Vika is pissed and rattled now. I would not have been surprised if she stormed off and gave up. Anyway, continues and goes for her Patterson, which she sits. Wow. Stupid move to go for that, she quite clearly had neither the frame of mind or energy to land it properly. Wearing the lovely red and white AA leotard. Vika should be watched, that is too much for her to handle. 13.166
Aly Raisman I thought Aly had only an outside chance at a medal but Vika and Larisa have just handed her an opportunity, as has Cata with her underpar routine. Wobbles and misses a connection but she fought fiercely to regain her rythmn..you could almost hear her thinking 'You must be joking if you think I'm going to fall NOW'. Rest of the routine is typical Aly, nails all of the rest of her connections, tumbling and leaps. Obviously a totally different style to Vika and Sui Lu etc. but so enjoyable to watch her attacks and she really has cleaneed up her form. Great stuff from her. She is so determined here. Rocks that Patterson, small hop forward. Yes! Wearing the patriotic flag leo seen in a press photo a while ago, and which trampolinist Savannah Vinsant wore the other day. Suits her really well, though it's not fabulous. 14.966, well harsh. Didn't have her full d-score due to the missed connection but that thing deserved around a 15.1
Annnnd Mihai files an inquiry. D-score lowballed. And it's successful, Aly jumps to 15.066 and ties with Cata. Aly's execution is far higher due to her really clean routine and she has the bronze!
Deng Linlin takes gold, Sui Lu silver and Aly Raisman takes bronze ahead of Catalina Ponor on a tiebreaker. Wow. Deng had a great routine but it was too slow. Sui Lu deserved that gold, she was only a shade off absolute perfection and had the difficulty behind her. She's in absolute bits, and I'm not surprised or critical. She was robbed and she knows it. Deng was a VERY worthy silver, would have had no issues with that. Catalina was just not on form today, she looked like she knew it too from right after she finished. Gifted that score and Aly deservedly took her bronze. Another tiebreaker- and another huge mistake from the d panel whose ONLY job is to calculate d-score.
Vika is getting huge criticism for her attitude. She probably is too fragile, but she really has had a miserable time of it. Let's just hope she can get some sports psychologist and regain her consistency and her potential to be the most fabulous gymnast in the world. Sui Lu, McKayla Maroney, Vika Komova, Mustafina last week are all being called horrible names. It's such a shame, the work that goes into their routines, their huge potential, and their age and crushed dreams...it's a disgrace that they have to face public outrage because they did not look thrilled in the process. I say, good for them for not being fake. Vika though needs help to get through this, as she is now showing she's as fragile as porcelain. I hope she can take a leaf from Mustafina's fierce bitch book and come back fierce. (Disclaimer: Fierce bitch doesn't mean 'bitch')
And after that heartbreaker, what a FANTASTIC high bar final. Horton and Leyva did really well but this thing belonged to Hambuechen and Zonderland. Amazing stuff.
And onto floor. Ksenia Afanasyeva is the artistic favourite, though lacking in d-score a bit. Romania's Sandra Izbasa and Catalina Ponor are favourites, but Aly Raisman with a complete first pass is right up there.
Ksenia Afanasyeva Oh, Ksenia. Great double layout but goes OOB. LOve this music and her choreography is just amazing, best floor I've seen in a long time. Lovely two whips to triple. OOB on the third pass, she's lost it now. Good finish, but that was really costly 14.566
Jordyn Wieber Girl with a point to prove. Jordyn seems a little skittish or just not as 'on'- Geddert has said she is carrying a stress fracture. How crap for her. Great double double but has to hop back, and a leap on another pass brings her out of bounds. Devastating. Gets through the rest of the routine fine and nice double pike at the end. She's miserable, really sad to see such a star falter at the games. Looking well in the same flag leo as Aly. 14.5 Ouch :(
Aly Raisman Hopefully that bronze and Jordyn's errors have inspired her. Needs that layout! She's on fire, sticks the first pass WITH layout. Fabulous double piked arabian with a leap. Showing her determination in her choreography, she has improved here. Lovely triple full, stuck. Enormously high double pike to end. Form issues as always but she has improved, that was the best floor she's ever done. And what a reward, 15.6! That's too high, even for how great that was and how high her d-score is. 15.4 would be perfect.
Catalina Ponor Needs to really top Aly here, but her difficulty is lower. Throwing a Chusovitina first pass would help but she stays safe with the double layout- stuck! Wow, fire in her to beat Aly after that tiebreaker. Sticks her triple twist but it's still quite fugly with leg form. Great routine, she really brought it. 15.2 That's correct, too high with her messy legs in her triple perhaps considering she has already lost three tenths to Aly on difficulty. Romanians in the crowd are pissed and boo! Too bad, they're not looking at the d-score and after a fabulous crowd all through these games, that shit is annoying.
Lauren Mitchell Has had issues with a tear in her stomach muscle but that was at podium training..she's definitely improved on that, really strong tumbling and great double arabian. Unfortunately she sticks a leap on everything and they are quite low and fugly. Not cool. Though she is not the only one by a long shot, it she is the inventor and the worst offender and it artifically boosts her d-score to within range of Aly. Code's fault, not hers. Great floor from her and possibly her last performance at this level, so well done to her for hitting when it counts. Wearing the Aussie team final leo, pink with a cobwebby sleeve pattern. One my my least favourites these games. 14.833, that's fair.
Vanessa Ferrari Wow. I was waiting for her to compete individually to really bring the ugly back to leotards and she has delivered more than I ever thought possible. The AA one was actually really nice, until you spotted the cut-outs on her shoulders. But she stepped it up a notch here. The body of the leotard is really nice, blue with some glittery pink siz-zag pattern on her sides. Works really well. And then...it's one-sleeved with a shoulder cut-out on the other sleeve! Why Vanessa why! On to her routine, lovely double double and full twisting double pike to back tuck. Fast enough to get credited. Decent choreo and some great leaps. Best she's been in a long time. 14.9. ROBBED It's as if they deducted for lack of sleeve. There was nothing overtly wrong with that routine.
Aliya Mustafina Interesting to see how she contends. She has really matured on floor and this music is really growing on me. Must find the Cradle of Filth song that the start and end come from, Dani Filth would be proud. This really showcases how dramatic and fierce she is. Anyway, textbook double arabian to stag jump- which is my favourite leap out of a pass, and a great leap in general. Falls out her turn, DAMN. That's expensive. Very messy legs on the triple full, but judges don't seem to judge that too harshly here. D-score downgraded to a 5.9 and she gets a 14.9! It's a well deserved score as she really was great here, but..Ferrari is screwed on the tiebreak. Yes, another tiebreak. Wearing the red and white leo again. She's thrilled! Ferrari is gutted, feel for her as she totally screwed over on her own score.
Sandra Izbasa It's not over yet! The defending champion is here to knock someone off a medal, probably not Raisman as she doesn't have the uber-difficulty to contend with that score. Beautiful tumbling, great full twisting double pike to start. Going well and she brings her front tuck with a half twist to her hands and knees. Crap. It was her last pass, she didn't get enough purchase on the ground before she launched into the punchfront but she was too far advanced to stop it. Very sad to see, but she certainly has done so well here already. She looks very accepting of that. Wearing her vault final leo in turquoise. 13.333
Two tiebreaks and two more people screwed! I hope immense pressure is put on FIG to change that. Everyone would like a modification to the two per country rule too, or its abolition. For the AA, it would be nice if the third girl per country could qualify if she has over a 58. For event finals, a score over a 14.8.
And..no more gymnastics :( At least, not artistic. Beam was a heartbreaker, tough to see so many falls and errors. And very sad to see more overscoring and underscoring. Sui Lu is absolutely justified. Jordyn stands out as someone with just as much cause to be as devastated as Vika- Vika doesn't have TF gold, but she medalled in the AA Jordyn wasn't able to even compete in. Really wanted to see Jordyn end on a high note, and we didn't get that either today. Injury or not, she peaked too soon.