The most controversial AA of all- and there are many. Notoriously, Roza Galieva who qualified after Tatiana Gutsu fell off beam was substituted for the latter. It's impossible to blame Tatiana as so many are stupidly doing, she had about as much say as Roza- ie. none. I would not wholly blame Alexandrov either, who made the substitution. If you're under immense pressure to bring home the medals in the last hurrah for Soviet gymnastics, it stands to reason that things like this would happen. It is the Soviet system of creating that pressure which is at fault. Anyway, this is also the all-around in which reigning world champion Kim Zmeskal, a Karolyi protege was also supposed to shine. The Boginskaya V Zmeskal battle was intended to be supplemented by Cristina Bontas of Romania and Tatiana Gutsu of Unified Team. But that's not what happened at all!
The fluff at the beginning corresponds to this. It doesn't start at the very beginning so I can't be sure if it actually ignores Shannon Miller, Tatiana Lysenko and Lavinia Milosovici. There's someone at the start- could be Milo- but the quality is so bad I can't tell. '..of a magic night, when little girl's dreams can come true'. Puke.
- At the arena. Ooo Elfi mentions Shannon. Still seems an afterthought though. Ah a report from the floor now! I love this, they talk about Shannon's liking for powder and her subsequent nickname as the 'Porcelain queen' before mentioning the health of Gutsu and Galieva. And now a reminder that this is the first time 'New Life' is being used, whereby prelims scores did not carry over. Personally I think this was a mistake.
Miller BARS It's always a bit of a shock to see height and weight displayed. Really light work here, nice hop full into geinger, looks like a bit of leg seperation. That is one seriously flat Tkachev, you'd imagine she should be able to soar well above the bar. Sticks her dismount, lovely. Classic white leotard which makes her look an elegant pixie. 9.925
Zmeskal FLOOR I have such a fondness for the perfection of the music to her three whips. Can we not watch a routine instead of waiting for Kim to step up on floor for forever? Here we go. Nice piked full in. Cringeworthy cute choreography that does not suit her in the slightest. Here it comes, three whips into double tuck. Ahhh such a great pass to the music. More idiotic prancing. Jesus the Karolyi's are literally the worst choreographers ever. Look at Shannon's height of elegance routines. Then look at Moceanu's and Zmeskal's. Then back to Gabriela Gheorghiu and Emilia Eberle's, which they are also responsible for. GROSSNESS. Great sky-high double tuck, Dos Santos style but just like Dos Santos it's too high to control and she bounces right out of bounds. A sad ending to only the start of her competition. And wow I have a lot of hatred for that turn at the end with her arse in the air. Interesting that had she thrown the full-in instead as she was capable of doing she probably would have landed perfectly. Ugh I do NOT like replays of parents devastated for their children in these situations. First mention of Betty Okino! And only because Bela has to ditch Kim and go over to her. Another white leo, good choice 9.775
Bontas BARS Fairly boring stuff. Another super-flat Tkachev but I would imagine that only Dawes actually had notable amplitude on her releases this whole games. We'll see. SUPER dramatic music starts up right before she goes into what looks like quite a messy geinger, classic. Double tuck dismount. Yes this is dull, with an error. I wonder how expensive it will be. Quick! back to Kim's misery! More zooming, trying to catch a tear in her eye I suppose. Yes I think I can determine the flecks in her irises. I wonder if this is Hollie Vise's favourite cameraman? Back to Bontas. Standard Romanian leo, I like how they break out some originality in AA competitions these days. This is larely white with some blue and red. Suits her well. 9.862
Gutsu BARS Nice form. She look taller than everyone else and she's only 4'8. Looks like a fawn or something. Lovely geinger. And a Tkachev which wouldn't win any amplitude prizes but is probably better than the other two seen so far. Very floaty on bars, nice handstands and a great stuck double layout. Jagged white and black leo, goes well with the fawn look. I would give Gutsu the G V M victory on bars. So would the judges, 9.950
More Kim Zmeskal doing absolutely nothing. They weren't able to show her during Gutsu's bars, a whole 90 seconds away from misery.
Boginskaya FLOOR Looking menacing with the heavy makeup. Shoots an excellent baleful look at the camera. Is this the guitar routine? I hope not. And a seriously low full in tuck, head on knees style. Nice leap series. Combination pass which looks very weak in difficulty but nicely done with her elegant long lines. Lol part of her music sounds really similar to a Metallica solo bit. Double tuck with a slight hop. Elegant routine with very weak tumbling. One of my least favourite leos ever, a nasty shade of green and it looks like either a baby puked on her shoulders or she stood out in the snow. Bleurgh. 9.912 and lucky to get it.
Okino BEAM Gorgeous press to handstand mount. Great floaty BHS-LOSO-LOSO. Quality isn't really enough to scrutinise her form on it but it did seem really nicely done. Glorious double spin. Oooo a planche! This is fabulous. Double pike, quite low with a slight adjustment but apparently she almost missed her foot on the beam so great job in landing at all. Replay shows her dismount is in between a tuck and pike. The hell is that? White velvety looking leotard, great on her. 9.850 and considering this was pretty much perfect besides the step, is too low. Worth a 9.9.
More fluff! Boginskaya, Miller (!!), Bontas and Zmeskal. Nadia namecheck count: At LEAST 7
End of rotation standings: Gutsu tied with Gogean. Miller third.
Onodi FLOOR Great, I love her. Whip into full in pike, sooo clean. Working well to her nice elegant music. I am bad at counting twists- looks like a beautiful triple? And then a double full into punchfront. Amazing. Lovely low to floor choreography. Unusual spin, looks beautiful. And a full in pike to end, stuck. WHAT a routine. Nice enough leo with a much needed bit of colour, white with a cutaway blue bodice with a pattern on it. Give her a 9.95. No of course not 9.912 Underscored.
Gutsu BEAM Let's start of course with a flashback to her falling off beam on her mount in team optionals. Gearing up for constant CONSTANT replays of Asac's exact same mistake 16 years later. Flic-flac mount, sways slightly on landing. Standing full twist! Dead on, but she's quite low. It sounds like clanking metal on that beam. How is it that loud when she's only 5 stone?? Extremely floaty acro line, same as Okino's. Nice tic-toc and Rulfova. BHS-LOSO-RO- full in. Wow, lot of energy left for all that but the landing is really low. Stuck though. This would have a high enough start value today but seeing as the code then did not really award it, her score should reflect the errors made, a 9.912 is appropriate. YES it's a 9.912 Thank you for not inflating it.
Bontas BEAM Why does every Romanian have the exact same style as Nadia? Shut up John. Nadia would have choked at that bar routine- in fact, hers was more difficult. Flic-flac mount, well done. BHS-RO. That is one totally shocking jump if it was supposed to be split position. Very steady. Nice BHS-LOSO-LOSO, rock solid but looks like flexed feet. Very nice low to beam. Double tuck dismount with a bit of a kick-out step on landing. She's out after that and her bars. Looks like a 9.850 but it's so blurry.
Boginskaya VAULT Her second vault. FTY which was the prescribed vault of these games. (Not literally). Great view of the puke shoulders on her run. Textbook vault, seriously great. Maybe not as beautifl and flighty as one of the later vaults coming up, but wonderful stuff. 9.962
Yang FLOOR Her beam better be shown. Dramatic drums piece, interesting. Nice full in pike. Lol now it's the music from a chase scene in a Western. GORGEOUS leap from the queen of leaps. 1 and a half into a 1 and a half, super clean but weak difficulty. Nice spin and low to floor but she looks a bit lost and unsure of herself. Double tuck, quite low. Dance did get better. Lysenko just walked by her, show me her! 9.837
Lysenko FLOOR Yes, finally! Even though this will be heartbreaking. Another dramatic drum beginning. Absolutely beautiful double layout which she almost brings to her knees and it puzzles me everytime- a mental break? It just should not have happened because she had the height neccessary to land it. Looks painful too. Decent dance, love her spin into back walkover..Groshkova did that too. So simple and it looks so elegant. Double tuck, punchfront straight into double twist punchfront, PERFECT! Fabulous pass. Full in tuck to end after some nice choreo, low enough. Damn. What a gymnast she was. 9.80 Bahhh.
Miller BEAM Excellent, I really want to see Nunno's jacket and Shannon's scrunchie instead of actual routines going on elsewhere. Okay finally, after almost 2 minutes. Love her mount and acro line straight after, all-time favourite mount sequence. Wobbles quite significantly though. Those wrists are unreal, really ruining her elegant pixie-esque line. The tendinitis in later life is really a mystery. Gorgeous BHS-LOSO-LOSO-LOSO but wobbles again. Lovely Valdez, really shows off her extension so well. Nails her full-in dismount but it's quite low. Woohoo there's Kim Gwang Suk managing to look small next to noted shortarses Shannon and Gutsu. Show me her bars and beam! 9.925 Sorry but she should have got the same as Gutsu or even lower, she had two wobbles versus Gutsu's one. Gutsu also had higher difficulty and both had the same low landing. This round goes to Gutsu too.
Zmeskal VAULT I want to see what the other Kim is doing! A very nice FTY with an upright planted landing but it had a tiny leg seperation and feet apart on landing. This games was noted for its fabulous FTY's so it's time to get picky. Actually she might be slightly slow on landing going by the replay. 9.937
Okino FLOOR Whip into double pike/tuck, slight movement on landing. At least they are not insulting her with a cutesy routine. She's so regal and would have excelled with better choreo. Bad angle- looks like a clean double pike. Great spins from her. Another loose looking double pike/tuck, what is the story with her leg form on these. Nice enough dance but that was weak enough and dull. And I like her! 9.862
End of rotation standings: Boginskaya leads Gutsu and Miller.
Boginskaya BARS Not this leotard again, I can't bear the sight of it. At least Gutsu and Lysenko have shied away from it. Can you imagine Gutsu in that thing? Stand by for a boring routine. Okay-ish Tkachev, flat enough but I like the grip change straight out of it. Double pike dismount, it looked great and she stuck it but WOW the weakness of this Level 7 routine never ceases to amaze me. Notice how I couldn't say anything else because she didn't do anything else. 'She may not have the very most difficult routine in this competition'. Nice syntax Tim. 9.887 and Tim is surprised. Is he watching the same routine at all?
Bontas FLOOR I'm not sure why Bontas was hyped so much. A very good gymnast certainly but not even the best Romanian at this point. She looks tired and maybe the Deva closure affected her, as it did so many others. I still expect a strong floor routine though. And it looks like it already- great double layout. Camera cuts away right in the middle of her next pass a bit..looks like a 1.5 into double tuck. Nice and clean. Very long pause in the corner and she does not mask it with arm waving. Full in tuck to end, stuck, slightly low. Great routine. 9.962 Hmm. Suppose there wasn't much to actually take away from this but seems a little high anyway.
'When we come back we're going to show you the other strong American, Kim Zmeskal'. Please, she tanked in the first rotation. Show more Kim Gwang Suk, Yang Bo and Tatiana Lysenko! 'Struggling to get into medal position'. She's in 8th! They've just copped Milosovici is having a great competition.
Milosovici FLOOR Love her start pose. Full in tuck punchfront, nice. Small hop. Fairly bog standard music, some 'rock around the clock' style dance going on. Moceanu definitlely used this music unless I'm losing it. AWESOME second pass, 1 and a half stepout into what looks like 1 and half punchfront stag leap. Had to rewind a few times, very busy pass. Fabulous though. Full in tuck, not that clean but well landed nonetheless. What an iconic end pose. 9.962
Miller FLOOR Needs a 9.938 for first. LOVE this music, so perfect. Whip into full in tuck, well done. Much more upright than a lot of them have been these games. Whip into double pike with a big step back, can't tell by how much she kept that in bounds..barely. Lovely elegant dance. Another full in tuck but this one was quite low. Hmm. 9.9 Now that is correct.
Zmeskal BARS Nice form from this dead-on angle and very nice geinger. Very flat Tkachev, but there's a big club of those here. Double pike dismount? Or extremely pikey double layout. Either way, this routine was fine but nothing extraordinary. 9.9
Onodi VAULT GORGEOUS vault, looks like a Cuervo variety, handspring entry. Fabulous form, height and upright landing. Okay it's a front pike with a half twist apparently. Tiny adjustment on landing in the replay. Had a crap beam apparently, damn. Second vault is the same but she underrotates so the landing is short and she actually hits her head off the mat. Ouch. The first vault got a 9.95 so she'll take that.
Gogean BEAM I forgot she was here. Nice leaps and gorgeous floaty LOSO's. Slight wobble on second acro series. Quick, say she's like Nadia! Check. Great stuck double tuck dismount. 9.9
For feck's sake, how many times do they have to mention Gutsu not qualifying and a replay of the beam fall. Move on to her actual gymnastics maybe?
Gutsu FLOOR I absolutely love the split leg double layout. Lands slightly short and has to take a step forward though. Her dance is a bit wishy-washy and she's not comfortable with it. I hesitate to call it crap but it's really not great. Whip whip into double tuck, perfect. More awkward dance. Full in pike, low enough landing. Very interesting. In the case of floor, G and M were equal. Both had a big step and both had a low landing elsewhere. Gutsu had higher difficulty though, so maybe she would edge it slightly. 9.925 Slightly too high, I think 9.912 is the right score.
End of rotation standings. Gutsu and Milo tie for first, Boginskaya third and Miller fourth.
Milosovici BARS Elfi seems to be excited about this routine, not sure why. Very slight lep seperation. Nice geinger, decent Tkachev. Very blurry but looks like a full in tuck with a hop. Wow that was cowboyed quite badly in the replay. 9.90
Miller VAULT Long wait, but we all know what's coming up next. Shut up Nunno, way overboard with the last minute coaching. Here it is! The best FTY ever performed. Height, flight, form, landing, all perfect. Crowd and Nunno go mental. 9.975 and nobody's happy with that. Really deserved a 10. Here's the second one, another joy to watch but doesn't hold the stick long enough. 9.95. Robbed of the 10 for the first one.
Yes we know Zmeskal is out of the running, stop showing it and get back to gymnastics.
Zmeskal BEAM Such a fabulous start pose in handstand. BHS-LOSO, wobbles and takes two steps back. Horror from the trio so maybe she was supposed to do another one. Yes she was apparently. Nice leaps. Big break after the second acro line but saves it. Double tuck with a hop back. Mehh. 9.80
Gutsu VAULT Needs 9.939. Oooh lovely and flighty in the air. Feet slightly apart on landing and makes a tiny movement backwards. Replay shows legs apart on block. 9.925 Second vault, plants the landing. Replay shows it to be a bit pikey. 9.95 Too high, that's the same score as Shannon's second vault. They screwed themselves over with the mark of her first vault as the second vault was better and had to be given a better score. Gutsu takes the lead and they immediately switch to Shannon's face.
Boginskaya BEAM Needs 9.977. Why is she still in game after a weak floor and weaker bars? Nice mount. Moves very fluidly. BHS-LOSO-LOSO but they look quite laboured. Jesus, wobbles on the easiest leap. Elfi sticks the knife in 'She's gone'. Plants a nice double tuck dismount. Kinda boring routine all the same. 9.912 is greeted with boos.
Boginskaya is upset after that but it was fairly obvious going into the games that she did not have the routines and difficulty to challenge for gold or silver.
I do not agree with some of those scores, but I DO agree with the standings. Gutsu was the better gymnast on the day. Miller quite clearly had the better vault but Gutsu had better beam and bars and edged her out ever so slightly on floor with higher difficulty and more upright landings. Both had errors, especially beam and floor but Gutsu did deserve gold here. I can clearly see why the debate still rages on but I'm moreso annoyed Lysenko couldn't hold it together and beat them both. Oh and not showing Kim Gwang Suk's bars and Yang Bo's beam? Plenty of lingering shots of Kim Zmeskal which could have been filled in nicely but not only the best bars and beam respectively of the games but of all time!