Friday 5 October 2012

2011 Balance Beam Final

I don't think I've ever seen such a 'beauty and the beast' lineup. Power- Ponor, Raisman, Wieber VS artistry Komova, Yao, Sui. Fascinating to see all of the different styles that will be on display. Komova has the burning desire of revenge, Wieber and Raisman are at a peak level and coming off team victory AND Wieber the AA victory. Sui Lu of course can never be counted out. The 2004 beam champion Catalina Ponor is in the mix, along with surprise AA bronze winner, newcomer Yao Jinnan. Exciting stuff AND I have BBC coverage for this.

They do a run through of the Wieber VS Komova rivalry all week which is well done..except for spelling Wieber wrong. Unforgiveable when they've been looking at her all week. Something about this arena seems quite dull and bleak, maybe just the colours they're using.

Catalina Ponor Switch side leap, wobbles slightly. Round off-layout, great height but another small wobble. Beautiful Onodi right into another acro line, steady. Serious speed in her hand movements. Another wobble on an aerial, brings her leg up. Sticks her full in dismount but very low. A very good routine for a comeback but too much hesitation. Gross leotard, her favourite black that she wears so well with sparkles only there's two nauseating maroon panels fighting with each other on the front that totally ruin it. 14.241 Very low even with her errors, but the reasoning is her very low difficulty, 5.7

Yao Jinnan Starts with a standing full twist, nicely done. Foot comes off when she lands but not too far and she easily gets it back on. Perfect acro line- BHS-RO-LO. Great precision. Nice leaps. If that aerial was supposed to be connected to that sheep jump there was way too much of a pause in between. Nice front somersault. Great spin and Yang Bo. Just the dismount left..double pike with a step back. Great routine, pity about the missed connection. Red leotard with some yellow swirls on the bodice. It's eh fine. 15.233

Aly Raisman Nice acro line straight off the bat, pounds the beam. Really crappy split leap with turn, does not hit 180. Pike front into a LOSO, slightly choppy form. Another not great leap but it probably achieved split. Looks like she's too afraid to really go for it on leaps. Into a pike front but as Christine says, 'she didn't make any attempt to join them'. Tiny wobble on her aerial. She is always perfect on her tuck and pike fronts though. Another tiny wobble on her turn. Aly can be much steadier and precise than this, dissapointing from her. Great double arabian dismount, tiny hop back but really well done. I'm conflicted about this leo. Red body which suits her so well, then dark blue sleeves with sparkles..but it's not the full sleeve, it stats from her neck and skips the shoulder. It's weird. 15.055

Viktoria Komova Nice roll onto the beam in straddle position- anything is better than just sitting on it as a mount. Lovely tuck front. Here comes the 1992 acro line- BHS-LOSO-LOSO! Great stuff, no hesitation. So floaty. Standing arabian, foot comes off but just like Yao gets it back on, no damage done. Nice L turn into walkover and she has a true connection to her sheep jump, but foot comes off again. Side somi, one of the most elegant ever done but wobbles slightly. Double spin and comes off. Ughhh. She could have fought for that at least somewhat..didn't seem bothered. The forerunner of things to come, that giving up. Nice double tuck but takes a step back. Just looks underpar and performs like it too, coming off injury. Nice dark blue leotard with some white, elegant but a bit dull. Loses some of her difficulty score too- 13.766

Yulia Inshina  Nice mount, press to handstand into a roll. Great split leap into a tuck back. Tiny hesitation but doesn't wobble. Sheep jump but her legs are too seperated on it, not pretty. Good leap combination, no hesitation here. Okay that was a really nice side somi. (?? side somi? nice?). Fabulous L turn. Steady in the free cartwheel. Good Yang Bo, only brings her head back for the smallest fraction of a second. Very nice routine, but doesn't have the difficulty needed either. Wearing the same leotard as Komova, but it suits Yulia better. 14.525

Jordyn Wieber She is so 'on'. Straddle mount, yawn. Nice free walkover, straight into one-handed BHS and LOSO. Very steady. Extremely effortless hitting her splits in her leaps, great pike front. Side somi, fine. Very slight wobble on her straddle jump, but she is working very well. Standing full twist into back walkover, tiny hesitation on the landing. This is just packed with acro and I don't see why it was changed for the worse. Ughh. Ha I can hear McKayla going nuts in the stand. Great 2 and a half twist dismount, just a slight hop. Super stuff from Jordyn, much more attack than Yao and Komova but no less dynamic and exciting. Wearing the berry pink 'tie' leotard, suits her. 15.133

Sui Lu Komova's fall is her opportunity as the second highest qualifier. Great pike front into Korbut. Tucked barani, wobbles slightly on landing. This is amazing stuff, acro line with a back walkover into tuck back. Turn into turn combination. Love it. Side somi, solid. Wolf jump into split leap, no problems there either. Great sheep jump. Another split leap variation into tuck back, tiny pause in between. Double pike, sticks it! WHAT a routine. 15.866 WOW

Amelia Racea Ooo a full twist in acro line, lovely! Wobbles and leans to the side but controls it well. Great split leap with turn, very effortless. Great straddle leap, they're rare. Free cartwheel into a side somi. Windmills her arms and her fellow Romanians shriek so loudly you'd imagine she'd jump off in fright but she's fine now. Lovely 2 and a half twisting dismount, takes a step. Lovely routine but too weak in difficulty. I seriously love this leotard, lilac body with white structuring stripes. It's beautiful. 14.533

1. Sui Lu
2. Yao Jinnan
3. Jordyn Wieber

Interesting competition. Amelia Racea and Yulia Inshina had the best composed and most elegant and fluid routines, a shame they didn't have higher difficulty. Aly should have been able to beat Jordyn but just wasn't solid and 'on' enough. Komova was recovering from injury here, but nevertheless showed how she does not fight for landings. Glorious routines from Yao and Sui and a good comeback from Catalina Ponor. Such difference between the routines!

I am pretty much done with old competitions. Sadly there is still not enough to talk about otherwise though.


  1. do you have a link to this coverage?

  2. Yes here you go.

    I'm not sure my list is in perfect order as I did this in several parts.

  3. Yes, favorite EF! I loved pretty much every routine (sorry Aly! My biggest pet peeve on beam is not wobbles but rather, not hitting splits).

    I like how you can identify who's shouting from the stands. :) I don't know McKayla's voice that well.

    How did you identify the Yang Bo's? Christine Still said that Yulia probably won't get full credit because she didn't touch her head with her foot. I thought both Yulia and Yao were going for the switch ring leaps since both of them bent their back leg, which isn't part of a Yang Bo leap. Then again, BBC didn't reply this leap for either of them so I can't say for sure (and I'm not great at distinguishing these skills to begin with). Yulia's leap was at 7:48 & Yao's was at 11:16, if you wish to review.

    1. McKayla has a very high voice, hers stands out as louder than the others. It's really noticeable in 2012 team final.

      Ah you just reminded me I always confuse the two. I always just say Yang Bo even though I know the difference..and the image of Bailie Key and Anna Pavlova's gorgeous switch ring leaps is burned into my head. Stupid or what! I'll review it and correct it.

    2. I usually assume switch ring because these two pose just about the same risk and requires essentially equal flexibility but the switch ring is worth a bit more. I like Bailie's a lot! And poor Anna- I kinda forgot about her after Beijing (where she deserved bronze!) and then read her sob story on TCG. :'( But as far as I'm concerned, Tan writes the book on leaps- she did both the Yang Bo and the switch ring at 2011 Spring Nationals.

    3. Yang Bo leaps seem to be 'faster' than other leaps, it's a that a switch leap or did that head go back. Switch rings are quite rare on beam, no? At least in the last while. YES Bailie's is amazing. I am working on a best performance of a tumble/skill in gif form and it will definitely feature. I really wanted to see Tan Sixin on the team, she's been built up for so long after 2010. Sad that she's so much of a headcase that even notorious headcases get onto the team ahead of her.

    4. Oh yes, you're right. Well, either of them are too quick for my eyes- I always have to replay leaps as sad as that sounds. There's also the Yang Bo switch leap that nobody seems to do except for Yang Bo. I didn't know that switch rings are that rare- Sui, Tan, Ponor, Li Shanshan, Yao, HQS, Pavlova, Progras, Grishina, Kyla Ross, Gabby, Whelan, Musty... can't think of more. Unless some of those were just regular ring leaps, in which case- sorry! I'll have to double check when I rewatch BB finals.

      I think Tan and Huang are different in their headcasing. Tan seemed to have peaked at YOG whereas I see HQS as pretty much the same since... 2009? aka the entire quad. Tan still has better execution on beam than most out there- probably the redeeming feature for me to still love her. :)

    5. ** Sorry I meant "regular switch leaps." But the switch vs. no switch is as hard as ring vs. no ring sometimes!