- Aliya Mustafina recovering so well after a shaky beam routine and not once having the lead to confidently winning after an exquisite bars routine. European champion in front of a home crowd two years after THAT injury is delightful to see.
- Anastasia Grishina hitting 4/4 and nailing her routines at that. Seeing her mount a beam is so tense, and her routine blew me away. Fabulous bars too, though the Russian tap swings make me cry. Not to mention the best DTY I've ever seen her do. She was so thrilled with her performance, let's hope onwards and upwards to challenge for an AA spot at worlds.
- Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar on beam. I see Larisa's shoddy toepoint and Diana's lack of difficulty but I just want to score impossibly high on the basis of their incredibly solid work. Just awesome to watch them in action.
- Ruby Harrold's beam mount. I'm disgusted I haven't even seen her beam before..I was of the opinion only her bars were worth looking for. Anyway, fabulously original- a lovely press to handstand, followed by a Healy turn to one foot onto the beam. Amazing! And very reminiscent of Liu Xuan's crazy backbreaker mount. The rest of Ruby's routine was great too. It's easy to see now why she made beam finals.
- Giulia Steingruber's performance. Another who has absolutely made a case for herself as an AA gymnast, rather than a specialist. Giulia has had issues with her beam this year, but that was not in evidence today, both beam and bars have caught up with her very strong vault and floor. Great bars releases, fabulous vaulting, and a full twisting DLO and normal DLO in the one floor routine! It's almost baffling to see her follow those tumbles up with a double twist, presumably she has plans to upgrade that. Rough around the ages but a very exciting gymnast nonetheless. And I am so in love with her beam dismount, looks deceptively easy compared to the usual fare but it requires a lot of power and finesse.
- Noemi Makra's piked full-in is so so pretty. This girl has exceptional execution but is not rewarded for it, her scoring was quite harsh I thought.
- Anastasia Grishina's Onodi-illusion was perfection. It was great to see how in line to the beam it was too.
- A very confident major competitive debut from Elisa Meneghini, who is really nice to watch on beam and floor in particular. Hopefully some upgrades are in store for her.
- Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar nailing their bars after disastrous sets in qualifications. Clearly never going to win prizes for them, but good to see nonetheless. Except for Larisa's Shelgunova-Sheep-Pak which was horrifying. Hopefully a fluke.
- Really great day for Roxana Popa. Beautiful DTY which I thought was underscored. Hopefully she can continue to make strides and upgrade a bit.
- Ilaria Kaeslin's bars. Gorgeous body line.
Anastasia Grishina's enormous smile after that glorious beam routine to end her competition made my day. I know she fell twice in qualifying but she has hit so much this year, can't help but think she will continue to improve. I hope her difficulty can be worked on a bit too to keep her up with the best, especially when Viktoria Komova returns to competition. Diana Bulimar too could not but be happy with her performance, she's a lot of fun to watch and even her bars were not painful.
Tough actually, as most gymnasts especially those nearing the top of the leaderboard had no major errors.
- Gabby Jupp not competing. Again, hoping they are just being very cautious and that her injury is very minor.
- Noel Van Klaveren having a dissapointing day, with a lot of steps back on her strong DTY and then a very awkward bars dismount, which I believe she put her hands down on. Hopefully she can redeem herself in vault finals.
- Non-broadcast of Noemi Makra's routines and 3/4 of Ilaria Kaeslin's. I know they can't show everyone and neither are near being a medal threat but I am a huge fan of the beautiful gymnastics both girls showcase so I will continue to irrationally complain!
- BBC commentary! No Matt Baker and no Mitch Fenner. Whoever commentated with Christine Still was a bit annoying. Big emphasis on small gymnasts being powerful, a surprise every time he witnessed it when we all know that huge skills tend to come easier to stocky short girls. The state of Mustafina's triple was also completely unexpected for him, I could hear the exclamation marks in his voice. Plenty of 'what do you think about that then!' after strong routines which grated on me. I did want to scream at Christine at one point when she said in the first rotation that Elisa Meneghini is the reigning junior Euros champion. Her male co-commentator repeated this too. The champion is actually Enus Mariani who not alone was not competing, but is actually not elegible as she's still a junior. Now we all make mistakes but she said it again in the fourth rotation..I was hoping someone corrected her in the meantime! I do like commentary but I found today's distinctly mediocre at times.
- I did think that Aliya Mustafina was a little overscored, it seemed that other gymnasts had to work harder for their execution scores. I know she had a high d-score on beam to cushion her but 8.0 execution for that was a bit excessive, and her DTY's sloppy second twist went completely under the radar of the judges who must have let the fabulously stuck landing cloud them. Lesser known gymnasts in other rotations were absolutely not given the benefit of the doubt, by comparison.
Best beam: Anastasia Grishina, followed by Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar
Best bars: Aliya Mustafina, followed by Anastasia Grishina and Ida Gustaffson
Best vault: Roxana Popa, followed by Giulia Steingruber and Anastasia Grishina
Best floor: Larisa Iordache, followed by Diana Bulimar and Anastasia Grishina
Favourite leotard: Giulia Steingruber. A variation of an old favourite but the design is a classic and the colour was beautiful and suited her down to the ground. Stunning. Aliya Mustafina was gorgeous in red, I am still fussy about the shape of the mesh at the neck but it's much nicer in red I think. I also liked Noemi Makra's, simple but lovely.
Worst leotard: Larisa Iordache. I'm a sucker for the Pikachu leo, but while it was skimpy on her last year it's absolutely obscene now. There's no excuse for her to be channeling Catalina Ponor on this and being able to see it ending above her tracksuit bottoms at the side was just a bit gross really.
I was so excited about being able to see it on TV, makes a change from foreign-language streams. It does not look like the event finals will be broadcast in full on BBC though so it's back to the UEG stream for me for tomorrow and Sunday. As expected this stream is not working outside of Europe but there is another stream that works worldwide. You can find the Europe-only stream here and the worldwide stream here. Onto event finals we go! Larisa Iordache for beam, Ksenia Afanasyeva for floor, Giulia Steingruber for vault and Aliya Mustafina for bars methinks. Maria Paseka will put up a hell of a fight for vault but I think if Giulia stays clean and has good landings she should edge it. Hopefully. The other events are much more certain.
Here is the entire AA final! I love youtube.
What did you like/dislike today? Favourite routines? Picks for EF? How on earth is Larisa comfortable wearing that monstrosity?