First of all, I hope everyone got the chance to see this live. If not, there are plenty of accounts who've uploaded individual routines on youtube. I did say I'd post links to the livestream but I got caught up in trying to record and doing test recordings and forgot. And while I did upload a test recording to youtube, they totally betrayed me and the full-length ones won't even play for me, never mind convert or upload.
- The return of the lovely Julie Croket from Belgium, one year after an ACL injury took her out of contention for a London spot. She qualified to two finals, beam and floor, but sadly fell off beam in the final. Still, it's great to see her back and she can definitely build on this. Great floor choreography from her.
- Another opportunity to see the fabulous Noemi Makra of Hungary who I will continue fangirling over at any opportunity. Noemi qualified to bars finals, but was bumped out of beam where she qualified ninth and had some issues on floor. Her difficulty needs to be built on, it was nice to see the addition of a Church on bars though, and her connections need to be snappier on beam, though the skills are breathtaking in their execution.
- Diana Bulimar solid as a rock. Great to see her take gold on floor and bronze on beam, but her difficulty is a bit pitiful all things considering- a full one point behind Larisa on beam, and 5.9 on floor when she can do more there too. The good news she's getting a new floor routine soon!
- The incredible beam routines of Shang Chunsong, who looked like she'd never even heard the term balance check. Routines of the Fan Ye/Ekaterina Vandisheva level of precision and perfection.
- The return of Larisa Iordache's two fulls! She's also connecting her aerial to leaps, which brings her full beam difficulty to a whopping 6.9. That is higher than Katelyn Ohashi gets credited with.
- Jing Ying Tam's beam mount. It's one of my favourites.
- Anastasia Grishina's hit bars routine in finals. Awesome.
- Shang Chunsong's release fest on bars is just spectacular.
- The resurgence of Jade Barbosa! Her DTY in particular in finals was explosive. Pencil her in as a vault threat this year...as long as she has the right leotard sponsor!
- Larisa Iordache's turns on floor in event finals. Nailed the Gomez and double L, so precise. Turn combinations would be great from her.
- Kim Bui making all 4 finals. Nice!
- Larisa Iordache, despite upgrading her beam routine for finals, looks to be hampered with injuries and/or recovery. This was hinted at after Euros. She has also of course grown quite a bit in the last year. Wobbling on her tuck full, crashing her Silivas, underrotating her triple..this is not a fully healthy gymnast.
- Shang Chunsong getting screwed on her beam execution. Yes, she was 0.4 behind in difficulty and yes her routine was not perfect perfect..the low dismount, the step...but it was significantly more perfect than Larisa's routine, which scored one tenth higher in execution despite having a wobble where her foot reached shoulder height, a step, a balance check and a hop on dismount. This is just like how clean FTY's get lower execution than a sloppy amanar- the judges allowed themselves to be wowed by Larisa's two fulls and/or reputation on this event. This is an FIG event, not some unimportant regionals. We can argue all day over who had better choreo and whether they received artistry deductions or not (they are both equal in that department) or whether Shang paused too much, but the fact is they applied maximum deductions to one girl and not to the other.
- Russia imploding, with the exception of Anastasia Grishina on bars in finals. However, she herself had falls and errors on other events, and Anna Rodionova, Ekaterina Baturina and Alla Sosnitskaya all crashed at least once.
- Noemi Makra only making one final.
- Jessica Lopez falling in bars finals. Love her and her routine.
- Shang Chunsong falling on the Shap both days. It's there to avoid dead hang as she is terrible at toe-shoots, but if she hasn't perfected it by National Games then it needs to be binned. Hopefully she grows a bit too. Utterly fabulous routine, and so difficult she still snatched bronze.
What did you think of the competition? Favourite routine? Should the beam judges be forced to watch Yang Bo beam routines on repeat?