Sunday, 8 November 2015

Event Finals

I'm definitely still in the post-Glasgow slump. Hard to believe it's been and gone, when I've been waiting for it since the moment Antwerp worlds ended.

Anyway, last things first! How about those event final podiums?

I've gone through vault already, and my opinion hasn't really altered. I think the top two were deservedly close, but the edge was with Hong un Jong. When they are both performing the same vaults though with their own set of flaws, it's so hard to call. I'd like if the podium was slightly reshuffled, but I'm definitely not mad or anything. It was really sad to witness Giulia Steingruber injuring herself after already fearing the worst when she put up 5.8 for the second vault. Thankfully, it looks like she avoided doing any major damage and will still be good to go for Rio. I really love how diverse that final was- USA, China, Russia but also Mexico, Switzerland, North Korea, Great Britain and India. Another low point was Dipa Karmarkar's Produnova- looking forward to the day they are either removed or no longer worth the risk-and also Alexa Moreno Medina's lack of mastery of her vaults, they were really just about rotated and a complete scramble.

Bars though, definitely had crazy judging. A tie was justifiable, but not 4-way. The podium to me should have been Viktoria Komova-Gold, Fan Yilin-Silver, Daria Spiridonova-Bronze. Daria had a few too many handstand errors to be further up, while Madison Kocian is possibly justifiable for a tied bronze. I think that while she is very dynamic, she has too many tiny form errors adding up such as leg separations/bent elbows. I'm not sure if this was visible on any streams, but each time a score came in, the big screen showed it against the current highest score, which was pretty cool. For bars they used a different 15.366 every time as current highest, but when Vika's score came in, she showed up against herself as the score to beat. Highlighted how very weird the whole thing was. Interesting podium ceremony to witness too! Very curious to know if there will be repurcussions from this...hopefully not future tie-breaking at worlds.

I went into beam without any high hopes, knowing that most finals these days have a ridiculously high number of falls. Even with that though, I held out for Wang Yan to medal and the Dutch girls not to fall. Eythora had the unwelcome draw of first-up, and had such a strange fall. Looked from my angle and from watching it back that it was salvageable, but I'm glad she even made the final and it was still a glorious routine, though a bit frightening when her head veered back near the beam after dismounting. The biggest shock from Viktoria Komova's routine wasn't that she had a major error, but that she didn't jump off in resignation like we are too used to seeing time after time. A nice routine otherwise with the usual gorgeous form, although it was overly hesitant. I can't enjoy watching her beam because it's too nerve-wracking and she rarely flows anymore. What was somewhat funny was the shock and negative reaction to her score from the crowd around us when her score came in, who seemed to have forgotten the major save and how costly they are. I've seen some comments around that the best part of the final or the 'real victory' of it was her not falling, which is really quite sad. Anyway, back to business of beam finals with more actual falls, from Ellie Black on her full twist, Wang Yan on her layout and Seda Tutkhalyan on her layout full. None of these were a surprise, all 3 have been splatting regularly all yearThey all seem fully capable of their high difficulty, but seem to get a bit lost in landing of their hard skills in a competitive setting. Hopefully they can rework things a bit, even downgrade, to get proper consistency.

Thankfully, we were graced with some hit routines. Simone Biles pretty much nailed everything, I was particularly pleased her 2.5 wolf had no wobbles and her Barani-once a vulnerable part of the routine-was completely secure, everything after that especially the super-flighty BHS-LOSO-LOSO series and practically stuck dismount was a bonus. Considering how sadly used we are to seeing several wobbles, broken connections and really hesitant work if not outright falls from top routines, it is such a relief to see such clean, difficult work in a flowing routine. Lieke Wevers, as the second qualifier, stepped up to the plate and delivered a gorgeous routine. Not quite as steady as she can do it, but it was much closer to her lovely quals routine than the messy TF one. Pauline Schaefer also had a nice routine -plenty of little wobbles-but nothing serious. It's well composed and impressive even without her own skill in it. I love this podium, but that was a rough final. Far too many falls and major errors. I'm over this quad's beam and looking forward to whatever FIG have in store for it after Rio.

Floor was such a great final routines-wise, so deep. But the podium...not happy with it at all. Simone Biles had yet another great routine and claimed gold by a mile, no arguments there, but silver and bronze are questionable. Ksenia Afanasyeva completed her tumbling and leaps with ease, not so much her turns though. She received 0.3 in d-score for a turn she did not complete, bearing in mind Shang Chunsong did not receive credit for a turn she did not complete. Both were obviously not around, so where was the consistency there? Afan's routine was a bit lacklustre by her old standards, little expression or enthusiasm and just dull, but it was the d-score that I had the major problem with. It didn't deserve to be in the top half of the scoreboard as a result. I would have put Sae Miyakawa in second- she had a glorious routine, super clean tumbling with only 2 slightly short landings to mar it and really and truly deserved a medal. Shang Chunsong had the floor routine of her life-such a pity she didn't complete the turn, but even with that, she deserved a slightly higher score. It seems like they are killing her for her legs/knees in twisting passes (which isn't even clear in real time), but not killing Maggie Nichols, whose leg form is much looser/untidier in her tumbles. Both were great, I would have had them tie or Shang barely ahead.

What does your floor podium look like? Who would you have put ahead on bars? What are they going to do with beam to fix it? This time exactly a week ago it was all over....aghhh the realisation that the next European worlds are FOUR YEARS AWAY...

I definitely have more stuff in my head to post, moreso reactions rather than rehashing competitions, in the next few days.


10 comments:

  1. It's funny that earlier in the year when Afan was just coming back Russia fans were up in arms about how she was going to challenge Biles. Well, I fucking called it. Afan did deserve silver though. Which turn are you contesting? She made all of them but dropped her heel which is treated differently from not being round. It's true that Miyakawa was very clean, but I wouldn't be surprised if her routine didn't leave a good impression. No artistry. :( Not that Afan's routine was artistic either. Maggie's was but she doesn't get deducted enough for form in her tumbling. As for Shang, I'm not too surprised she didn't make the podium.

    Beam didn't shock me one bit. I was hoping against hope that Seda and Eythora would triumph for once. Eythora falling was more disappointing than Seda, who is in way over her head. If people are saying their highlight was Vika not falling that is sad indeed.

    Already wrote about my views on WC. Perhaps more to come. http://theartofgymnastics.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-will-win-some-will-lose.html

    This has been a strange, traumatizing week for me so I'm trying to keep distracted. I'm in denial I guess...

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    1. I only have my phone to reply at the moment and really need my laptop for it, I am very sorry for your loss November. I hope grieving can be as painless as possible for you and filled with good memories.

      Afan wise, her Semenova was underrotated to me, as well as dropping her heel. I'm lacking in the technical department clearly but a lot of people have pointed this out also. Although she remains a great floor worker despite being devoid of any expression at all, I don't feel she was deserving of anything above 4th.

      Yep, beam was all too predictable sadly! Really looking forward to a time when gymnasts have the time and skill mastery to actually stay on the thing. I feel the 2005-08 code of 10 skills counting worked really well, less pressure to completely cram everything in.

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  2. Just a quick comment: It was Sanne Wevers in the beam final, not Lieke.

    Love your blog! Thanks for the thoughts.

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    1. Oops, Lieke's floor was sticking in my mind. Having a tired week! Will correct that, thank you.

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  3. I believe Catherine is contesting Afan's 2nd spin, the Semenova spin, which was connected to a double spin. She very clearly underrotates it, yet she got credit for both the spin and the resulting connection, yet Shang Chunsong did not get credit for her quad spin, even after an inquiry. This immediately stood out to me when I was watching the routines.

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    1. Yes, both turns were dodgy looking in real time, but the Semenova in particular stood out as a d-score gift. I have really been enjoying the relatively harsh beam and floor scores, so when someone is handed a gift it really stands out. Afan is a great floor worker and there's not much to take from her tumbles and leaps, but her turns were mehh and her expression and artistry was the worst in the final.

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  4. where is the next european worlds?

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    1. Stuttgart, Germany 2019. I may end up cracking and spending a fortune on flights to Montreal..

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  5. This has nothing to do with it but did Larissa Iordache do an amanar at the Swiss Cup? Because I was looking at her D-scores and it said 6.3 on vault but 14.9 seemed rather low for that. Any explanations?
    PS: If she did do an amanar feel free to leave a link to a video ;)

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  6. Thanks for the recap - I am mourning worlds being over.

    For vault, I was fine with the placements though at first I would have said Hong over Paseka, but after watching the distance/height variation, I could have gone either way. With bars, I loved the 4-way tie b/c it was crazy and fun. Daria's last handstand was really awful so I wasn't surprised that she didn't pass the other 3. I probably would have gone Komova/Kocian, Yalin and then Daria, but I'm not really certain. Clearly the judges weren't certain either. : ) For beam, the rankings couldn't be contested - Biles was the clear winner and it was fun to see the other two young ladies medal. Floor really had me wishing we could turn back time and give the judges another chance. I would have had Biles first (of course) and then Sae and Shang tied for silver with Afan in bronze. I felt so badly for Shang getting fourth again and I thought she deserved to medal.

    Anyways, so sad that Worlds is done!

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