First, some Tokyo quotes of the week :
“I’m finally watching the coverage and I wonder if it’s a coincidence the fact that my kitten walked away from the computer after Nabieva’s vault. Well, kitten seemed enthralled by Tweddle’s FX so her taste is not trustworthy. Maybe gymnastics is not her thing.” – LysGartis from WWGym
“Lauren Mitchell was certainly quick with the d-score inquiries. A girl doesn’t jump out of every tumbling pass for nothing. And a few extra tenths added to your skanky bars routine isn’t going to help that horrific leo or your team from imploding.” – Bronwyn Sanders
Initially, Clara & I both had Dementyeva as our All-Around bronze medallist. She was so shitty in podium training (but so were the rest of the Russians), that I demanded we wait until after qualifications to see if she’d even qualify. Low and behold, she did not. IG reported that she had a 103-degree fever prior to the competition, so we’ll let it slide this time.
On with the predictions.
Bronwyn’s All-Around podium :
1. VIKTORIA KOMOVA
2. JORDYN WIEBER
3. ALY RAISMAN
As much as I’d like to sneak our homegirl Afanasyeva onto the podium, I don’t think it’s going to happen. If this were 2009, perhaps. She looks to be in the best shape of her life (and sporting some Jersey Shore blonde hair may I add), but has unfortunately been surpassed by the youngins. I was quite impressed by her 2-event performance in TF’s, but she’s going to need more than low 14’s on bars and beam if she has any chance.
Komova is suffering from pain in her calves, and looked like a walking corpse in team finals. I suggest she gets some much-needed R & R, and maybe a happy meal from the kid’s menu to regroup.
If she performs like she did in qualifications, it’s hers. What pisses me off about Komova is that when something isn’t absolutely perfect, she gives up, and she just goes through the motions for the rest of the routine.
At various points during team finals, I wasn’t sure whether she was ready to laugh or cry. She seemed to do a little of both (because falling off beam in team finals is hilarious). She’s giving Nabieva a run for her money on who has more personalities. Some people don’t like Mustafina’s diva-tude, but Aliya doesn’t give up. She’s a fighter. She needs to take Viktoria under her wing and teach her to FIGHT for her skills. But let us not forget that she still is very much a KID.
Let’s pray that this doesn’t happen again (Christine : “Look at that! But look at THAT!”) :
It pains me to put Raisman on the podium. I don’t think of her as a true All-Around gymnast (like Komova or Wieber), but the girl is a rock. She’ll hit the shit out of her routines, and narrowly sneak past Yao Jinnin. I’m going to predict a meltdown or 2 from Huang Quishuang. Her bars are a shadow of their former selves, and I’m not even talking about the fall in team finals. The handstands are icky and she just looks plain tired, muscles through it. And it’s not as if she can crack a 14 on floor.
Clara’s All-Around podium :
1. VIKTORIA KOMOVA
2. JORDYN WIEBER
3. HUANG QUISHUANG
Revamping since Dementyeva didn’t qualify, I’ll go for Huang Qiushuang for the bronze. Raisman isn’t going to keep getting those gifts on bars and beam (although I said that before TFs, and look what they managed to give her on beam). Yao Jinnan will be knackered out after having to do all 4 events in TF’s. Huang Qiushuang has to come good sometime, doesn’t she?
As for the gold/silver, I had initially thought Komova would throw the Amanar and Wieber would fall on something. I don’t think that now. I think they’ll both go 4 for 4. If that happens, Vika will win.
It may be worth noting that no US gymnast has yet hit all 4 routines in TF’s and then in the AA, under 6-3-3 (Johnson was short on both her Amanar’s in ‘08, she just happened to get away with it). It’s not an easy thing to do. But if anyone can do it, Jordyn can. That was a spectacularly consistent performance in TFs. I was very impressed with her clear head and calmness. She’s got the big match temperament alright.
Importantly, I predict that once again, Mother Russia will have the nicest leos. Loved what they were wearing for TFs.
-Bronwyn & Clara