Worlds Predictions cont’d : Vault & Bars

VAULT

Bronwyn :

1. Maroney

2. Chusovitina

3. Steingruber

With the exception of Maroney, and with Alicia out, this will probably be the most vile of podiums. Maroney has the most exceptional Amanar I’ve ever seen, and this title should be served to her on a gold platter.

Barbosa has clean vaults, but the difficulty just isn’t there. And her poor wrist is being held together by the sheer power of God. Since this code favors difficulty (and injuries) over execution, I expect Chuso and Steingruber to round out the podium.  I can overlook Oksana’s helicopter legs given that she’s old enough to be Maroney’s mother. She simply shouldn’t be able to still do this.

Clara

1. Maroney

2. Chusovitina

3. Pena

That old sock with piles Marta Karoyli has a lot of things to answer for, but the worst of them is forcing me to redo my predictions. I had a big spiel done about Maroney v Sacramone, but of course that’s fallen by the wayside now. And to think I was worried about McKayla’s back holding up long enough. With less than 12 hours to go, I think she should be ok. I hope!

This is looking to be a fascinatingly multinational final. Vault typically sees more countries represented than any other event, but this year is unusual even in that context. It’s not so uncommon to see eight different flags in the final. It is uncommon for two of them to be Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. I can’t think of a single other time when athletes from four different countries in the Americas were represented in one EF. Big the fuck up in particular to Thi Ha Thanh Phan, who is now Asia’s top vaulter! And you thought Do Thi Ngan Thuong getting thrown out of the Olympics for doping was the pinnacle of Vietnamese gym, didn’t you?

Anyways, this is clearly Maroney’s to lose. Her Amanar in TFs was sumptuous. Highest score of the day, and totally deserved. Even if she fucks up a little, as she did in qualifying, she still has a comfortable advantage.

In prelims Yamilet Pena was a total revelation. She pulled a Produnova- a handspring double front. Ok, nobody is quite sure how she didn’t die trying, and apparently all the ones she did in warmups would’ve been 0s, but whatever, it got her to the final. I’m predicting a medal for her here, but I also think there’s a distinct possibility that she’ll pull a no vault. If so, expect Barbosa to jump in there. And of course, another minor medal for Oksana Chusovitina. It would be lovely to see her share a podium with her biological granddaughter Tatiana Nabieva, but I don’t think our Nabz quite has the difficulty. Well she does, but she won’t get credited for it.

BARS

Bronwyn :

1. Komova

2. Dufournet

3. Nabieva

With Tweddle & He Kexin out, this is Komova’s to lose. She’s been nearly flawless on bars throughout the competition, so I’m hoping she can piece one more routine together. She can’t leave this competion without a gold medal, and this is her best shot.

Dufournet is gorgeous on this event; she has some of the best swing, rythm, and fluidity of the entire meet. Whether she goes for the Def or not remains to be seen. She’s either going to play it safe or go for broke.

I’m one of few people that likes Nabieva’s routine minus her skill. Sure, it’s not super-spectacular without it, but she’s made great strides in tidying up. We’re not going to see her in London, so a farewell bars-bronze would be a nice kiss goodbye from our beloved Nabsies.

Clara :

1. Komova

2. Nabieva

3. Douglas

Well, my initial podium involved He Kexin, Tweddle, and Wu Liufang. That went well. Revamp it is.

Komova is the class of this field, since the other high scorers all contrived to fail at the first hurdle. If she doesn’t make a major error, she is unbeatable. Scoring was tight in prelims, aside from at the very end, but a bit less so in TF’s. With that in mind, I don’t think Dufournet would necessarily come 2nd with a hit routine in an EF situation. I do think she’ll throw the Def. That could be a good or bad thing. Look out for Stoi! favourite Gabby Douglas, who started out as an alternate (because Marta is a stupid sack of shit) but hasn’t put a foot wrong all championships. And our Nabz, who appears to have become consistent all of a sudden. Are we looking at the same woman?

It will be a mostly clean final, with a lot of score bunching from 2nd to about 6th.

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