And now, only a week after Part One.
1. Germany. What the actual fuck? We confidently predicted that their beam meltdown in prelims was a one off, but apparently not. Chusovitina’s silver represents the minimum acceptable standard from them, though of course she is, was and will remain a legend. They’ve shown nothing this year that suggests they might qualify for the Olympic team final.
2. Maria Paseka. Her championship consisted of three vaults and she only hit one of them properly. Admittedly, the one was in TFs when it counted, and was ok.
But all in all, not a vintage display. It isn’t easy to excuse her failure to make the EF, and the bronze was very much up for grabs if she’d only got her shit together. She didn’t. This makes her at least part of the reason for Mother Russia’s disappointing individual medal haul.
This is all of dubious relevance though, ultimately. Whatever had happened here, be it crash or burn, she’ll go to London if she has an Amanar and won’t if she doesn’t.
3. France. The only one of the Big 4 Western European teams to leave empty handed, and it isn’t like Dufournet wasn’t presented with two beautiful opportunities. Three, in some ways, as she ought to have made the vault final too. They’ll need much more from their team leader going into London.
4. The beam final. What a shit show. Falls from 5 of the 8 competitors. Europe as a continent is disgraced. Relive all of the fug of beam finals (starting a 5:20) :
Even the Romanian pair both showed relatively weak routines by their standards. That wobble after the leap is probably the closest Ponor’s come to falling off beam in her entire senior career. Please, nobody try and pretend that exhibition fall in 2003 has any kind of relevance.