List of qualifiers here.
We had to revamp this after qualifications. Never in our wildest dreams (or nightmares) would Aly Raisman qualify to all-around finals, but what’s done is done. Bronwyn thought that Jordyn’s beam & floor scores were a little on the stingy side, but no need for excuses. We don’t like the 2-per-country rule either (does anyone?), but this rule has been intact long before the games began. We also knew that there would be a chance that Jordyn would be bumped from finals. The less we talk about it, the better. The media eats this shit up, and we don’t want a big black cloud raining over the rest of the festivities.
Clara would just add the following points: firstly, that an athlete who broke 60 AA for a programme that included a messy bars set, an OOB on floor, and a beam set that connected virtually nothing has not been screwed, by any stretch of the imagination. And secondly, that the way gymnasts from other countries were scored has nothing to do with Wieber’s plight. She is out purely and simply because of her own teammates. As such, anyone wanting to bitch would do well to start with Raisman’s stunning overscore on floor.
And now to the main event.
With Wieber out, and Yao Jinnan and Larisa Iordache carrying injuries and looking very underwhelming in qualifications, this field seems to have lost a bit of it’s luster. But rather than dwelling on what coulda/shoula been, we make due with what we have. There is potential for a stunning podium – while it’s a damn shame that Grishina isn’t there and that Raisman defeated the much more watchable Wieber, what gymfan wouldn’t love a Mustafina, Douglas and Komova smackdown?
Clara : Pre-competition, my thoughts were that the depth of this field was very exciting. There looked to be more legitimate medal contenders than there have been for a long time; in 2008, there were really only 3 – and the question was just which order they’d finish. In 2004 there were 2 in the running for gold, 2 for bronze, and that was it. 2012 seemed different.
Clearly we will never going to see all the medal contenders in the final, thanks to the 2-per-country rule. Contrary to what some would believe, it was not invented purely to screw over Jordyn Wieber (indeed, per country limits were initially a response to Soviet dominance and the 2 berth rule was introduced following Romania’s clean sweep in Sydney. The teams who have suffered most because of it have been Eastern European). I had fully expected that Iordache + 2 US + 2 Chinese + 2 Russians would feature, all of whom could be potential medallists. That’s not going to happen now.
Poor Yao Jinnan doesn’t look healthy enough to be able to get through anything other than bars, though I respected the shit out of her save on floor the other day. She only qualified 3rd on her team because of this, and while China could sub her in for Deng Linlin, I fondly hope they’ll know when to give up. Iordache isn’t quite there either. Badly timed injuries are a terrible thing.
Anyways, this would appear to be Komova’s to lose. If she hits, nobody can beat her. I seem to have written this before, but qualifying in first place even with one notably underpar set is very impressive. I don’t expect her to actually hit floor – if she did, 14.5 would be plausible – but it would be realistic and reasonable to require a bit less of a quitters try on the final landing.
My suspicion is that we will see Komova v Douglas for gold, then Mustafina v Raisman for bronze. Of the four, Raisman is the only one who doesn’t have room to improve significantly from her prelims performance: the other three all had one weak routine that could easily score a point higher. It’s possibly notable that the two least consistent are the frontrunners. While Komova and Douglas will be ahead of their teammates if they go 4 for 4, they’re also both very capable of a beam fall and/or a floor mishap. Raisman likes to fuck up bars in World AA finals, but of course this isn’t Worlds. Don’t rule out Mustafina taking the big title simply on the basis that she hits better than the others. If I had to bet my house on one of them not falling or failing, it would be her.
Gym fans are talking about Mustafina needing an Amanar to win. No, she doesn’t. She’s not going to get more than a few more tenths tacked onto her DTY score, so why risk injuring herself? Her bars cancel out her lack of an Amanar.
Where she needs to make up the points from preliminaries (and Team Finals) is on beam.
That (generous) 14.7 would have been a 15.2’ish without the myriad of wobbles and broken connections.
Still, her 60.2 from Team Finals was an improvement on her preliminaries score, and with a biffed beam set.
She was most impressive last night on floor exercise – that routine has really grown on me.
Like in Tokyo, this seems like Komova’s to lose. What annoys me the most about Komova’s otherwise stunning work is the way she flakes out on landings. On floor, she takes a step (or several), throws her arms down, and walks to the corner. Also true of how she works on beam. If it isn’t 100% perfect, she makes no effort in covering it up. At least if Mustafina is going to take a step, she dresses it up and minimizes the deduction.
Now that she’s safely vaulting the Amanar, she should be the leader after two rotations. I’m almost expecting some form of disaster in the last two rotations, but if she can make it through beam and floor relatively unscathed, she should be right in there for the title.
Who would have thought prior to the competition that Gabby Douglas would be the picture of consistency? My question with her is whether or not she’ll be able to keep it up, and how much I she has in team. Will she be able to hit when it’s for herself? I see her narrowly trailing Komova after vault and bars. They’re both fantastic on beam when they hit. Can Gabby make it 3 in a row? Where she has the edge on Komova is floor – she’s capable of 15’s when she’s on, or > 14 when she’s off, like she was in preliminaries. In order for Komova or Mustafina to top the podium, they’re going to need to be nearly flawless, and hope Gabby has some type of catastrophic mistake.
Clara’s “dream” All-Around podium :
1. Aliya Mustafina
2. Viktoria Komova
3. Gabby Douglas
But these three in any order would be more than acceptable. Iordache just doesn’t look like she can do it.
Bronwyn’s “dream” All-Around podium :
1. Viktoria Komova
2. Aliya Mustafina
3. Gabby Douglas
Clara’s “actual” All-Around podium :
1. Gabby Douglas
2. Aliya Mustafina
3. Aly Raisman
Bronwyn’s “actual” All-Around podium”
1. Gabby Douglas
2. Viktoria Komova
3. Aliya Mustafina
Startlist for tomorow is posted here.
Top group :
Vault : Douglas, Raisman, Komova, Ferrari, Deng, Mustafina
Bars : Raisman, Komova, Ferrari, Deng, Mustafina, Douglas
Beam : Komova, Ferrari, Deng, Mustafina, Douglas, Raisman
Floor : Ferrari, Deng, Mustafina, Douglas, Raisman, Komova