I’m 99% sure that my co-writer is delivering her offspring. 3 days is probably the longest I’ve gone without talking to Clara. She said Aliya for a girl, Kohei for a boy. I’m sending her a bottle of tequila, a box of condoms, and this post as a celebratory gesture.
Anytime a major competition is decided by a few tenths, the gymnasticsphere turns into a circus. “Gymnast y was scored too high on this event, gymnast x was ripped off on that event.” It’s inevitable, and I’m guilty as well. It’s still annoying when people with minimal gymnastics knowledge slither out of the sewers once every 4 years to offer up their expertise.
Regardless of varying opinions on scores, I think the judges got the final standings right.
Right from rotation 1, vault ended up being the deal breaker. If Komova had the opportunity to do her vault over, I’m sure she’d jump at it. Komova took not 1, but 4 steps off to the side, eventually saluting off the mat. She could have saved a couple of steps, but that would have been too easy for her. Many whispered that Mustafina would throw the Amanar – luckily she didn’t. Her twisting form gets scrappier the more she twists, and the few tenths she may have picked up weren’t going to be worth the risk. Though knowing Aliya, she might have attempted to get through the rest of the competition in a wheelchair.
Predictably, we all knew that Raisman would drop in the standings after bars. How the judges can still justify that her gnarly routine is worth anywhere near a 14.3 is beyond my realm of comprehension. For those who insist that the Russians have been continuously overscored, I demand that you rewatch her abomination of a bars routine. Preferably in slow motion as punishment for such an inaccurate and biased observation.
Some thought it was suspicious that Gabby’s bars score rose a good .5 since earlier rounds, but Mustafina & Komova’s scores increased as well – Mustafina’s considerably. All 3 routines looked pretty much the same to me as in previous rounds, so I don’t think the judges were trying to throw anyone in particular a bone. Inflate 1, inflate 4, right?
Beam has been Aliya’s achilles heel since the start of the competition, and today was no different. I winced when she came off on the arabian. Rather than seize the opportunity, Raisman fell all over it – literally. Komova was gorgeous on beam with the exception of a couple of bobbles – nothing we’re not accustomed to. Her beam score has been questioned by some, but really, her individual skills are the cream of the crop, and virtually deductionless. The bulk of her deductions come from the inevitable wobble(s). If this gymnastics thing doesn’t work out, the girl really could teach a tutorial on how to do a proper sheep jump. Gabby wasn’t exactly flawless either, but made less mistakes (and more saves) than Komova, so the judges had no choice but to go up with her score.
Had Aliya stayed on the beam, I think she would have made more of an effort to nail all of her tumbling passes. Twisting form aside, it was still a lovely performance. It’s taken me awhile to warm up to her music, but it’s become one of my current favorite sets.
Raisman’s first tumbling pass seems to have become a problem for her. To me, it’s the only thing that makes her fkiir routine remotely special. It’s certainly not creative choreography, or her non-existent ability to at least hit cues of the music. Instead of a front layout tacked onto her double arabian, she took a bounding leap forward. Her (generous) 15.033 probably isn’t going to be enough to get her on top of the floor podium. Had she done the same routine as in qualifications, the bronze would have been hers outright rather than being decided by a toe-break.
Regarding the tie-breaker, I don’t like the rule. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of it until the competition ended. It seems somewhat silly in an All-Around competition to drop a score. All-Around is 4 events. But that’s the way the cookie crumbled. I wish that Aliya & Aly could both keep their bronze medals if for no other reason than for people to keep their yaps shut. If we want to get technical, Aliya fell off beam and had 3 other solid events. Aly fell on the beam, and performed a bars routine that had no place at a Parkette’s zone meet, let alone an Olympic All-Around Final. Aliya is the rightful owner of that medal under the rules, case closed.
What impressed me most about Komova’s floor besides the fact that she increased her score by 1.2 since qualifications, was it’s sheer quality. And under pressure. No lazy landings, no half-assed choreography. She ended the All-Around like a true champion with the most stunning floor routine of the evening. A personal best, if nothing else.
As far as the argument over artistry goes, though I prefer Komova’s style (balletic/very Russian) to Gabby’s (spunky/very American), under this code, it’s difficult to differentiate what is artistic and what isn’t. How many years of arguing have we dedicated to this very topic?
Gabby’s floor isn’t the kind of routine that I’m personally blown away by, but it’s the kind of performance that the fair-weather every 4 year fan really gets into (even my grandmother liked it). She works to suit her abilities (it’s not as if she’s trying to channel Mikhail Baryshnikov), and looks like she’s having fun out there. Plus, she’s cute. People eat that shit up.
There’s no denying that Komova is the more artistic gymnast of the two. But artistry isn’t what cost Vika the gold medal – it was the 4 steps she took after her vault. That wasn’t her most “artistic” moment.
You can’t reward one thing and ignore the other.
There’s a difference between being admittedly biased, and allowing your biasism (is that a word?) completely cloud reality. Gabby was simply the better gymnast yesterday.
Now for some awards.
My “dumb bitch of the day” award goes to Elfi Schlegal for referring to bars as Deng Linlin’s “best event.” Why, because she’s Chinese? Beam is her best event by far. That’s like me saying Kim Kelly has gorgeous split leaps.
The coveted “dick of the day” award goes to none other than John Geddert. He had the audacity to retweet this yesterday :
Clearly the judges want Komova to win. She has been over scored with large errors the entire Games. #olympics #gymnastics #facts
Retweeted by John Geddert
Didn’t the American girls have to attend media training? Where was he? That Grecian Formula that he doesn’t use nearly enough of must have soaked through what little brain cells he has left. So utterly classless. It’s not as if Alexandrov is signing up for a Twitter account and suggesting that Jordyn Wieber learns how to hit 180 degrees on a split leap.
My “comeback kid” award would have went to Aliya if she didn’t insist on stankin’ up her beam sets throughout the entire competition. Instead, it goes to Sandra Izbasa. I recall several readers finding Clara’s insistence that she could crack the top 5 humorous. Sure, Iordache and Jinnan weren’t nearly up to scratch, but Sandy performed well beyond all of out wildest expectations. 58.55 isn’t too shoddy of an All-Around total for a two-eventer.
See yinz in event finals.