On a less optimistic note, this is the stuff that had us throwing our own faeces at the wall in distress.
In particular, the women’s vault final. It was obviously awful to see Chantysha Netteb being carried off injured- it’s always gutting, but it seems particularly upsetting and unfair when it happens to an athlete who may only have the one chance at the big stage. But in retrospect, it’s actually a great relief that she was the only one. Pena and Phan both threw actively dangerous vaults and risked serious injury doing so. Both of their coaches need their heads banging together.
That said, the Pena situation is at least partially the fault of the code. The handspring double front, rightly, is a very well rewarded vault. It’s extremely difficult, and although some argue it shouldn’t be in the WAG code at all, I disagree. We have already seen that a woman can do it brilliantly, and so the Produnova is and should be an option for other women.
However, although it’s very hard, it’s also not that difficult, in the grand scheme of things, to do it badly. You just need:
a) lots of power
b) a death wish
c) no better options
If, like Yamilet Pena and Fadwa Mohamed of Egypt, you possess all three of these, it’s actually kind of a no brainer. You just throw a running double front that makes momentary contact with the vault and bam, a berth in a worlds final could be yours.
For that to get 14.9, better than most DTYs, is just fucked up. Unless maybe they gave her a D score boost for the forward roll at the end. Which I could totes get on board with.
And this is why the code needs to be changed in order to disincentivize this approach. Because the current state of affairs isn’t working, and the proof is in the pudding. Or the Produnova, in this case.
2. Larisa Iordache
Love her, but this lack of consistency is starting to get wearing now. I could understand pissing away either her AA bronze or beam gold, but not both. Obviously in each case, Saint Aliya was the beneficiary, and that’s always ok. But it’s hard to dispute that it would have been better for the sport if we’d had a world beam champion with a bhs full as her acro series, instead of a front walkover. Even if it was one of the most hilarious moments since Boginskaya took the piss out of Kerri Strugg’s floor routine while she was still performing it.
So with that in mind, I’m going to give her one more year to get her shit together before despairing of her entirely. Are you up to the challenge, Larisa? Please don’t make me disown you. Your choreo and dance on floor was the tits.
We always knew that the post-Tweddle era was going to be tough. And so it was.
Aliya showed initial promise with that cool as balls Shap full, but didn’t quite live up to that in the final. So we ended up with another fucking foetus, and this one is boring. I don’t mind China cheating lavishly (and kudos to Marta Karolyi, for once, for her impressively catty estimate of Huang Huidan’s age. I suppose the bitch does have a redeeming feature after all).
The awesomeness, it burns.
But alas, this didn’t save the final. It was still a let down. I have nothing against Simone Biles, but you know there’s a problem when she ranks 4th in the world (and in fairness, she was lucky enough to make the final in the first place). Team GB brought it East Germany style in prelims, with awesome innovation, and for a time we dared to hope they might bring home a medal. But Downie reverted to type, and Ruby Harrold wantonly and deliberately wore a non Big 4 leotard in an EF, so she deserved the screwing she got. She was never going to get on the podium, but for her to score lower than Yao Jinnan with a fall was pretty fucking pathetic.
1. Russia’s entire squad more or less imploding prior to Antwerp. When you’re putting Nabieva and Rodionova on major teams, something just isn’t right. This is truly the most physically unhealthy team we’ve seen in a long time. Meningitis for Komova, a pinched nerve in Grishina’s back – both were hospitalized. Afanasyeva’s ankle surgery; though her ankles have always been dodgy, the timing is just plan inconvenient. Coulda/shoulda/woulda been FX World title #2. Paseka pulling out last-minute with back problems. And finally, the Rodionenko’s in general. Their mere presence puts a damper on the morale of the entire team.
2. Dead horse alert. But it has to be said. Aliya’s ever-deteriorating twisting form. It’s gone from crossed ankles to straight up overlapping limbs ever since the injury. She truly looks like an (albeit better-looking) upside-down Tanya Harding. Triple salchows and shit. At this point in the game, she’s losing more in execution than she’s gaining in difficulty. There’s very little to deduct from her dance, and the first/last passes. If she can manage to sneak the quad and triple Memmel turns around in the same routine, she can get away with 3 passes – saving our corneas from at least one of the middle eyesores.
3. Becky Downie continuing her never-ending pursuit for best head case ever.
I swear if she hit her otherwise marvellous bars routine under pressure, I’d shit rainbows and unicorns.
(Clara- I love how she’s basically waiting to fall. It’s like when Komova used to build in time to her beam set to wobble after the sheep jump).