August 1, 2012

Men's All-Around

In the Men's Team Final, we all became caught up in the "Boo, Chinese men!" tornado, and look where it got us. Let's make a pact not to make the same mistake with the "Boo, Kohei Uchimura!" tornado. He can win with a fall, especially because all his closest competitors excel in the "beautiful disaster" category. Unfortunately, Uchimura's inconsiderate performance on the first day means that he is in the second group, so we can't just follow the lead group from event to event the way we will be able to with the women.

In an expected change, Yamamuro is out because of the injury suffered during the Team Final. He will be replaced by K. Tanaka. I'm having a strong Uchimura, Hambuchen, Leyva podium feeling right now.

Competition begins at 11:30 ET/8:30 PT

Athlete introductions now. There's a lot of talent in that second group beyond Uchimura as well. Nguyen and Shatilov won't be medalists, but they can be the medalists of my heart.

Rotation 1:
Note that through introduction and warmups, Leyva and Orozco look like they wish they were dead. We start on floor with everyone's favorite baby linebacker Kristian Thomas - very strong routine on one of his better events, finishes with DbA with a hop forward. 15.566.

Jimmy Verbaeys, our last qualifier, on vault. Don't you just want to adopt him and take him shopping for underwear? Just me?

Orozco on floor - hits with a stuck 2.5 dismount, should be one of those solid low 15s. 15.433, well now.

Uchimura horse - swings very well and there's no handstand question on the dismount. That should help clear his way to the title.

Hambuchen floor - Very precise, that should be simiar to Orozco's score. 15.200. Well, close. My beautiful disasters are hitting so far. They better keep it up.

Belyavskiy goes OOB on the first pass and the third, and is having a few steps and low landings and leg form issues. This is the weakest execution we've seen on floor so far. "The penalty phase," Shannon? 14.466.

Leyva - good layout double double, he's working a bit faster than usual, these fake stag jumps out of passes almost make me long for women's fake dance elements out of passes. Almost. Good routine, minor hop on DLO.

Kuksenkova floor - stumbles back on his 2.5 dismount, beautiful long legs, but just a little lack of cleanliness throughout.

After one rotation, Kim leads because of vault, Thomas is second, Pozzo third, and Orozco fourth. As always, things will be a bit shaky until after the fourth rotation when everyone has vaulted. Nguyen already had a fall on horse and is in last, so we weep. K. Tanaka impresses on rings, but all this commentator knows about him is that there are three Tanakas, and he says it every time.

Did our PA announcer just say "hold onto your sandals?" Ryan Lochte's monotone keeps interrupting us, and I'm over it. He and Aly Raisman need voice modulation lessons.

Gymnastics pet peeve alert: "piece of apparatus." The British say this a lot and need to stop. It's an apparatus, or a piece, but not a piece of apparatus.

Rotation 2:
Orozco on horse - pretty much a disaster. Form, form, form everyone before he gets caught on the leather before dismount. It'll be low. 12.566, so he's out.

Uchimura rings - Are we okay with back arch in handstands on rings? I'm not super happy about it, but it's a great routine with a hop forward on dismount.

Hambuchen horse - he gets through, so we can breathe a little easier, just a 13.266 though, so he must have been hit significantly for something I missed or didn't recognize. Uhhhh.

Note: I want one of the Ukraine jackets.

Tanaka hits a strong vault, Tsuk double, followed by Belyavskiy on horse now, gets through with some leg breaks.

They're showing Kim on pbars because he's the leader, but he's not awesome on this event.

Leyva on horse - was looking good, but the hips dropped on the dismount. Sigh. My beautiful disasters screwed it up on horse, that's for sure. 13.500. Oh, America.

Enrico Pozzo on pbars - Shannon is really proud of herself that she knows what a Teppelt is. She always identifies it. Big pause on one bar, but otherwise clean.

Kuksenkova horse - a few breaks on these travels, simple dismount.

Even though he's in 4th, Uchimura is killing everyone because he hasn't vaulted yet. Vernaiev is currently in the lead. Belyavskiy and Kuksenkov should feel at least OK about their positions.

Thomas horse - the British move very deliberately on this event, near wonkiness on the dismount, but he will be right up there as well. Orozco will be in last, which Hambuchen and Shatilov just above him. Thomas is in 7th, which is a great spot for him right now with his vault still to come.

Also, Shannon doesn't know how to pronounce "skewed." I hope she continues to say it as much as possible.

Rotation 3:
In rotation three, our lead group goes to rings, and Uchimura's band of mummers goes to vault.

Uchimura vault - very, very nice. Stuck Y2.5, let's see if his execution score is higher than Maroney's. It probably will be since men's vault execution is so much more lenient than women's. Ooh, 16.266, so the execution score was lower. 9.666.

14.833 for Garibov with a poor landing. Nguyen follows on vault with a pretty nice Y2.5 with a step to the side. The commentator thinks the gymnasts are moths and that they are drawn to a light on right side of the vault. What?

No major execution faults for Kim on hbar, Leyva on rings starts well and finishes with a stick. Wobbly handstands were the only problem there.

Whoever is directing this broadcast loves our Italian Pozzo, legs are all over the pace in this routine in a Diana Chelaru kind of way, hop on dismount.

Vernaiev on pbars, too many corrections. Thomas on rings, not horizontal in some of these supports, very shaky, not his happiest event, we know, but he endured. BoJo looking like he was just dipped in custard as usual. Thomas still gets a 14.633.

Our commentator seems surprised that Uchimura is going to win. Why?

Orozco rings, why is Shannon pretending he can get into the medals? Good dismount, though. It's a nice routine overall.

At halfway, Uchimura leads by .4 over Tanaka, .5 over Vernaiev, and 1.0 over Kim, none of whom will stick around. Great position, though, for Purvis and Thomas in 5th and 7th. Nguyen has recoved up to tenth, and my awesome Hambuchen/Leyva prediction is festering down at the bottom of the pile.

Rotation 4:
Our leaders move to vault and Uchimura moves to pbars. Leyva and Orozco on vault, can they manage today?

Leyva gets a 15.566, which should help his 17th place position. If he's great the rest of the way, he could still break 90. Kim had a disaster on floor, which will push him back significantly as expected. Like Vernaiev and Tanaka, his best events are already behind him. Vernaiev's 14.300 on hbar will keep him up for now, but it is not nationally competitive and will hurt him later.

Thomas on vault - takes a fall on his Y double pike. So sad, but we still have Purvis, right?

Nguyen hits a great pbars routine with difficult dismount. He moves ahead of Vernaiev with that score. 15.833.

Tanaka on hbar, saves a handstand but muscles it, sticks double double layout. Very nice day so far, and he'll be right up near the top with horse still to endure.

Sasaki hits pbars, and Purvis follows, big breaks in the first two skills and then a fall. Completely off from the beginning. Brits will have to wait for the first day of event finals.

Uchimura pbars - perfectly clean here, good amplitude and handstands, buta low landing on dismount with multiple hops. Shouldn't be a problem.

After 4 rotations, Uchimura, Tanaka, and Nguyen are our leaders, with Leyva in 11th and Orozco in 13th.

I love the PA announcer explaining each event like he's giving instructions about the rides at Disneyland. "Remain seated please. Permanecer sentados por favor."

Rotation 5:
 Vernaiev on ver-floor - tumbles out of bounds on a side pass, this is not a strength. Shannon still thinks it's a great routine.

Nguyen on hbar - not a ton of difficulty, some bent arms, but a nice Kovacs full, I'd like off for legs in a lot of places, well stuck dismount.

Leyva pbars - there was one handstand position I wasn't happy with and a hop on dismount, but it was better than qualification, certainly. 15.833 is big

Tanaka on floor - takes a fall on his second to last pass, which should take him out of his current position, but who knows? 14.166 seems high.

Kukesenkov on pbars, love that he does a double front, but the legs are a little insane. Solid but not more than solid.

Thomas pbars - it's a little sluggish in a Jordyn Wieber on bars kind of way, sticks the double pike.

Uchimura on hbar - a hit will basically guarantee it at this point. Perfectly stuck dismount, best releases he's had in the competition so far, and no one will be close to him going into the last rotation.

Hambuchen on pbars - He's having a bad night, which I should obviously have expected but didn't because I didn't want to, hits routine with a low double pike dismount with hops.

Belyavskiy gets an important score over 15 to help him move into 4th place. Hitting hbar enough to stay ahead of Kuksenkov or Leyva and pass Tanaka will be the question. Nguyen is looking very good for a medal right now.

After 5:
1. Uchmira - 77.590
2. Tanaka - 75.974
3. Nguyen - 75.731
4. Belyavskiy - 75.531
5. Kuksenkova - 75.366
6. Leyva - 74.998

Rotation 6:
Shannon says Nguyen "puts a good face on the sport." Well done. The feed is denying us Shatilov. How dare they?

Kuksenkov on hbar, little struggle out of Kovacs full, overwise he is quite clean, minor hop on the dismount. 15.066 for him, which is about what he might have expected.

Tanaka on horse - breaks and comes off. Unfortunately, we all knew it was coming. Another minor break, but it will be very low. 13.433. No medal.

Orozco on hbar, trying to salvage something like 7th, a fine routine, but ever since qualification, he's just looked a little sloppy everywhere in addition to the falls. 14.966.

Hambuchen hbar - takes a fall pretty early on, sigh upon sighs. Bad day.

Uchimura floor - takes a fall on his second pass, but it shouldn't matter. Weird, though, after the day he was having. He had almost two points over Nguyen, and the rest of it is a hit routine.15.100 with a fall.

Belyavskiy on hbar - he has medal hopes with a nice score. Not a ton of difficulty here. Lowish landing. Not enough to pass Kuksenkov, so he won't medal.
Don't look now, but Leyva can medal if he hits hbar to his capability. He needs a 15.435 to pass Kuksenkov, and 15.8s is within his range.

Leyva on hbar - hits his Liukin, lovely layout tkatchev, just a step on landing. Let's wait for this score. It could be very close. 15.700! He will medal.

Nguyen floor - needs to hit for silver. Lovely clean routine, just a bounce back on dismount, and it will be silver for him.

Uchimura gold, Nguyen silver, Leyva bronze. So my premonition was 2 for 3, and I got the right country for silver (ha). I just misread the tea leaves slightly. It happens. The spirits are not always clear. Thrilled for all the medalists.


  1. I'll be so happy if Hambuchen gets a medal! I'll be white-knuckling his high bar routine for sure.

    China's Guo Weiyang had an opportunity to compete due to someone withdrawing but also withdrew. Didn't want to shake, rattle and roll over 6 apparatuses?

    LMAO @ Uchimura's "beautiful disaster" competitors.

    His TF PH dismount was beautifully disastrous, though I like to attribute his fall to the collective British spirit knocking him over. And he starts on PH. That will be a gauge of his boss-ness.

    Looking forward to watching the stream and your live blog!

  2. Leyva got HAMMERED on pommel horse, yikes. Poor John too, I can't help but wonder how Sam would have fared if he had done AA.

  3. Oh, and Uchimura's vault rivals Maroney's in terms of form. Damn that was amazing.