You’ve seen my thoughts on the Men’s Event Finals and to follow up, here’s my take on the Women’s…
Vault: Congratulations to Hong Un Jong who was able to capitalize on the mistake of Cheng Fei, the Gold Medal favorite prior to the finals. A first for North Korea – well done.
Like most everyone else, I was thrilled with Oksana Chusovitina’s silver. Her form seemed somewhat improved to me and her landings were spot on. Doesn’t she normally compete a Tsuk 1.5 for her second vault? That’s what I was expecting anyway and was impressed to see her pull out the double. I hope she continues on to 2012 as she’s been quoted as saying. What an amazing feat that would be!
As anyone who has read my blog will know, I am not at all a fan of an athlete falling and yet winning a medal over someone who did not fall. So I obviously did not agree with places 3 & 4 in the final. Alicia Sacramone hit two clean vaults. Yes, they are not as difficult as Cheng Fei‘s but Cheng fell on her second vault. Sacramone should have had the Bronze. And who didn’t want to Sacramone have success in the final after the rough day she had in the Team Finals? She deserved to medal here and she didn’t.
Bars: Everyone has been going on and on about the bizarre tie-breaker that gave Nastia Liukin the Silver to He Kexin’s Gold. Yes, it was a strange outcome. And I thought Nastia’s routine was better that day. But did anyone else think that Yang Yilin should have taken the Gold? She nailed her routine, had the same start value as Liukin and He (7.7), and she rocked her dismount. What were the deductions for? Regardless, it was a great final.
I also liked seeing Beth Tweddle’s routine. She seemed a tad rushed throughout but she still hit for 4th place. With her ridiculously high start value (7.8!) she almost snuck onto the podium.
Beam: Shawn Johnson finally got a gold here. She hit a near perfect routine and her high A score ultimately put her ahead of Nastia Liukin, who also hit an impeccable set. It was great to see her come out on top here. With three silver medals, I thought Shawn was incredibly gracious in defeat all week but as she said herself:
“Of course, when you’re training your whole life to get to the Olympics, you train for gold,…”
It was great to see her big smile again and to at last have that elusive gold medal.
As for the bronze medal, I wanted to see it go to Russia’s Anna Pavlova. Both she and Cheng Fei had small errors in their routines but I preferred Pavlova’s set overall. They were so close – they had the same difficulty score and their execution scores were only separated by 0.05. Tough call. Who did you think should have had the third spot behind the Americans?
Floor: With Sandra Izbasa taking the Gold, Shawn Johnson the Silver, and Nastia Liukin the Bronze, what an incredible Floor final. I think any one of those 3 could have wound up taking the Gold. Izbasa had the highest difficulty and Liukin the highest execution score. It was fun to watch. And good to see Romania get a gold medal. Doesn’t quite seem like the Olympics if Romania isn’t in the mix, does it?
It was difficult to see Cheng Fei and Anna Pavlova struggle on this event after they both had trouble on Vault but otherwise it was a good final.