Friday, May 3, 2013

Oleg Verniaiev Recapped: The All-Around at the 2013 EuropeanChampionships

In case you missed the European Championships, here are the results:

  1. David Belyavskiy, Russia– 89.799
  2. Max Whitlock, Great Britain– 89.106
  3. Oleg Verniaiev, Ukraine– 88.398
  4. Oleg Stepko, Ukraine– 88.098
  5. Daniel Purvis, Great Britain– 86.732

And here is part of my recap of the all-around final. (You can find links to the rest at the bottom of the page.)

3. Oleg Verniaiev

HOLY TRAMP-OLY! Oleg Verniaiev sure gets around, doesn't he?

Since the beginning of March, Oleg has competed in the American Cup, the Internationaux de France, the Zakharova Cup, the Tokyo Cup, and now the European Championships.

Unfortunately, the fatigue of so many competitions affected Oleg's performance at the European Championships. His very first routine of the all-around finals looked somewhat laden. Sure, his rings routine has some impressive strength parts. He opens with an Azarian roll to a Maltese and an uprise to a Maltese into an iron cross--a sequence that neither Belyavskiy nor Whitlock can do. But his body positions were not as precise as they usually are. His feet were too low on his first Maltese, and his shoulders were much too low on his iron cross. Later in the routine, his shoulders rose way too high on his "whip it" cross, and on his full-twisting double layout dismount, he took a rather sizable step back.

While Oleg's 14.733 was the highest rings score of the all-around finals, it was his lowest rings score of the 2013 season. (At the Tokyo Cup and the Zakharova Cup, he broke the 15 mark on rings.)

We quickly forgot about that misstep when Oleg rotated to vault where he totally DRAGULATED his competition!
This is not a good look for Oleg…

Yup, Oleg Verniaiev nailed the crap out of his DRAGulescu! (Sorry, I'm in a punny mood this morning.) Just watch it and love it.

YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!! 15.5! The judges loved that vault more than female gymnasts love butt glue.

You know what else the judges loved? Oleg's parallel bars. At the very beginning of the routine, I was worried. He had an archy pirouette out of his peach basket. But when he hit his single-rail handstand, I knew that the judges were going to slurp up this routine. I mean, LOOK AT THOSE LINES!

Aoooaaaooo! (I don't know how to appropriately onomatopoeticize a gymgasm. Any thoughts?) I imagine that the judges were doodling little hearts all over their notepads as they watched Oleg's routine. 15.666.

That score was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing in the sense that it was the highest p-bar score of the all-around finals. It was a curse in the sense that… well, look at the last 3 digits of that score again.
 6 6 6

The sign of the devil! The god of averages had cursed Oleg!

Possessed by the forces of evil--perhaps the same ones that possessed Kohei Uchimura during the London team finals--Oleg had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad high bar rotation. He legit missed every pirouette. His Yamawaki 1/2 barely squeaked over the bar--not unlike a Tkatchev on the uneven bars circa 1983. And he nearly flossed his teeth with his toe nails on his dismount.

The end result was a 14.1 routine, which was several tenths lower than his competitors who had scored in the 14.6 range. Given that performance, it was not surprising that Oleg was trailing David Belyavskiy by 0.767 after four events. But there was still hope, right? I mean, doesn't Oleg's toe point spray magical pixie dust? Yeah… no. Not during the all-around finals.

At the end of Oleg's first pass on floor, he did a back bounce out of his Korobchynski (a stretched Thomas). That's fun to do if you're on a Tumbl Trak or trampoline. But on the floor? Not so much After that, Oleg connected his front double full to a tuck-ish front full. (Seriously, what was that?) And if that weren't enough, coming out of his 2.5, he did the world's longest barani, which launched him out of bounds.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you how Oleg's routine ended because the cameraman decided to be artsy and creative and switch angles to this:

Brilliant. Just brilliant. That's EXACTLY what I wanted to see. I'm assuming Oleg's triple full (?) was not the second coming of Henrietta Onodi because he received a 14.333, placing him 0.566 behind Max Whitlock and 0.834 behind David Belyavskiy.

During the final rotation, Oleg was the last of the leaders to compete. After David scored a 14.633 on rings and Max a 14.208, Oleg needed a 15.467 to tie for first and a 14.774 to tie for second. Seeing as Oleg's high score on pommel horse was a 15.45, I had my doubts about catching David, but seeing as he usually scores 15+ on the apparatus, I thought that the silver medal was within reach.

Let it be known that if I were this emotionally invested in an American male gymnast and if he were rotating to pommel horse, I would turn off my computer, find a quiet corner in my apartment, and rock back and forth whilst clinging to my cardboard cutout of Shannon Miller. But this is Oleg Verniaiev. I mean, c'mon! Like most European all-arounders, he doesn't suck at this event.

Famous last words, Uncle Tim. Famous last words…

After nailing the crap out of his scissors to handstand on one pommel, he had a leg break on his one-pommel work, and shortly thereafter, he fell on his Wu!

OH, THE PAIN! I hadn't felt this much sympathy for another human being since Josh Reed tricked Ben Harmel into spelling "I CUP" in front of the school principal in first grade. Poor thing!

Clearly disappointed with himself, Oleg mounted the horse again and showed that Wu who's boss, and after arching into a Kristy Phillips handstand on his dismount, Oleg ended the meet with a 14.066 on pommel horse, an 88.398 in the all-around, a bronze medal around his neck, and a totally bro-y embrace with David Belyavskiy.
I can't tell if that hug was a "no homo" moment or some extreme male cattiness. Part of me hopes for the latter because I want some fire in Oleg's belly. I want to see him kick some arse at the World Championships. To do that, Oleg needs to rest up!

Hibernate, Oleg! Antwerp is going to be awesome!

Related Links:

David Belyavskiy Recapped
Max Whitlock Recapped  

1 comment:

  1. It still hurts. And it's July. By the way, unrelated except in the way of names and Ukraineness and general awesome diva-ness, I wish you'd done one on that beautiful diva Stepko