(This post is dedicated to one Mr. Tim Daggett, the man who won the bronze medal on pommel horse at the 1984 Olympics. Happy birthday, buddy!)
Last year, The All Around created some handy dandy rankings, leading up to the Olympics. This year, not so much. So, I've decided to create the UTRS (Uncle Tim Ranking System), which, for those who care, is pronounced "uterus." Think of my ranking system as a surrogate until The All Around steps in and takes over.
As per usual, take these rankings with a grain of salt. (Pro Tip: Never bet your life savings based on my numbers–or my predictions for that matter.) Judging varies from meet to meet, and as you can see, I've culled these scores from several meets. I've included the competition names so that you can decide how much crack the judges smoked before handing out the scores.
More than anything, you should think of these tables like this: New quad, new Code of Points. What the H is a good score nowadays? Well, let me show you…
(Updated: May 26, 2013)
Men's Pommel Rankings: Best D Scores
|1. Prashanth Sellathurai||Australia||6.9||Doha|
|2. Oleg Verniaiev||Ukraine||6.7||American Cup|
|2. Oleg Stepko||Ukraine||6.7||European Championships|
|2. Max Whitlock||Great Britain||6.7||European Championships|
|2. Matvei Petrov||Russia||6.7||European Championships|
|2. Kristzian Berki||Hungary||6.7||European Championships|
|2. Daniel Keatings||Great Britain||6.7||European Championships|
|2. Alexander Naddour||USA||6.7||Ljubljana|
|2. Alberto Busnari||Italy||6.7||European Championships|
|10. Zoltan Kallai||Hungary||6.6||Ljubljana|
|10. Luke Stannard||(USA)||6.6||Winter Cup|
|10. Jossimar Calvo Moreno||Colombia||6.6||Ljubljana|
|10. Flavius Koczi||Romania||6.6||European Championships|
|10. Donna Donny Truyens||Belgium||6.6||European Championships|
Men's Pommel Rankings: Best E Scores
|1. Max Whitlock||Great Britain||9.367||English Championships|
|2. Krisztian Berki||Hungary||9.266||French International|
|3. Ty Echard||(USA)||9.150||Winter Cup|
|4. Daniel Keatings||Great Britain||9.100||British Championships|
|4. Michael Newburger||(USA)||9.100||Winter Cup|
|6. Artsiom Bykau||Belarus||9.000||Ljubljana|
|6. Timothy Wang||(USA)||9.000||Winter Cup|
|8. Oleg Verniaiev||Ukraine||8.975||Zakharova Cup|
|8. Saso Bertoncelj||Slovenia||8.975||Ljubljana|
|10. Robert Seligman||Croatia||8.966||French International|
|10. Harutyum Merdinyan||Armenia||8.966||European Championships|
|10. Donna Donny Truyens||Belgium||8.966||European Championships|
Donna Donny = my FAVORITE name!
Men's Pommel Rankings: Best Scores
|1. Max Whitlock||Great Britain||15.967||English Championships|
|2. Krisztian Berki||Hungary||15.966||French International|
|3. Daniel Keatings||Great Britain||15.800||British Championships|
|3. Zhang Hongtao*||China||15.800||Chinese Nationals|
|5. Matvei Petrov||Russia||15.675||Russian Championships|
|6. Oleg Verniaiev||Ukraine||15.575||Zakharova Cup|
|7. Ty Echard||(USA)||15.550||Winter Cup|
|8. Michael Newburger||(USA)||15.500||Winter Cup|
|9. Saso Bertoncelj||Slovenia||15.475||Ljubljana|
|10. Filip Ude||Croatia||15.450||European Championships|
|11. Alberto Busnari||Italy||15.433||European Championships|
|12. David Belyavskiy||Russia||15.400||Russian Nationals|
|13. Robert Seligman||Croatia||15.366||French International|
|13. Harutyum Merdinyan||Armenia||15.366||European Championships|
|13. Donna Donny Truyens||Belgium||15.366||European Championships|
*I have not found an execution and difficulty score for this routine. Consequently, Zhang Hongtao does not appear in the E and D score tables.
What are the parentheses for?
The Winter Cup is the first of two national competitions for the U.S. men, and at the end of the competition, a handful of competitors makes the U.S. National Team. Unfortunately, the lion's share does not. The parentheses mark the gymnasts who are not part of the U.S. National Team, even though their scores suggest that they are world class on a particular event–in this case, pommel horse.
Unfortunately, the U.S.'s best pommel workers are not very talented on the other events, and looking ahead to the future, there isn't much room for a one-event specialist on a 5-member Olympic team. (Unless you're Louis Smith.)
What does a 6.9 difficulty routine look like?
Having a big D doesn't matter unless you know how to use it. *Rim shot*
Anyone with a D score over 6.5 on horse deserves a lot of credit, but you don't have to be a pommel horse pundit to see that this routine is sloppy. Prashanth Sellathurai averaged a 7.6 in execution at the Doha Cup. Ick.
Can you show me the routine with the highest execution score and the highest final score?
Sure, here's Max's routine from the English Championships.
In comparison to a 15.966 routine, how much better is a 15.967 routine?
Watch Krisztian Berki's routine below (15.966) and compare it with Max Whitlock's routine above (15.967), and let me know what you think.
Scores are pretty arbitrary, aren't they? Like I said, take these scores with a grain of salt.
It's going to be an exciting year of horse pommeling! Horse was probably the most exciting event final at the European Championships for the men, and if you add Zhang Hongtao to the trifecta of Keatings, Berki, and Whitlock, you just made things very, very exciting. (I'm sure you won't be able to fall asleep just thinking about it.)