Thursday, October 3, 2013

2013 World Championships All-Around Recapped

Rotation 1

Chinese and Japanese gymnasts: Slowly killing the ozone layer one can of hairspray at a time. 

Zhou Shixiong struggled to stay in bounds. On his double double tuck, he stepped out, and when he tried to cover up a bad landing with a prone fall, he fell out of bounds. Oops. Nothing gets by the gym gods. Nothing. 14.833

Max Whitlock went for his harder pommel horse routine today (7.2 vs. 6.6), hoping to give himself more leverage against the leaders. The plan worked. He scored a 15.633, which was 0.225 better than his score in prelims.

It would have been even higher if he didn't have such a lead bottom when circling. He's probably kicking himself for scraping the pommel with his hamstring!

Lin Chaopan: As I said on Twitter, unless you have a ring tucked in your leo and unless you plan to propose, there's no need to take a knee during your floor routine.

Uncle Tim's score: No.
The judge's score: 14.466

Oleg Verniaiev hit his rings routine for a 14.733.

Sam Mikulak schooled the boys on how to stick on floor. 15.366.

Cheer up, Mr. Judgy Pants!

You're staring at Sam Mikulak's butt!

Do you know how many people in the world envy your view?

Kohei Uchimura proved that you don't need 7.4 in difficulty in order to post a massive score on floor. With his 6.4 routine, he scored a 15.558, the highest floor score of the competition. The routine started off a little shaky with hops on the back 3/2 to Randi and front 1/1 to front 2/1, but by the time he got to his back 2.5 to rudi, he was spot on.

In true Japanese style, he opened up out of his triple twist dismount and stuck it. Aliya Mustafina, I hope that you were in the arena. THAT's how you do a triple full.

To refresh your memory, Aliya Mustafina's triple twist: Brought to you by the number 4.

Fabian Hambuechen got so excited that he made it through a pommel horse routine without falling that he almost Uchimura-ed his dismount. 13.333

It is acceptable to land like an airplane if and only if you are doing a double-double on the straight away. Sergio Sasaki and his teammate Arthur Oyakawa threw the hardest floor routines in the all-around finals. Sergio opened with a front double pike to barani, which he followed up with a back 1.5 to punch double front.

If he keeps this up, by next year, he should be able to challenge Denis Ablyazin in difficulty without all the twisting of Shirai Kenzo. 15.133.

Leaders after 1 rotation: 1. Max Whitlock, 15.633 2. Kohei Uchimura, 15.558 3. Ryohei Kato, 15.500 4. Sam Mikulak, 15.366 5. Andrey Likhovitskiy, 15.000

Rotation 2

Longine Prize for Elegance goes to any gymnast who can do a Dragulescu with pointed toes.

Unfortunately, that's not Oleg Verniaiev, but he did hit his Dragulescu with just a step back. 15.166.

The L-sit: one of Max Whitlock's harder strength parts.

I'm sort of kidding, sort of serious. Max does two L-sits in his rings routine, which is a lot of an elite gymnast. To get his difficulty, Max relies a lot on swinging elements and planches. A 14.266 is about as good as it gets on this apparatus for Max.

Max, within a year, I want to see you add an iron cross to rings and air flairs to pommels!

Sam Mikulak's Smile: 10.0 in execution

Sam Mikulak's Pommel Routine: 8.708 in execution for a 14.608. Biggest flub: Banging his legs against the horse on his Mikulak.

Even with an injured foot, David Belyavskiy threw his harder vault: a tsuk double pike. Unfortunately, the landing was not so cute. Somewhow, he managed to keep the vault on his feet. 14.900

An extremely clean routine from Kohei Uchimura on pommels. Best execution score of the day on the event: 8.933 for a 15.133 total.

Had I received a 15.133 on pommels, I would have been doing split leaps across the podium, blowing kisses to the stands (a la Khorkina), and smiling bigger than Sam Mikulak. Not Kohei. He looks like his dog just died. What up with that?

Even though Fabian Hambuechen was a little high on his inverted crosses, he still received an 8.900 in execution for a 14.800. His landing on his front double pike half out was aphrodisiacal.

And by the way, he shall be called Fabian HamBiceps from now on.

New item on my bucket list: Take a flexing photo with Fabian Hambuechen. I think my biceps are the size of his wrists.

Zhou Shixiong had a lovely routine going until the dismount. Then, he decided that it was time to do some yoga. Suggestion: If you're going to do a one-legged downward-facing dog on pommels, I'd suggest pointed toes and a 180º split.


Leaders after 2 rotations: 1. Kohei Uchimura, 30.691 2. Ryohei Kato, 30.100 3. Sam Mikulak, 29.974 4. Max Whitlock, 29.899 4. Oleg Verniaiev, 29.899

Rotation 3

Ryohei Kato kicked off the broadcast's coverage of the third rotation on rings. The highlight of the routine is his Guczoghy (double tuck backwards between the rings). To use the banal phrase in gymnastics commentary, he makes it looks so effortless!

A fair routine. Not enough strength for my liking. 14.666

Then it was over to Fabian HamBiceps on vault, where he did a lovely Shewfelt with a hop.

After he saluted the judges, he threatened to punch them in the face if they gave him anything less than a 9.200 in execution.

The judges listened and gave him a 9.300 for a total of 14.900. I can't blame them. Those arms are menacing.

Apparently, Danell Leyva started a fad. @RyoheisTowel

I can't tell if the Sam Mikulak is trying to get in on the U.S. women's hot pink domination or if he washed his white socks with his reds.

At any rate, it was a good routine for Sam. The strength parts weren't quite in the perfect position, but for a U.S. all-arounder, it was nicely done. 14.775.

Gym Nerd Myth Buster: Contrary to popular belief, male gymnasts can wear earrings during FIG events.

For me, The highlight of Kohei Uchimura's routine was the opening inverted hang that lasted for 8 seconds. WTF? 

Eventually, the pace of the routine picked up and he showed a nice mixture of strength parts (for a non-rings specialist). As is the case with many all-arounders, the highlight, though, of his rings routine was his dismount: a double-double tuck, which he kicked out of and nearly stuck. 15.100.

After watching Kohei hold an inverted hang for so long, I started paying attention to inverted hangs. Sergio Sasaki did 4 of them.

This, in my opinion, should receive a deduction for poor composition. According to the Code, "Contemporary gymnastic exercises are characterized by transitions between elements of swing and strength or the reverse." An inverted hang isn't an element of strength or swing. 14.600

Zhou Shixiong and handstands were not friends today. He tried doing a Tkatchev on rings. 14.066.

Oleg Verniaiev had a few minor handstand problems on parallel bars, but overall, it was a hit for Oleg. 15.000

He even flashed a big toothy grin at the judges.

What a goober!

At this point in the meet, I still believed the gym gods loved me…

Leaders after 3 rotations: 1. Kohei Uchimura, 45.791 2. Oleg Verniaiev, 44.899 3. Ryohei Kato, 44.766 4. Sam Mikulak, 44.749 5. Max Whitlock, 44.749

Rotation 4

On second thought, the Longines Award for Elegance should go to any male gymnast who can do a Kasamatsu with his legs together during the pre-flight. That award would not go to Sam. Honestly, it was not Sam's most explosive vault, but he still received a decent score: 14.833.

Based on the screenshot alone, what would you give this vault in execution?

A 9.333 in execution? Yeah, no, but that's what Kohei Uchimura got.

I like Kohei a lot, but I also have to recognize the fact that Kohei bonus exists. At times, the Code of Points is more a suggestion rather than a rule.

Sergio Sasaki's Dragulescu was one of the highlights of the meet! It was HUGE! I hope that he wins a vault medal on Sunday! 15.200

At this point in the competition, you could really see the momentum shift for Fabian HamBiceps. After doing a good p-bar set, which included a nifty hop full, Fabian Hambuechen let out an NCAA roar!

And then Fabian HamBiceps stared down the judges, whom he scared into giving him a 15.233.

Lin Chaopan did a Kasamatsu 2/1, which ended like this. Oh, the things the line judge gets to see…

Uncle Tim's pick for the Longines Award for Elegance goes to Ryohei Kato! A Kasamatsu vault with his legs glued together! 14.800.

Then, it was over to high bar for Oleg Verniaiev's tragicomedy. If you're like me, you were laughing and crying all at the same time. At least he had lovely toe point on the "Verniaiev" (the straddle planche on high bar).

Oh, and there's a silver lining in all of this: Oleg improved his high bar score by 0.2. 11.833. Bravo.

Leaders after 4 rotations: 1. Kohei Uchimura, 61.124 2. Sam Mikulak, 59.582 3. Ryohei Kato, 59.566 4. Sergio Sasaki, 59.183 5. Max Whitlock, 59.183

At this point in the competition, Fabian Hambuechen was in 10th.

Rotation 5

Fabian HamBiceps had the coolest high bar combo in the entire all-around final. Stretched Tkatchev to Rybalko to Jaeger 1/1. 

Granted, if Fabian were Chinese, people would be throwing a hissy fit about this combination, calling it ugly and crap, but since Fabian makes it look so pretty and effortless, we all want to marry him and have little gymnast babies with him. 15.933 from the judges. 20.000 from the gymternet.

One of my biggest pet peeves--I have many, but one of my biggest--is when a gymnast does not perform his eponymous skill. This should be a deduction.

Aside from the fact that Sergio Sasaki did not perform a Sasaki, it was a decent routine. It doesn't quite have the polish that Ryohei, Kohei, and Sam have. 14.900.

Jossimar Calvo Moreno fell twice during his routine. The first fall was on his Yamawaki, which, in comparison to a Kolman, is one of his easier releases in his routine. The second fall was much scarier. Before his dismount, the timing of his tap was all kinds of wrong, and for a brief second, I thought that we would see the first double-twisting double layout Kovacs. But that's not what happened. Instead, Jossimar whacked his feet on the bar and ate mat. He's extremely fortunate that he fell belly first.

Of course, they kept showing us replays of the fall--just in case we weren't scarred the first time.

Stalder 1.5 or an air flair on high bar? You decide. 14.600 for Max Whitlock.

To Max's credit, he had to go after Calvo Moreno crashed, and he had to perform the exact same dismount. I would have been on my knees under the judges' table begging them to let me go a little later in the rotation.

Ryohei Kato's last big all-around final was at the University Games, where he missed a simple pirouette at the end of the bars. Today, he had absolutely no problems.

I think this was the first time I noticed a gymnast's flexibility on parallel bars. Kudos, Ryohei. 15.300.

Oliver Hegi's grip broke in the middle of his high bar routine, and unfortunately, he did not remount the bar within the allotted amount of time. 7.100.

I just find it interesting to see which rules in the Code get applied and when…

Most guys I know, when they're bent over grabbing their ankles, they reach from the outside. Sam, however, reaches from the inside. Interesting…

Anyway, Sam Mikulak was glorious (with the exception of the hop on the landing). 15.200.

Leaders after 5 rotations: 1. Kohei Uchimura, 76.457 2. Ryohei Kato, 74.866 3. Sam Mikulak, 74.782 4. Fabian Hambuechen, 74.199 5. Sergio Sasaki, 74.083

Rotation 6

It guts me that Sergio Sasaki did a Kolman stepout on high bar. Had he been just a smidge cleaner, he would could have been in fourth place. Great stick on the layout double double dismount, though. 14.866.

Max Whitlock has to be happy. In prelims, he couldn't stay in bounds for the life of him, but today, that was no problem.

Max shows potential to be one heck of a stylish gymnast. The moves are there, including, my new favorite, a jump 1.5 to prone. He just has to learn to move with a little more fluidity. Maybe it's time to don the dancer's version of a jockstrap (aka the dance belt) and take a few ballet classes. Oh, and if he could ask Oleg Verniaiev for some toe point tips, that'd be fantastic, as well. 15.266.

I take back everything I said about Sam Mikulak having the strongest forearms in the business. Lin Chaopan owns that title. After missing his hand on a stretched Tkatchev 1/2, he didn't let go of the pipe. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do anything out of the skill. 13.966.

Uncle Tim's Award for Best Celebratory Face goes to Lin Chaopan! 10.0!

After Ryohei Kato's high bar routine, he finally smiled, and in turn the judges gave him an 8.766 in execution, the highest execution score on high bar during the final. 15.166 total.

Sam Mikulak caught his Cassina. He caught his Kovacs. And then Sam Mikulak choked--almost literally--on the pipe.

On his first Adler 1/2, he almost didn't make it over the bar, so on his second Adler--this time an Adler 1/1--he tried to compensate by shooting the skill out. As a result, he found himself in this very peculiar position. Nearly 8 hours later, I can laugh about this. At the time, though, I think Kurt Golder, Sam's coach, was crying. 13.766. Still better than Oleg. Le sigh.

Sam's defenders are calling the mistake a fluke. Others are worried that Sam doesn't have the stamina to go 12 for 12. At the U.S. Nationals, he also messed up on his last event: pommel horse. It all depends on who you talk to. Sam's take: "You got to learn to lose before you can learn to win."

When Fabian HamBiceps didn't compete all-around at the European Championships in April, I thought that he wouldn't get it together by Worlds. But he did! And aside from the fact that he likes to stick his butt out on his landings like Marcel Nguyen, he performed a serviceable floor routine in the last rotation. 15.133.

Kohei Uchimura hit his high bar routine. Really, all he had to do at this point was stay on, and the females in the stands did everything but throw their bras at him. 15.533.

Final Results: 
1. Kohei Uchimura, 91.990
2. Ryohei Kato, 90.032
3. Fabian Hambuechen, 89.332
4. Max Whitlock, 89.031
5. Sergio Sasaki, 88.959
6. Sam Mikulak 88.548
7. Daniel Purvis, 88.106
8. Andrey Likhovitskiy, 87.423
9. Lin Chaopan, 86.864
10. Zhou Shixiong, 86.631

Since Uchimura mania began in 2009, Marcel Nguyen has come the closest to beating King Kohei in the all-around at a World or Olympic event. 1.659 separated the two in 2012.

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  1. Thanks Uncle Tim! As a Canadian fan that can't figure out how to trick USAGs YouTube account into thinking I'm American, I haven't been able to watch anything live.
    Your play by play is starting to make up for it.
    I concur with the comments on Fabian's high bar. I've loved him since he was barely a senior! He and his gymnastics are just so pretty.
    Thank you!!!!

  2. Re: the Kohei bonus on vault...I hate to be that person, but vault scoring has been weird this week. Did you see Simone's 9.6E for the Amanar with the big step forward?

  3. no, it is your commentary is truly crap and you are fugly

  4. Not related to this post, but I know you were looking for a video of the Moors and I couldn't figure out how else to contact you other than twitter, which I don't have. I just wanted to let you know that SuperGymmie posted one about an hour ago. Here's the link:

  5. Great post! I feel terrible about laughing hysterically over the "Vernaiev" skill on high bar. He must have been taking a leaf out of Aly Raisman's book.

  6. If only Hegi knew that the men's code has a girls' rule stuck in. the fall timer doesn't start until you stand up. All he had to do is sit bakc and relax while his coach got him a spare grip.