Sunday, April 3, 2016

Quick Hits: Videos from the All-Japan Championships

Kohei Uchimura scored a 91.300 in the all-around, even though he fell on his Li Xiao Peng vault, which has always been somewhat questionable, and whacked his legs on the parallel bars. It's Kohei, though. The man can probably fart better than most of us.

Nikolai Kuksenkov's Doping Problems and a Quick Primer on Meldonium

Prior to this weekend, meldonium was not on the radar of many gymnastics fans. It was a problem that other sports were facing, but no gymnast had tested positive in 2016.

That changed this weekend when Nikolai Kuksenkov became the first known gymnast to test positive for the drug in 2016. Now, we, gymnastics fans, are scrambling to educate ourselves on the drug. Here's what I've learned about the drug over the past month or so.

What Is Meldonium?

Meldonium is a drug that gives sufferers of heart and circulatory conditions more “physical capacity and mental function," according to the Latvian drug manufacturer's website. It is sold primarily in the Baltic States and ex-Soviet countries. However, in 2016, athletes from countries like Sweden have tested positive for the drug.

The 88+ Club (as of April 2, 2016)

Unfortunately, I don't have time to maintain my full UTRS. But with so many meets over the next month, I needed to put the scores in perspective. So, I decided to create an ongoing list of gymnasts who have scored over an 88.000 in the all-around in 2016. (If I'm missing someone, let me know in the comments below.)

The scoring at some meets might be more to your liking than others. So, as always, take these scores with a grain of salt. To give you some guidance, I've put FIG meet results in bold. And I've put Kuksenkov's scores in italics until the Russian Gymnastics Federation figures out his Meldonium problems.

1. Kohei UchimuraJapan91.300All-Japan Championships
2. David BelyavskiyRussia90.367Russian Championships - Day 1
3. Sam MikulakUSA90.350Winter Cup - Day 2
4. Nikolai KuksenkovRussia89.799Russian Championships - Day 1
5. Nikolai KuksenkovRussia89.733Russian Championships - Day 2
6. Kenzo ShiraiJapan89.700All-Japan Championships
7. Ryohei KatoJapan89.400All-Japan Championships
8. Bart DeurlooJapan89.350NED vs. ESP
9. Max WhitlockGreat Britain89.299Glasgow World Cup
10. Yusuke SaitoJapan89.250All-Japan Championships
10. Yuya KamotoJapan89.250All-Japan Championships
12. Nikita NagornyRussia89.166Russian Championships - Day 2
13. Yusuke TanakaJapan89.050All-Japan Championships
14. Nikita NagornyRussia89.033Russian Championships - Day 1
15. Ryohei KatoJapan88.931American Cup
16. John OrozcoUnited States88.700Houston National Invitational
17. Donnell WhittenburgUnited States88.565American Cup
18. Nikita IgnatyevRussia88.467Russian Championships - Day 1
19. Akash ModiUnited States88.450Winter Cup - Day 2
20. John OrozcoUnited States88.000Winter Cup - Day 2

*If you add up Oleg Verniaiev's scores from the Stuttgart Team Challenge, he would have had a 90.431 in the all-around.

**The All-Around will be doing their extensive rankings again! Stay tuned later this week for their numbers, which, I'm sure, will be more exhaustive than mine.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Natty Light: The Unofficial NCAA Regional Drinking Game

Maybe you're in college. Maybe you graduated from college. Maybe you never went to college. It doesn't matter. Today, we do what college students do best – WE DRINK!

But before you get your 2012 Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon out of the wine fridge, remember this: college students have terrible taste in alcohol.

So, go to your local liquor store and buy the cheapest, shittiest beer you can find. And let's have some fun and make poor life decisions.

Sound good?

Do a Keg Stand Whenever…

  • A commentator uses a "but softener" – "She fell, but it was a great routine."
  • A gymnast misses a handstand on bars. Show 'em how it's done!
  • A gymnast shockingly takes a step on her double front dismount off bars.
  • Risa Perez smiles.
  • A UCLA gymnast gets a redo.
  • Tabitha Yim's hair is on point. (Has she ever had a bad hair day in her adult life?)
  • Bridget Sloan does Bridget Sloan things and gets Bridget Sloan scores. (Interpret that as you wish.)
  • A gymnast incorporates her mascot into her floor routine.

    Gator Chomp? Keg stand.
    LSU tiger paw? Keg stand.
    Minnesota doing gopher imitations? Keg stand.