Well, I was hoping I would be able to do two posts this week on team finals and the women’s All Around (AA), but instead I did zero posts. Work is keeping me down. That said, I still plan to do a mega-recap post at the end of the of the competition which will set up nicely for a discussion on what to look out for next year.
For now, here are you best bets to watch the event finals this weekend.
The first day of event finals starts Saturday at 10:00am EDT. Vault is the briefest of competitions, but it is the one I am most excited about. The main competitors are Simone Biles and Jade Carey, both of the US.
Jade beat Simone in vault qualifications by .001 point. Simone bested Jade in the team finals.
Simone has been favoring her right side on vault this week, though. At AA and qualifications she stepped out of bounds and drew deductions. So, we will see if she can correct those mistakes to retain her vault title.
I don’t expect Simone to compete the Biles as FIG, the organization so concerned with safety, does not allow touch warm-ups on the competition equipment during event finals. Simone has expressed before that she does not feel comfortable performing the Biles without a warm-up, so I predict she will stick with the Cheng and Amanar (as will Jade).
Simone drew second for vault finals. Jade will be competing last.
For the uneven bars, look for a fight between Nina Derwael (Belgium), Daria Spiridonova (Russia), and Sunisa Lee (USA). These women qualified in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively and Nina is the reigning bars champ.
Sunisa Lee has a good shot to medal here, but she has to perform perfectly. Nina does not make bars mistakes and Sunisa has counted a fall on bars at the worst possible time (at the AA). Here’s hoping Suni can come back strong for the bars finals.
Although Simone made the UB finals this year, I doubt she will medal here unless she receives some help from her competitors. Also, Simone drew first in the competition for this event, so the judges will likely score lower to leave some room for the athletes that follow. We’ll see.
Beam finals begins on day 2 of Event Finals (Sunday at 7:00am EDT).
Simone qualified first in this event and 0.3 points ahead of the second place qualifier Li Shijia; however, that was with the Biles as the dismount. There’s no telling if Simone will perform the Biles at event finals. She opted not to perform the Biles at team finals and at the AA due to FIG’s underscoring of her new move.
Breaking news today is that Kara Eaker will compete in the beam finals. As discussed in my last post, someone who USAG is not naming, contested Kara’s beam score at qualifications. Her original beam score was enough for her to qualify for beam finals, but after a coach’s decision to contest her score, her qualification score was lowered and she was out of the beam finals and listed as first reserve.
Well, Canada’s Ellie Black had a nasty injury at AA and is now out of the beam finals. Kara, as first reserve, will take Ellie’s place. Here’s hoping Kara can do well with her re-worked routine (someone finally took one of the ring leaps out from her routine; the judges were killing her Kara’s score due to the her badly executed ring leaps).
Also, hoping for a speedy recovery for Ellie Black. The diagnosis is a high ankle sprain and that is not good less than a year before the Olympics. :(
FIG Youtube Stream - Event Finals Day 1 (requires VPN; recommend setting to Brazil, Japan, or South Africa)
FIG Youtube Stream - Event Finals Day 2 (requires VPN; recommend setting to Brazil, Japan, or South Africa)
NBCSports (requires cable subscription login)
BBC (requires VPN if you are in the US)
Hope you’re able to watch Simone drop the mic this weekend!