Explaining Vault - Olympic VT EF

8:19 AM Arabian Punch Front 3 Comments

In vault event finals, gymnasts are required to do 2 vaults from different families. "Families" refers to the fact that the vaults should have different entries. Here are a few of the different kinds of vaults we'll see in the vault event final.

Front Handspring
From the vault finalists, we'll likely see two kind of front handspring vaults. The first is called a Rudi - front handspring onto the horse with 1.5 twists off. It has a 6.3 SV. Oksana Chusovitna and Janine Berger (GER) and Ellie Black (CAN) plan to compete this vault in event finals.

The other vault we'll see is the Produnova, or front handspring double front, from the Dominican Republic's Yamilet Pena. This vault is the hardest being done by a woman with a 7.1 SV. Pena did not land the vault in qualifications but landed a few in podium training. Watch Yamilet Pena attempt a Produnova HERE. She lands it but has a very deep squat.

The Tsukahara vault (abbreviated as Tsuk) is a 1/4 or 1/2 turn onto the vault. Three gymnasts will do different Tsukahara vaults. Ellie Black does a Tsukahara full with a 5.2 SV. Oksana Chusovitna does a Tsukahara 1.5 with a 5.5 start value. Janine Berger, who could sneak into the medals if she hits, vaults a Tsukahara double twist. This has a 6.0 SV.

Watch Oksana Chusovitna do both a Rudi and Tsukahara 1.5 HERE

Next, and most commonly, we have the Yurchenko vaults. Almost every athlete competing today does a Yurchenko vault. These vaults are a round off onto the springboard with a back handspring onto the horse. The two that we'll see are a double twisting Yurchenko, DTY, (5.8 SV) and a 2.5 twisting Yurchenko (6.5 SV). The 2.5 twist is called an Amanar after Romania's Simona Amanar. McKayla Maroney has the best Amanar in the world. She gets amazing height, is straight throughout, and has enough time for a clean landing. Check out Maroney's stuck Amanar on deadspin HERE with slow mo!

Round off, half on
The last class of vaults that we'll see in event finals have a "round off, half on entry." Like the Yurchenko, the athlete will start with the round off but will do a half turn so that they are facing the horse as they approach it. Again, there are 3 variations of this the athletes can use. The round off, half on, 1/2 twist off is called a Lopez and has a 5.6 SV. Canada's Brittany Rogers uses this vault. A round off, half on, full twist off is not given a name in the Code of Points but is unofficially called a Mustafina. McKayla Maroney (USA) will compete this vault. Lastly, the most difficult in this bunch is called a Cheng after China's great vaulter, Cheng Fei. This is a round off, half on, 1.5 twists off. This vault is out of a 6.5, same as the Amanar. There is training video of Sandra Izbasa doing this vault but it has not yet been seen in competition. We'll have to wait and see what she does!

Watch Maroney do an Amanar and Mustafina HERE.

Things we/judges look for:
Laid out body position - the gymnast should have a tight, straight body position. Legs should not be bent.


Body position while landing - the gymnast should not pike down to early. The judges allow some time to ready for the landing but if it's too early, they can deduct.

Also, the chest should not be low to the ground and the feet should hit the ground first. If any other part hits the ground first, the vault will be given a 0. This has happened to Yamilet Pena when she seemed to land with her backside rather than feet.

It's like when you go in a pool. Feet first! Otherwise, you get a 0

Position on mat while landing - judges will deduct if the gymnast is off center.
Neutral Deductions - the judges will deduct if the gymnast LANDS on the red. If she steps over, it's a deduction but that will be taken from the execution score.

Then the judges also look for good form during twisting (e.g. you will get a deduction if you criss cross your feet)  and keeping your legs together on the entry onto the vault.

Athlete SV 1 Name VT1 SV 2 Name VT2 Total SV
McKayla Maroney 6.5 Amanar 6.1 Mustafina 12.6
Sandra Izbasa 6.1 Mustafina 5.8 DTY 11.9
Maria Paseka 6.5 Amanar 5.6 Lopez 12.1
Oksana Chusovitna 6.3 Rudi 5.5 Tsuk 1.5 11.8
Yamilet Pena 7.1 Produnova 5.8 DTY 12.9
Janine Berger 6.3 Rudi 6.0 Tsuk 2/1 12.3
Brittany Rogers 5.8 DTY 5.6 Lopez 11.4
Ellie Black 6.3 Rudi 5.2 Tsuk 1/1 11.5
*Izbasa may upgrade her Mustafina to a Cheng (6.5).

VT is scheduled for Sunday, August 5th 2pm British Time/9am ET/11am MT. It will likely be sandwiched between Men's Floor and Pommel Horse final.


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