2014 World Championships: Predictions vs Reality EF

3:21 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Continuing Predictions vs Reality with my take on the individual event finals. You can read part 1 ft Team Final and All Around Final here

Predictions: Simone Biles, Hong Un Jong, Mykayla Skinner
Reality: Hong Un Jong, Simone Biles, Mykayla Skinner
I had the right 3, just in the wrong order. I'm actually still a little surprised that Biles didn't win but I think that's just a testament to how much Hong's Amanar has improved. Hong's Amanar is Maroney status - square on contact with horse, head squeezed between arms, arms not bent at all, good height on block and with an even tighter layout position. Impressive. Her Cheng still needs work but clearly that change in Amanar execution was enough. Biles' score is very admirable especially when you consider her D average is 5.95 compared to Hong's 6.35. Once I found out that Giulia was having twisting issues and that Alla had her Cheng, I figured it would come down to Sosnitskaya and Skinner for the bronze medal. Skinner has the better execution overall compared to Sosnitskaya so I think the placements were correct.

Can we just appreciate the difficulty in this vault final?! Sure Steingruber did a FTY but we otherwise had some great vaults - FTY and DTY, Lopez and Cheng (Yurchenko 1/2 on, layout 1/2 and layout 1 1/2 off), Rudi (technically a Chusovitina), and a Zamolodchikova (Tsuk 2/1). Great job, ladies!

Uneven Bars
Predictions: Yao, Aliya, Becky Downie
Reality: Yao Jinnan, Huang Huidan, Daria Spiridonova

In terms of predictions, UB and BB were the hardest for me to predict just because I had no idea who would even make the finals. For UB, I had Yao and Huang (or another set of 2 Chinese), Daria and Aliya, Ashton and Kyla, maybe Becky and Ruby, maybe at least 1 German (was not expecting Lisa but thrilled for her all the same), maybe Youna if she was hiding some upgrades. Overall, I loved the gymnasts that made the final. They all have great swing and good level of precision. Sure you could fight about flexed feet, sickled feet, whatever you want but, as a whole, this was a phenomenal group of the best uneven bar workers in the world.

I agree with the final placements. Based on our view, Aliya had a few minor errors while Daria just had one missed moment before her dismount. Huang's pirouetting style seemed really labored while Yao has the low Tkatchev. Everyone talks about Yao's construction but I actually do really like Huang's, if only she could fix her pirouetting technique. Lisa had a few handstand issues and sickles her feet in a way that is more noticeable based on her knee alignment. Either way, she is one of Germany's top bar workers and I'm glad she had the chance to show it off. Becky and Ruby both have immensely unique routines which Ruby was not able to complete successfully. Becky did not medal in her final but did manage to have a solid routine. One of the things that has been important for Becky Downie is her ability to hit routine after routine. Becky should be very proud of her successful year, making the World Championship event finals and successfully competing in said finals.

In terms of performance, this might have been my favorite final.

Balance Beam
Predictions: Kharenkova, Iordache, Aliya
Reality: Simone Biles, Bai Yawen, Aliya Mustafina

Looking back now this prediction is funny... or unforunate. Depends on how you look at it. Definitely unfortunate for Kharenkova and Iordache. With Kharenkova out, it was almost surely Iordache's to lose and unfortunately, she did just that. We were all worried about the layout full when, in the end, it was her tuck full that took her out of contention. I was a bit disappointed that of the 8 finalists, only 5 had routines without falls. Alas, such is the balance beam.

I don't know why I didn't have Biles on the podium. Maybe I thought she would wobble. Maybe I thought others would just be better. Clearly I thought wrong.

On Bai Yawen, just a thought. I do enjoy her balance beam but I wonder if China gets the "artistry" deduction. In their exactness, they lose a lot of the fluidity. Bai is probably the least offensive compared to, say, Shang Chunsong. For her specifically, however, she does seem to have excessive preparation on her skills. I might sound like I'm picking on her, I'm just trying to understand her E score in relation to other athletes. I did enjoy her routine, however.

I'm probably most bummed about the third place medal. I did see Teramoto's missed connections and wobbles that caused the deductions, it's just unfortunate. Le sigh.

Floor Exercise
Predictions: Simone, Larisa, Vanessa
Reality: Simone Biles, Larisa Iordache, Aliya Mustafina

My predictions went a bit further - Biles, Iordache, and if anyone was on the podium other than Ferrari, it would be Skinner. Boy was I wrong.

Words cannot explain how much I love Iordache's floor routine. It makes me so happy. Again, like in the AA, I was glad she did her upgraded routine. She's gotten 6.5D before so I'm curious what she wasn't credited or didn't do (quad turn? leaps?).

Once Mustafina upgraded per twitter, I figured she would get it. There was just too much in the "name of artistic gymnastics" and Nellie Kim and Bruno Grandi for Skinner to win. I'm not necessarily boycotting or anything, I'm just still angry about balance beam...

To end on a positive note, Larissa Miller's double arabian to stag is what dreams are made of. After Kyla falling earlier in the season and Aliya falling at Worlds, this was just the thing I needed to see to remember how beautiful of a skill the double arabian is and how lovely it can be when connected to stag. The form was great, the height she got was amazing. It was just one of those jaw droppingly beautiful moments in gymnastics.

Full results can be found here.

What were some of your event finals highlights?