The women’s artistic gymnastics competition at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games continued this morning with the second qualification subdivision, featuring China’s home girl Wang Yan.
Wang started strong on bars with a solid, if not fluid, routine that included a Weiler kip, L-grip to Jaeger, and a solid double layout for a 13.25. Her beam routine was incredible, as she hit a tucked Barani, bhs-bhs-layout series, and triple full with just a step, earning the highest score of the day with her 14.75.
Unfortunately, she lost her momentum on floor, falling on her first two passes, the 1.5 through to triple full and the half-in half-out. She finished up with a 2.5 to front half and a double pike but could only bring in an 11.25 as her total score. Wang finished her day on vault, with a super difficult Tsuk double full. The landing was a bit of a mess largely due to a lack of height, but it was so impressive to see from someone her size. She did take a hit in execution and took 0.3 off in neutral deductions, however, earning a 13.95.
Italy’s Iosra Abdelaziz had a marvelous outing beginning with her bar routine. She had an incredible Tkatchev to gorgeous bail, an Endo, and a strong full-out dismount, earning a 13.1 with 7.8 execution that seemed slightly too low to me. Her beam routine was steady, especially her solid bhs-bhs-layout, though it was a bit on the ‘easy’ side. On floor, she performed a lovely triple full, and she vaulted with a super clean FTY with just a bounce back for a 14.0.
Stephanie Hernandez of Mexico was an incredible surprise in this competition on beam and floor. Her beam earned a 12.95 but was one of the stronger routines of the day, as she hit without any major mistakes and just took a step on her double back. On floor, she competed a great double front, and earned a 12.45 for her effort.
There was lots of disappointment in this subdivision…and even more tears. I think I counted five different gymnasts crying for various reasons, and I don’t know who the male commentator was, but he actually made fun of one of the girls crying because “it didn’t go her way?” So let me remind you all that the majority of the girls competing in Nanjing are in their first major international competition, probably the most major international competition they’ll ever make it to, and they’re wanting to return home making their countries proud. A fall for the Turkish or Austrian or Egyptian or Czech 14- or 15-year-old girl hurts a lot, especially when they had a major shot at an event final, as some who fell on their pet events did.
Turkey’s Tutya Yilmaz, for example, typically has a very high difficulty on beam, and she fell on a relatively simple skill – her switch half. That’s after landing her bhs layout full, by the way. Of course she is devastated to receive only an 11.8. That event final was likely one of the greatest opportunities she’ll have within the sport. Thankfully, she does have a good shot at vault finals after she hit a gorgeous FTY and then a Yurchenko layout for a 14.05 and 13.25, respectively. She also came back strong on floor to earn a 12.8.
The same goes for Egypt’s Nada Ayman Ibrahim, who hit her fantastic vaults in the first rotation – a Tsuk layout full with slightly messy legs for a 13.5 and a gorgeous handspring front tuck for a 13.45, giving her a very nice combined score. But on bars, she struggled a bit to get a sense for her routine and then had a near-major accident on her double pike dismount, but ended up losing even more because her coach caught her (amazingly, I might add!) to prevent her from getting seriously injured.
One girl who did keep it together was Canada’s Sydney Townsend. She had a decent bars set – another that was a bit too low in execution, I thought – hitting her piked Jaeger, bail, and full-in for a 12.025. Then on beam, she fell on her bhs to back tuck series to earn an 11.45, though it didn’t seem to bother her much. She had a nice floor routine complete with a triple full for a 12.5, and then on vault, did a somewhat messy FTY to earn a 13.3 – the score that would count for her all-around total – only to follow it up with a wonderful DTY, earning over a point higher! It must be a new or typically tricky vault for her, but she did it very well today, and could improve on her all-around score by over two points if she stays on beam and does the DTY that well in all-around finals.
Sneakily good were Gaia Nesurini of Switzerland and Ava Verdeflor of the Philippines, even with counting mistakes. Both have lovely lines, and show a great promise with their routines, even if their skills weren’t the most difficult. There was also some strong beam work from Natallia Yakubava of Belarus, who looks likely to make the final.
Below are the running scores for the all-around. Event finalists will be decided after the third and final qualification subdivision at 7 pm local time (7 am EST).
1. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, 53.500
2. Wang Yan, China, 53.200
3. Iosra Abdelaziz, Italy, 53.150
4. Stephanie Hernandez, Mexico, 51.100
5. Sae Miyakawa, Japan, 50.900
6. Gaia Nesurini, Switzerland, 50.425
7. Ava Verdeflor, Philippines, 50.200
8. Sydney Townsend, Canada, 49.375
9. Nadine Joy Nathan, Singapore, 49.325
10. Tutya Yilmaz, Turkey, 48.950
11. Boglarka Devai, Hungary, 48.900
12. Natallia Yakubava, Belarus, 48.700
13. Veronika Cenkova, Czech Republic, 48.400
14. Veronika Orlova, Uzbekistan, 47.900
15. Paola Moreira Irizarry, Puerto Rico, 47.800
16. Arailym Khanseiitova, Kazakhstan, 47.450
17. Nada Ayman Ibrahim, 46.500
18. Sara Raposeiro, Portugal, 46.275
19. Agustina Santamaria, Argentina, 45.850
20. Ceyda Sirbu, Austria, 45.575
21. Mammule Rankoe, South Africa, 44.600
22. Hana Park, South Korea, 43.725
23. Ana Karina Mendez Reyes, Peru, 43.625
24. Maria Monica Sileoni, Finland, 43.600
25. Morgan Lloyd, Cayman Island, 41.250
26. Fatimah Saadi Al Tameemi, Iraq, 39.950
27. Fatima Ahlem Mokhtari, Algeria, 33.125
The qualifications will continue with one more subdivisions before qualifiers will place into the all-around and apparatus finals.
Article by Lauren Hopkins