The Chinese team earned a 230.753 in qualifications, a little over four points behind the first place United States, but almost three points ahead of third place Russia.
Their first event was bars, on which they ALL had the most gorgeous pirouette work, including a couple of 1.5s and lots of one-armed work. They were almost all awesome aside from the very first routine. Chen Siyi fell onto the bar before what I believe was supposed to be a blind full, and then missed her pak salto and fell, earning just an 11.458.
Shang Chunsong picked things up again, however, earning a solid 14.558 for a routine that included her eponymous skill, the clear hip piked Tkatchev. She also hit her Jaeger, Tkatchev, huge Gienger, and a near-stuck full-in for a 14.558.
Huang Huidan was lovely, earning a 15.333 for a routine that included an inbar full to Chow to pak salto to Chow half, which was absolutely awesome. Lots of Chow half transitions in routines this year and I’m loving it! She also hit a piked Jaeger and double front half.
The strongest bar worker was Yao Jinnan, naturally. She hit her Komova II, pak salto to Chow half (another one!), the craziest pirouette work I’ve ever seen (I didn’t even try to take notes…she’s so quick and technically perfect, it wasn’t worth it!), and a near-stuck double layout.
Last up was Tan Jiaxin, who crashed in a few places during the one-touch. In competition, however, she hit her Hindorff to pak salto to Maloney, which was incredible! She also hit a Gienger, Tkatchev, and double-twisting double layout with a step back, earning a 15.333.
Beam was a good event for the Chinese, though it’s hard to get used to them not looking as gorgeous as they did in the last quad, back when Deng Linlin and Sui Lu ruled the world. Chen was again the leadoff athlete, and was a bit shaky throughout, including on her roundoff layout, switch ring, and side aerial. Her punch front pike to Korbut was great, and she dismounted with a triple full that she didn’t get all the way around.
Shang nailed her bhs-bhs-layout series, switch half, bhs loso, punch front tuck to Korbut, switch to back tuck, side aerial to sissone, and triple full with a step to the side, earning a 14.633 for her excellent work.
Yao came in with a mostly solid routine. She had a check on her front aerial to sheep jump, but hit her bhs-bhs-layout, switch ring, Y 1.5 turn, side aerial, and a great double pike for a 14.9.
Next in line was Huang, who hit her front aerial to sheep, but then practically tucked her layout on her bhs-layout series…she also had a big check there. Her switch to Onodi was lovely, and her 2.5 dismount looked a bit wonky in the air, but she hit it, earning a 14.3.
Bai Yawen is known for her difficult yet inconsistent routine, but came in with a huge hit today! Her roundoff layout was really nice, as was her front aerial to sheep jump. There was a big check (she bent down fully) on her side aerial, but she hit the double pike dismount with just a step and brought in a much-needed 14.8.
Floor is arguably the worst event for the Chinese. Before they competed, I said they’d be lucky to get above a 14.0…and of course, their highest score today was Shang’s 13.966.
Up first was Chen again, who went for a triple full to punch front but the triple was so low and underrotated, it looked like the punch front was a mistake! It seriously looked like she rebounded forward out of the triple and just tumbled out of it so she wouldn’t get injured. She had a step on her full-in, and then crashed her double pike a bit, earning just a 12.533.
Yao, who has been hit or miss on this event, hit her double pike and 1.5 through to 2.5 nicely, but had a messy and underrotated triple full and then crashed her double tuck, earning a 12.633.
Thankfully, Shang hit her routine, opening with a 1.5 through to triple full to punch front, which actually didn’t look bad! Her full-in was a bit underrotated, but she came back with a nice 1.5 to punch front and a double pike, earning a 13.966, the team’s best.
Tan also didn’t look bad, though she did underrotate the triple on her 1.5 through to triple full. Her double pike, 2.5, and double pike all looked decent, though, and she brought in a 13.6. An easy routine, pretty much, but nicely done for the most part.
Finishing things up, Bai had another easy routine. She hopped her 2.5 forward, hit her double tuck and double full, and then had a low double pike for a 12.766.
The team finished on vault. Shang went for an FTY, which looked very clean and brought in a 13.966.
There were then three DTYs in a row – Chen looked clean in the air but didn’t get nearly enough height or distance and landed it very low for a 14.333. Yao had a clean vault with a college stick for a 14.833. Tan’s looked EXCELLENT…she just bounced it slightly in place for a 15.133.
The rotation and meet finished up with Bai’s FTY, which looked good aside from a step out to the side, earning a 13.666.
I think the team could clean up a bit on beam, but they performed about as well as they possibly could on their other three events. To contend with the USA, they’ll definitely need to figure out their floor situation, but I think if they can work on this – and once Wang Yan joins the senior ranks next year – they could be legitimate competition for the United States.
Article by Lauren Hopkins