The 2016 Chinese National Championships concluded with event finals this weekend, where Shang Chunsong picked up another two gold medals.
Event finals began with vault and bars on Saturday. The vault title went to Yuan Xiaoyang, who averaged a 15.450, followed by new senior Liu Jinru with a 15.117 and then Jing Yang was third with a 14.360. Wang Yan was expected to top this final if she hit both her Rudi and double-twisting Tsuk, but she pulled out due to muscle pain in her back. Yuan looked clean in her work, and had only a slight step back on her Tsuk double, putting her in a good place to take the title.
The bars gold went to Fan Yilin, who hit her 7.0 routine brilliantly, earning a 15.834 with one tenth of bonus in there for her stuck landing. Fan, who can still add about one more tenth to her routine in difficulty, hit her incredible inbar full to Komova II to pak to stalder to Chow to Gienger connection to start out. She then hit her intricate front pirouette work with a Healy, Ono, and 1.5 before landing a lovely double layout, topping the podium by just over four tenths.
Tan Jiaxin was second there with a 15.4 (6.8 d-score, 0.1 bonus) after connecting her Shang to pak salto and hitting her full-twisting double layout dismount. In a somewhat surprising finish, 2014 world silver medalist Huang Huidan was third with one of her strongest routines in the past two seasons, earning a 15.167 (6.5 d-score, 0.2 bonus).
In fourth was Shang Chunsong, who had a mostly strong routine, but lost the flow of her routine near the end, forcing her to go into an extra kip cast. She still posted a 15.134, just 0.033 away from the podium (6.7 d-score, no bonus). First-year senior Liu Tingting was fifth with a 14.867 (6.3 d-score, 0.1 bonus) after hitting her pak to shaposh connection but making a mistake on her front 1.5, junior Du Siyu was sixth with a 14.8 (6.5 d-score, 0.1 bonus), Zhu Xiaofang was seventh with a 14.767 for a watered-down routine (6.2 d-score), and Hua Ruixue was eighth with a 14.034 (5.7 d-score).
Shang came back from her mild disappointment on bars to capture the beam and floor gold medals by huge margins. On beam, she had a 15.467 (6.7 d-score) for a routine that was excellent, minus a wobble on her switch half and another on her front tuck to wolf jump. The score includes three tenths in bonus, so it wouldn’t be quite as high on an international stage, but with her three routines at this competition she’s showed that she’s definitely one of the favorites for a medal in Rio on this event.
Coming in for the silver medal was Liu Tingting with a superb and solid routine that earned a 14.934 (6.3 d-score) while 2001-born junior Chen Xiaoqing won the bronze with a 14.4 (5.9 d-score) for what was a near-perfect and lovely effort. Other hit routines came from Zhou Lu in fourth with a 14.234 (5.8 d-score) and junior Lin Yuyao in fifth with a 14.134 (5.7 d-score, 0.1 bonus).
Unfortunately, Fan had a fall on her layout here and then took a big step on her dismount landing, only reaching a 13.967 (6.4 d-score) including two tenths in bonus. Behind her was Zhu in seventh with a 13.834 (5.8 d-score) after wobbling a few times in her set, and then sadly in last was Wang with just a 12.667 (6.3 d-score, 0.2 bonus) after falls on her layout and full turn in what was an incredibly nervous and shaky routine.
On floor, Shang again proved to be the best with a 15.1 (6.6 d-score, 0.3 bonus). It wasn’t the sharpest routine for her, with a couple of short landings, but with Mao Yi watering down a bit, she still had an easy win by over half a point. Mao ended up in second with a 14.434 (6.0 d-score, 0.2 bonus) after taking out her punch front, coming up short on her quad turn, and taking a couple of steps on landings while 2002-born junior Li Qi was the bronze medalist with a 14.367 (5.9 d-score, 0.2 bonus).
Lu Yufei was fourth here with a 14.167 (5.8 d-score, 0.1 bonus) for a stuck full-in, triple full to punch front, and stuck 2.5 to front pike, Liu Tingting was fifth with a 14.034 (5.5 d-score) for a mostly clean routine, Liu Jinru was sixth with a 13.9 (5.9 d-score, 0.1 bonus) after a few messy landings, and then Tan hit her routine to finish seventh with a 13.767 (5.8 d-score).
Again, Wang unfortunately had problems here to place last, this time with a 13.667 (6.1 d-score, 0.4 bonus) after almost crashing her double double and then later falling on her punch front. It was definitely a rough day for her, and she reportedly cried a good deal after the competition, but with her back pain it’s possible she just had an off day. I still think she’s a frontrunner for the team, as she can contribute on three events in the team final when she hits and also has the ability to make at least two individual finals, but I’m sure her consistency is being called into question as a legitimate concern going forward. Hopefully once her back issues are under control, she can return to her old self.
Article by Lauren Hopkins