U.S. and Germany Exceed Expectations in Final Subdivision

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Though no team was able upset any of the top three that competed earlier today, the United States fought back from a few mistakes to put up some top-notch scores that helped them slip ahead of Great Britain into the final, while Germany, which qualified last to the Olympic Games in 2019, was on fire to finish sixth.

The U.S. had big mistakes or falls on nearly every event, but ended up not counting any of them, and though they don’t boast the big difficulty routines that Japan, China, or Russia have from nearly all of their competitors, a few individual standouts were able to get into finals, making this a huge success for the team, which earned a score of 256.761, more than six points higher than its qualification performances in both 2018 and 2019.

Both Brody Malone and Sam Mikulak qualified to the all-around final, while Malone also made it into the high bar competition, as expected. Individual athlete Alec Yoder had one of the best pommel horse routines of the day to qualify fourth there, less than a tenth back from first place, while Mikulak put up his best parallel bars performance of the year to make that final, and Yul Moldauer went for broke on floor, landing everything pretty much perfectly to qualify there.

Similar to the U.S. in many ways, Germany had to fight back from a few mishaps and also only has a few top-rated performers sprinkled in among the otherwise low-difficulty routines, but with a brilliant p-bars rotation led by Lukas Dauser – who qualified second into the final – as well as some strong fights throughout the rest of the competition, the team improved on its 2019 team score by nearly four points, and both Dauser and Philipp Herder qualified to the all-around final as well.

Taiwan and South Korea were the other two teams in the final subdivision, but both struggled, missing out on some key individual finals on top of the team final. Taiwan, sixth at worlds in 2019, had falls on top of needing to replace an athlete just days before flying to Tokyo, while South Korea showed a ton of power on floor and vault, but lacked key routines on the other apparatuses and was unable to make their mark.

Top all-arounders from this subdivision outside of the four teams included Ahmet Önder and Adem Asil of Turkey, who finished eighth and 15th with scores of 85.665 and 84.524, respectively.

On floor, Artem Dolgopyat maintained his lead with a 15.200, and was joined by two Koreans, as Ryu Sung-hyun finished third with a 15.066 and Kim Han-sol came fifth with a 14.900, as well as by Moldauer in sixth with a 14.866. Lee of Taiwan jumped into the lead on pommels with a 15.266, the same score as Rhys McClenaghan and Kameyama Kohei, though his execution score bested the two by a tenth to win the tie-breaker, while Yoder is fourth with a 15.200. No one in this subdivision was able to top Eleftherios Petrounias on rings, but Samir Aït Saïd of France came the closest, finishing third with a 15.066, while Ibrahim Colak of Turkey is fourth with a 14.933, and Adem Asil is sixth with a 14.800.

Shin Jea-hwan of South Korea took over the top spot on vault, averaging a 14.866, while Asil ended up fourth with a 14.766, Carlos Yulo in sixth with a 14.712, and Ahmet Önder in eighth with a 14.466. Zou Jingyuan maintains his lead on p-bars, but Dauser was excellent to join the field in second with a 15.733, Ferhat Arican did his full 7.0 difficulty set to come fourth with a 15.566, and Mikulak ended up fifth with a 15.433. And on high bar, Hashimoto Daiki continues to reign supreme, with Malone the sole subdivision three competitor to reach the final, with a 14.533 for fourth place.

The biggest misses from this subdivision include Carlos Yulo not making it on floor and into the all-around final, Marco Lodadio of Italy missing rings by just over a tenth, Mikulak showing a rough high bar routine to miss out there, 2012 Olympic vault champion Yang Hak-seon missing the final by a tenth after sitting his kaz 2½, Ivan Tikhonov of Azerbaijan missing the vault final after looking strong in podium training, Robert Tvorogal of Lithuania missing high bar and the all-around, and Andreas Toba of Germany and Shane Wiskus of the United States not making any individual finals, though at least they’ll both get to compete once more with the team.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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