Recap: Live blog of Women's Gymnastics Team Final

Recap: Live blog of Women's Gymnastics Team Final

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Recap: Live blog of Women's Gymnastics Team Final

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by LINDSAY CHAMBERLAIN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

KING 5 News web producer Lindsay Chamberlain, a former gymnast, posted live updates during today's Women’s Gymnastics Team Final.

Lindsay has read the 192-page Federation of International Gymnastics Code of Points and is working toward earning accreditation for judging.

She also photographed Team USA at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Competition in Everett in March. Click here for pictures.

THIS BLOG CONTAINS SPOILER ALERTS. Click here for pictures from today's meet.


8:21 a.m. Here's how it starts: USA/Russia on vault, China/Romania on on bars, Great Britain and Japan on beam and Italy and Canada on floor. Best possible rotation for Team USA (and Russia).

8:22: Team USA is one of the highest scoring teams in the world on vault. McKayla Maroney specifically made this team for her high difficulty.

8:26: Live feed of women's gymnastics team finals is here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/video-watch.html?video=main-feed-womens-team-final-mds You'll need your cable ID to sign in.

8:30 Lots of live feed problems. But hearing women are wearing red leos today instead of royal blue/purple from qualifying round. Wieber, Douglas and Maroney coming up on vault.

8:32 Former Team USA legend Dominique Dawes is at the gymnasium in London! She just tweeted this picture:

8:35: Things to keep in mind for vault: judges are looking for optimum height, speed and landing within the lines. Wieber starts.

8:37 Two and a half twist Yurchenko (round off back-handspring onto vault) and Wieber only has a small hop on the landing.

8:38: Maroney sticks like glue on her incredibly high/difficult vault. Her only event of the day, she's done the best possible vault.

8:40 I've seen a lot of these girls in person from Pacific Rim meet and they're even smaller than they look on TV. Many shorter than 4'11. Team China might be the smallest team in terms of size.

8:42 16.233 for Maroney. One of the highest vaulting scores you will see at the Olympics.

8:44 If you're watching the NBC live feed, you might be wondering why the announcers are skipping around to teams other than USA. The feed is being borrowed from another network.

8:49: Team USA on vault: Wieber 15.933, Douglas 15.966 and Maroney stuck her vault 16.233. total team score 48.132. (from @USAGym)

8:50 Russia on vault. After seeing Wieber's 2.5 twisting Yurchenko, a double Yurchenko just looks slow! (kidding)

8:51 Maria Paseka for Russia takes a large step. That could be as much a a 0.5 deduction in her execution score.

8:54 One of the biggest pillars of gymnastics -- look for virtually every move to hit a perfect handstand. If that core element isn't met, points aren't awarded.

8:55 Scores in modern gymnastics are now made up of two parts -- difficulty and execution. Difficulty determines you're overall value of the routine and execution can dock you points from there. A really good routine is somewhere between a 15 and 16, in general. The perfect 10 doesn't exist anymore!

8:58 China 1.73 points behind Team USA after first rotation. Now onto bars. Look for Gabby Douglas to shine here -- HUGE release moves that look like the mens' high bar.

9:00 Placement - #1 USA, #2 China, #3 Russia, #4 Canada, Italy, Romania, Japan, Great Britain after first rotation.

9:02 Russia very strong heritage when it comes to bars. Just Google Svetlana Khorkina. Several moves named after her. They will be an intimidating partner for Team USA here.

9:03 Waiting for Team USA to go on bars. You have to wonder if US coaches are trying to distract the team from watching Russia's routines. Don't want them to get in their heads.

9:08 7.0 difficulty value from Komova of Russia. That's high!

9:09 Romania on beam during this rotation. Catalina Ponor did a double turn?! That's a D level move (A being easiest, F/G being hardest). Gymnasts are only required to do a single turn, anything else is just increasing your difficulty. And sometimes a single turn is hard enough.

9:13 Watching Team Japan on floor, not as strong in tumbling as they've been in the past.

9:14 Here we go, Team USA starts bars. Dominique Dawes just tweeted, "Coach Chow washes off the bars to remove the honey and sugar water from the Russia. It would be dangerous if he didn't."

9:16 Wieber up first. Series of controlled but difficult kips on low bar, stalder to high bar, pirouettes, giants to double twist layout dismount. I think I caught a toe that wasn't pointed. 14.666 score.

9:18 Kayla Ross up second on bars.

9:20 NBC's live feed is actually behind real time. I'm seeing tweets already about Gabby Douglas's routine as anchor on bars.

9:21 Seeing 14.933 score for Kayla Ross. That's solid for Team USA.

9:22 Gabby Douglas. Mounts from spring board to high bar. Stalder, release over high bar, releases to low bar, double layout dismount, small step back.

9:24 If you're wondering why gymnasts don't only stick to the high bar -- they can't. Required to do a series of moves between the bars to show different types of movement.

9:25 Checking in on China on beam. This is a difficult pick for second rotation. Go from a high energy event like bars to one that requires you to control every toe and finger. They are having a few bobbles.

9:27 USA leads Russia by 0.399 heading into beam. That equates to a few small steps on a missed landing. One missed landing could separate the two from gold and silver.

9:30 China still on beam and just put up a 13.8 score. Not good for them, they will fall in the standings, but good for Team USA and Russia if they can keep sticking routines.

9:32 Seeing tweets about Ross hitting her beam routine with only a wobble on side salto. 15.133 score.

9:33 Great Britain getting big cheers on vault. Their team looks truly happy to be there, smiling and waving at the crowd.

9:34 Gabby Douglas nails standing full on beam, standing front tuck, back-handspring stepout layout, and back handspring stepout, two-foot to double pike dismount. Very solid routine for Team USA!

9:36 One of the things to watch when live feed shows slow-mo -- see how each gymnast spots the beam the whole way. General rule of thumb: There's no way you can land a move with your eyes closed.

9:38 Douglas gets a 15.233 on beam.

9:39 Beautiful leaps and tumbling from China on floor. They are really putting an emphasis on artistry and power in the same way Team USA forms floor routines.

9:40 Of course the live feed crashes now. Why wouldn't it?

9:42 Team Russia will need to respond in a big way to USA's beam performance. One fall could put US into gold position.

9:44 Romania on floor, Bulimar did a rare side somi on floor. Usually only see that on beam, like the one Jordyn Wieber does in her beam routine.

9:45 Japan on vault. A Yurchenko double is definitely the vault of the 2012 London Olympics!

9:46 Komova on beam -- sheep jump (touches feet to back of her head) STANDING ARABIAN (I've never actually seen that on beam except for a dismount). Also did an Arabian in her dismount, she must like those! 15.033 score.

9:49 On beam, equate every bobble, every wobble to a 0.1 deduction in execution.

9:50 Those beeps you hear during routines signal the gymnast she has 10 seconds to dismount or will be deducted.

9:52 Aly Raisman scored a 14.933 on beam. Team score 138.230

9:54 USA increases their lead by 1.299 heading into floor. We'll know who's gold in just a bit.

9:56 Russia scores a 44.399 on beam.

9:57 On floor, look for these key things: 3-4 tumbling passes, a series of connected leaps, gymnastics power moves combined with leaps. Dismounts need to be a double back or better (but that's quite easy for Team USA).

9:58 Russia goes ahead of Team USA on floor. That means Team USA will be able to respond to exactly what is needed to win.

10:00 First Russian gymnast does two and a half to front full to start her tumbling passes. Double back for second pass. Triple full to dismount. She actually looks winded. Might just be nerves though, sometimes you forget to breathe during your floor routine.

10:01 Floor routines should be a perfect combination of dance and power. Too much of one thing will hurt your score. This is the big difference between women and men's floor.

10:02 Federation of International Gymnastics tweets that second Russian gymnast stumbles during second tumbling pass: "That probably does it for [Russia]"

10:04 Don't forget China on vault. This is a high scoring event for them, they may make a run at a medal now.

10:05 Team Russia crying on the floor. Team USA needs to LOOK AWAY, keep their heads together, worry about their OWN routines. Can't get over confident going into any event.

10:06 Third gymnast on floor for Russia, Afanaseva. Double back layout to open, whip backs to triple full. A rare solitary split leap (weird) during leap series -- was that supposed to be something else? FALL on double back dismount. You can see was crushed the instant she hit the floor. 14.33 score.

10:09 Team USA to come. Chinese gymnasts anxiously watching from vault.

10:10 Douglas, Wieber and Raisman is the order. Raisman is a champ on this event, she made the Olympic team for her strong routine.

10:11 Dominique Dawes tweets Raisman just had the worst touch on floor she's ever seen. Each team gets to do a practice tumbling pass on floor before competing, called a "touch." Says Raisman should still be fit to go.

10:13 Gabby starts off. Wrist guards. Double full to double full. Takes a pause before second tumbling pass, double Arabian. She knows whats at stake. Another pause. Looks a tiny bit off in timing. Crowd clapping to keep time. Another LONG pause before third pass and dismount is a double back to stag leap. Solid but not as fluid as her routines have been.

10:15 15.066 for Douglas. China sticks a vault.

10:16 Wieber on floor - double double as first pass, she's smiling during her routine! That's something a bit uncharacteristic for Jordyn. May know she's about to win a team gold. More smiles, double back dismount. Very excited coming off the floor.

10:19 Wieber 15.000 score. Raisman to go.

10:20 Also smiles from Raisman! Big hop on first tumbling pass, Arabian double for second. Love her dance elements here, they look perfectly matched for the music and energy level. This is not a stuffy Olympic routine. Triple full and double back dismount. Aly starts crying as soon as she salutes the judges.

10:22 Russia still crying for missed gold. Team USA will win GOLD!

10:23 First Olympic team gold medal for the US since 1996 -- think back in the day of Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug and Dominique Moceanu!

10:25 Team USA hugging their gracious hosts, Great Britain.

10:27 Event finals and all-around finals still to come later this week, could there be more gold for Team USA? I'll live blog Thursday's meet as well.

10:28 Medal presentation to come.

10:29 Final standings: USA (183.596), Russia silver (178.530), Romania bronze (176.414). Followed by China, Canada, Great Britain Italy and Japan.

10:37 Medal presentation opens with Chariots of Fire. Classically British, as heard in the Opening Ceremony.

10:41 What strikes me about today's meet is that none of the American gymnasts threw any skills that are impossible, or did routines that weren't 100 percent guaranteed. Maybe its because I've seen all these routines several times, but these were executable, planned out routines for Team USA, carefully crafted to win.

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