Todays session began with Beam and Mens Vault. Beam was headlined by Olympic Champion Sanne Wevers and Vault by Olympic Medalist Kenzo Shirai. Beam was, as usual, the battle of who could stay on the apparatus. Five gymnasts fell of the beam and four girls stayed on. Unsurprisingly the girls that stayed on the beam are ranked in the top 4 going into finals on Saturday. Liu Ting Ting led the way on beam with an amazing routine with lots of intricate mixed and acro combinations which gave her the highest difficulty score of 6.2 (which is huge in the new code of points). She scored a 14.666 with an 8.566 E score, she had a neutral deduction of .1 for going over time.
Second place in qualifications was fellow countrywoman Luo Huan who also showcased beautiful lines and skills to score a 14.366 (5.9).
Olympic Champion Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands qualified in fourth with a 13.866. She had a couple of breaks that resulted in missed connections which lowered her D score from 6.3 (which she showed in training today) to a 5.4. This kept her score below 14 and well behind the Chinese pair today.
Emma Nedov of Australia qualified in fourth place with a solid routine, she had a couple of balance breaks but nothing too major.
Alternating with beam was the Mens Vault which I had trouble watching because it was on the opposite end of the arena. Despite this I witnessed some amazing and terrifying vaulting. Kenzo Shirai of Japan qualified in first scoring 14.549 with an amazing triple twisting yurchenko and unveiling a new second vault that is now the Shirai IV (full on double full off). Ahmet Onder was in second with a stuck tsukahara two and a half twist. He struggled a little on his second vault but was overall really impressive. Wataru Tanigawa of japan was in third place with one messy and one pretty clean vault. Chris Remkes had a great first vault almost sticking his Dragalescu but fell on his second vault. If he hits in finals he could be a real contender for the podium.
Up next was parallel bars which once again was the battle of who could have the least amount of scary mistakes/fall. Zou Jingyuan of China qualified in first with a huge 15.433 (6.6), he had great handstands and stuck his double front half dismount. Ferhat Arican was in second with a 14.833 with a great routine with a basically stuck double front half dismount as well. He was the silver medalist on this event at the Rio Test Event last year so has excellent potential for the podium come Saturday night. Kenzo Shirai was in third with a 14.200 (6.0), overall he had a pretty clean routine with great form and amplitude. He had a couple of little struggles throughout the routine but stuck his dismount as well.
The next event up was floor which featured Wang Yan of China who qualified in top position with a 13.433 (5.4). She showed a new double layout but was a bit short, this was followed up by her trademark triple full to punch front. She also had some great new sassy choreography which featured a couple of cleaning the dirt off her shoulder moves. Liu Ting Ting of China was in second with a 13.400 (5.1) with beautiful leaps and great dance. Her deductions mainly came on her tumbling which could use some work to help improve her score. In third place was Emily Little of Australia who showed an amazing double layout that had a near perfect landing. She only scored a 12.633 but had fantastic tumbling and was just lacking a bit on the dance side.
Tracie Ang of Malaysia had a really great routine to qualify in fourth position.
High Bar was the final event and after this high bar competition I think high bar should be renamed Splat City because only three out of the eight gymnasts managed to make it through a routine without falling. Japan’s Saito Yusuke qualified in first with a 14.366 (6.7) he had a huge laidout Kolman to Kovacs combination which made the crowd roar with excitement. Devy Dyson of New Zealand qualified in second with a really secure and solid routine that which had by far the best execution (8.433) of the entire high bar competition. Ahmet Onder of Turkey had beautiful form on high bar but a couple of struggles on his routine let him qualify in third to Saturday’s final.
Today was quite a rough day for most people on every event so hopefully we see some improvements for finals. It was also super exciting today because I met Aly Raisman and Kenzo Shirai which was amazing. I can’t wait for the finals to start tomorrow and to continue covering the event for you all.