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Winning With a Fall in 2000?

January 21, 2011

Since the introduction of the new code of points, it has become possible to win a medal, even a gold in the all around with a fall. Vanessa Ferrari showed us that in 2006, when she beat four gymnasts who did not fall to win the world all around title. Jade Barbosa and Rebecca Bross have also won medals with a fall.

Well, here is what I discovered: Svetlana Khorkina would have likely won the 2000 All Around if she didn’t fall on vault. Actually, she would have finished second behind Raducan who in my opinion was the real champion, but if she had scored her typical 9.8+ on bars, she would have been the official champion. She only needed over 9.725.

But after vault, Svetlana seemed to give up. On bars, she fell on the same skill that she had fallen on the day before, and as she did in team finals, she repeated the combination after the fall. This leads me to believe that the mistake was a completely mental thing. As if she was thinking “I already fell, so why try now?” But she, of all people, should have known that it was far from over. She fell on one of her vaults during the all around of the 1998 European Championships. And she won that competition. With averaged vault scores, a fall is a whole lot less devastating because only half of the deduction is applied. I wonder if she would have chosen to re-vault to pull herself out of the silver medal position if she hit bars; I think she would have, even if it could have dropped her right back out of the medals if she fell again. That year, she wanted the gold so much. Maybe not enough to tell NBC that she wanted it more than she wanted to have a child like she did in 2004, but you could just tell that she knew she would win it if she hit her routines. Almost like Mustafina this year. And you could see the fear in her eyes as she got ready to vault; she knew that something was wrong.

I am not Svetlana’s biggest fan, but I would have liked her to win that night, without the fall of course. She was a far more complete gymnast than any of the Romanians, who could simply not do bars. Sure, they were great everywhere else with the exception of Olaru who I really don’t care for, but that bars score really stood out against all of the great ones. Amanar’s beam also did nothing for me. Svetlana was capable of going 9.75+ everywhere, which is what I would like to see from an all around champion. She was the only one capable of scoring 39+ all around because she was so far ahead of the field. If she had won, she likely would not have continued past Sydney, which kind of freaks me out (Zignashina as world champion???), but her gymnastics simply wasn’t as good then anyways. I wonder if she has ever realized that bars could have won this for her, despite the fall.

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