Who is going to make it? – Uneven Bars Finals
Time to discuss the girls who have a shot at uneven bars finals. Now, what we are going to see here are actually some inside battles, due to the 2-per-country rule. Unfortunately some really amazing gymnasts may be out of finals because they have two teammates who can outscore them.
Another aspect that has to be considered is the “nerves record” that is very strong among these athletes. Many of them have, in the past, done a bad job in prelims, keeping them from advancing to event finals (and latter they`d do a good job on team finals). And others have done really great in team qualifications, only to have a bad day on event finals. Therefore, I think this should be a very interesting and surprising competition! Let`s take a closer look at all this:
“I have three amazing bar workers standing before me, but only two of them are going to make the uneven bars finals” – we have Russia’s Next Top Gymnast going on this year ;). Whoever makes it to the finals have a really big chance of medaling.
1) Aliya Mustafina: She competes a very hard and well-executed routine, having won both the 2012 Russian Championships and the 2012 Russian Cup on this event. When she hits, she is obviously great, but it all comes down to consistency and whether she is able to do her best on qualifications. On the European Championships this year, for example, her mistakes on bars prevented her to advancing to finals, due to Grishina and Komova scoring higher than her (only to, on team finals, have the highest bar score of the competition). Difficulty 7,0
2) Viktoria Komova: With the same level of difficulty than Mustafina, Komova has beautiful lines and is the current World and European Championship on this event, therefore proving she can mostly hit when it counts. She did place third on the Russian Championships this year due to a fall though and if that were to happen on Olympic preliminaries, her teammates might just leave her behind. Difficulty 7,0
3) Anastasia Grishina: She is the silver medalist on bars at the 2012 European Championships and although her difficulty is lower than the other two, she has very nice execution and could sneak in if one of the others make a mistake on the qualification round. She has a very inconsistent record though, this year having had many mistakes on the Jesolo Trophy, for example. Difficulty 6,5
The uneven bars are the weakest event for the American team. Even so, there is a big chance we are going to see two gymnasts on the finals too.
4) Gabrielle Douglas: With her high-flying releases, Gabby is the top bar worker on the USA. It is her best event and she usually hits it without major problems. The question is whether she will do it under pressure. If she does hit, she could fight for a medal. Difficulty 6,6
5) Kyla Ross: Her difficulty is not very high, but she has some of the highest execution scores out of the contenders. She is also a very consistent gymnast, although we haven’t seen her in a big international stage before. As far as medaling goes, I wouldn’t really bet on Kyla seeing how many other stronger girls will be fighting for the top three spots, but I wouldn’t count her out either. Difficulty 6,4
6) Jordyn Wieber: Yes, I know this is highly unlikely, BUT if one of the other American girls has a mistake on qualifications and Jordyn hits, she might actually sneak into finals. She has the same difficulty as Kyla and has managed some not-bad scores lately. Let’s not forget she did make UB finals at last year’s Worlds. Difficulty 6,4
China also has three strong bar workers and it will come down to who hits it on prelims.
7) Kexin He: She is the current Olympic Champion on bars and it is really cool that she might be able to defend her position, but since 2009 she has been struggling with consistency up to the point where in last year’s Worlds, China decided not to use her on team finals due to her bad performance in qualifications. She was the last one to make it to their Olympic team this year and rumor has it she can compete a 7,4 routine. Let’s see if that is really true, but if it were and she performed it well, she could fight for the gold once again. Difficulty 7,1 (maybe 7,4)
8) Jinnan Yao: She has shown a great and upgraded routine (with a stalder Shaposhnikova with a ½ turn) this year at the Zibo World Cup, which gave her the gold medal. Last year at Worlds, she was first reserve and maybe this year she might actually make it. Difficulty 6,8
9) Huang Qiushuang: She was the bronze-medalist at last year’s Worlds and we all now she has really beautiful lines. The problem with her is the constant struggle with consistency, so let’s see how this works out. She took the silver medal at the Zibo World Cup, second to Yao. Difficulty 6,6
The other Europeans:
10) Elizabeth Tweddle: She took the gold on bars at this year’s British Championships and also at the Friendly Meet between Great Britain, Spain and Finland. She hasn’t been competing her full difficulty though due to the surgery she has had on her knee this year. The Olympics in London is the competition of her life and I think we can expect her to fight hard to be on the podium. Difficulty 7,0
11) Youna Dufournet: She is the French National Champion on bars and has a lot of difficulty in her routine and we can see she is trying really hard to medal in London, but the question is whether she is able to perform very well this very hard routine. She made the uneven bars final at the 2012 Euros, but ended up in last place after some mistakes. If she does hit though, she might sneak into the medal scene. Difficulty 6,9
12) Natalia Kononenko: She took the bronze medal at Euros and has high difficulty. She has also medaled at the World Cup in Cottbus this year. Let’s not forget the star from Ukraine on this list. Difficulty 6,7
13) Elisabeth Seitz: She has a very nice bar routine and, depending on the consistency of the top other top bar workers previously mentioned, she might actually make it to the finals. She is the three-time German Champion on bars. Difficulty 6,7
14) Celine Van Gerner: She made it to the finals at this year’s Euros and ended up in fifth place. She has also captured the gold on some recent World Cups. Although she doesn’t have the highest difficulty, we shouldn’t count the Dutch gymnast out. Difficulty 6,2
Who do you think are going to be the top 8 gymnasts to make the uneven bars finals? What is your dream podium? Leave your comments below!
Thanks to The All Around, that provided information about the difficulty scores: http://the-all-around.com/2012/07/09/wag-best-scores-9-july/