About Vault Finals…
It was a nail-biting competition (and a very shocking one too).
To get things started, we had a nice performance from Brittany Rogers, who did her two vaults (although not so hard) very well. She was one of the two gymnasts representing Canada in vault finals, after the very-awesome competition this team had in London. (14.493)
After that, it was time for the rookie Janine Berger, who showed difficulty and power, but with a little bit of execution problems. It was nice to see a first-year senior hitting it nicely at the Olympics and showing that she has come to stay and keep Germany in vault finals, even after Chuso retires. (15.016)
Ellie Black was the third one to go and ended up crashing her first vault. It was a little scary, but she got up and kept going, trying to fight back the tears and compose herself to the second one. While making her run, she feels her ankle and stops midway. She salutes the judges, getting a zero on both vaults and goes get her ankle iced. The whole thing was a little scary and I just hope Ellie is ok and the injury isn’t too serious. She is such a great gymnast, who helped so much team Canada in London. (0.00)
After all that, I have to admit I was VERY nervous to see Peña vault. She went for it and, midway, stopped and started again, because she had missed her steps. The second time she got it right but, in the end, wasn’t able to stand up the very hard Produnova (she still got her feet on the ground first, which validates the vault). After that, her DTY was better, but still with some form issues. (14.516)
It was Oksana Chusovitina’s turn and she delivered it with just some landing problems on both vaults. It is so amazing to see this woman compete and I am sure going to miss her! After her performance, she waved to the crowd savoring her last moments as a competitive gymnast. I hope we still get to see her as an elite coach and, as I said, she left Gerber to keep things going for the Germans :) (Gerber has stated in some interviews that Chuso has always been one of her idols and that competing by her side was a dream coming true! – so cute). (14.783)
Maria Paseka went for her Amanar, which had the usual problems on the landing. Her second vault was much better though, and she finished it with a smile. She got the bronze medal and, honestly, I was ok with it! I know many people have complained about her being overscored. I do find her Amanar scary on the landing, but her form isn’t so bad and her second vault was actually quite nice! Fourth medal on WAG for Russia in London! (15.050)
It was Mckayla Maroney’s time and I think it is safe to say we were all just very sure we would see the usual great vaults, she would get the gold and we could all move on with our lives. Only… not. Her Amanar was very high and nice as always, but the landing looked a little uncertain. Still, that would have been enough. Time for her second vault and I can say that I had my mouth hanging open in shock for a very long time when I saw her sit it! Seriously people, when has she ever missed a vault? (Actually, here is the answer: http://fyeahgymnasticsmemes.tumblr.com/post/28767847823/maroneys-fallen-once-on-vt-ever-before-today-she-hit). The Olympics are unpredictable games, indeed. I think the general consensus is “Maroney is the best vaulter in the world, but was not the best vaulter in that competition”. I was still pretty impressed she managed to get the silver. It shows that her execution in the air is so good, it makes a difference! (although in the Proposed Code for 2013-basa2016 she would have gotten fourth place http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=7073). I was really rooting for Maroney, but that was not her day. Maybe all she needed was one more deep breath or one more second to focus on the exercise. I guess we will never know. (15.083)
Last, but certainly not least, was Sandra Izbaza. She hit her two vaults and went for the gold: her fourth Olympic medal! Can we just take a moment to appreciate how much this girl has under her belt? In 2008, she helped Romania for the team-bronze and was gold-medalist on floor (also being the last to go, beating both Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin). She kept going with gymnastics after Bejing, but ended up with a torn Achilles. She not only recovers, but becomes a vaulter and goes back to competing all-around to help her team. She come to London, helps Romania win the bronze again and now gets another individual gold, in a different apparatus! Amazing! And also, she is such a great example of sportmanship, always showing great attitude towards her team, her coaches and her competititors. (15.191)
Although it was a surprising result, I am very happy with it. Izbasa is such a fighter and hit when it counted, deserving the gold. Maroney had a bad day, but still got a medal to celebrate her talent. And Paseka, who made team Russia only for her vault, got an individual medal on this apparatus too!
What about you? What did you guys think about the results?