So one of us sacrificed some much-needed sleep to watch the FIG's promised live broadcast of the World Cup Final, only to find that there was no live video footage. Was there ever meant to be any or did we misread that statement? FIG, could you please get yourselves a press liaison and/or webmaster whose English is less ambiguous?
We also discovered that the promised live commentary was rubbish of the "GEORGALLAS Irodotos, CYP. his score: 15.375" variety. WTF, FIG? Absolutely any of our readers could have done a better job than that, in better English, with better punctuation and with more knowledge of what they were actually watching. Hell, some of our readers' children could have done a better job than that! We guess we shouldn't have been surprised at your total lack of insight into your own sport given that we recently devoted an entire post to the many instances of cluelessness displayed on your web site, but still, we were a tad shocked. Way to let down the people you're representing, guys. You're doing an awfully good job of that lately.
SR winner Olexander Vorobyov (photo: Reuters)
Thankfully, good ol' International Gymnast had live commentary on their site as well, and unlike the FIG commentator, the IG guys actually knew their stuff. Check out their descriptions of the routines shown in Saturday's finals (including some interesting comments about the judging) here if you haven't done so by now.
The FIG also posted a report of sorts after the competition, but it wasn't as thorough as IG's live commentary. Which leads us to believe that IG will probably be your best bet for coverage of Sunday's finals, as well, because we really don't expect the FIG to find us a live commentator who actually knows his skills and deductions, let alone get us a live video broadcast. God, no. That would be asking way too much.
So how was Saturday's competition? To be honest, it doesn't sound very good to us. If we counted correctly, there were seventeen (17) falls, as well as numerous unimpressive vaults. Furthermore, one Olympic medalist (Yang Yilin) scratched from her best event due to a waist injury, and needless to say, the FIG didn't have an alternate standby. Well, that's what you get for organizing a major competition at the tail end of a long and demanding Olympic year, FIG. Told ya so, didn't we?
A few good things about Saturday's finals (as reported by IG and the FIG):
FX winner Diego Hypolito (photo: Reuters)
--- Diego Hypolito's victory on floor. We're very glad to see Diego's ankle-strengthening exercises paid off and gave him yet another World Cup gold on his best event. He's a good guy, and as we mentioned a while ago, we were profoundly shocked by his fall in Beijing and his horrified response to it. He was devastated. We hope this victory has dispelled Diego's demons somewhat, and we look forward to seeing more good stuff from the spectacular Brazilian in tomorrow's men's vault final, which we expect to be more exciting than the women's vault final.
--- Kohei Uchimura's silver on floor. We've been quiet about this, but we, um, like Uchimura. We're excited to see he's doing in Madrid what he did in Beijing, which is quietly and gently rock our world. Rock on, Kohei!
--- Cheng Fei's victory on vault. We doubt anyone really doubted Cheng would win this title, but still, it was nice to see (or rather hear) she kept it together and grabbed that title. One down, two to go!
Vault winner Cheng Fei (photo: Xinhua?)
--- Jana Komrskova's comeback. No, she didn't medal in Madrid. No, she wasn't at her best. As the IG report noted, she was "just not ready yet." But isn't it nice to see Komrskova back in competition? Vault finals will be better with her in them. Lord knows they'll need to get better soon to sustain our interest.
--- Speaking of welcome comebacks, it's good to see Elsa Garcia back in action as well!
--- Yang Yilin scratching from the bars final. According to this Sina article, Yang was withdrawn from the competition because of a "waist injury." We guess that means she pulled a muscle. Pity He Ning wasn't there to take Yang's place.
UB winner He Kexin (photo: Xinhua)
--- He Kexin winning bars with a seriously flawed routine. No, we're not talking about her muscled kips for once. She almost fell out of a pirouette on the low bar. Don't get us wrong, we love us some He Kexin (there's no doubt in our minds that she's currently the best uneven bars worker in the world), but it shouldn't be possible for her to win such a competition with a near fall. It says much about both the code and the level of the competition in Madrid that she did.
--- Anastasia Koval's fall from bars. With He Kexin not at her best and Yang Yilin out of contention, it should have been Koval's turn to shine. Instead she caught both of her feet on her toe-on piked Tkatchev and landed head first on the floor - a scary fall, we've been told. Ouch. Not at all what we wanted for "the other Nastia." We'd have liked to see Daria Zgoba do better as well.
--- Daniele Hypolito's 11.875 on bars. We like Daniele, but a sub-12 score in a World Cup Final? Shocking. Seriously shocking. We hope she'll do better in the beam and floor finals.
Anyhow, enough of that for now. Day 1 results can be found here. We'll get back to you with more details later.
PH winner Zhang Hongtao (photo: Reuters)