Uchimura’s Pommel dismount?

Kohei Uchimura expressed a measure of sympathy for Great Britain and Ukraine after a judging inquiry into his pommel horse routine gave Japan the silver medal in the men’s Olympic gymnastics team final.

France 24

But should he have been given credit for a “dismount”?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


To be honest the dismount should have been counted in the first place it’s just a right downer being in 2nd then 3rd

That should be good enough for me.

The MTC reviewed it 10 times on video. And gave him credit.

Full Twist posted the official FIG media communication presented to the Press Tribunes following the successful Japanese appeal, if you want to see it.

Seems justice was done. The process worked.

Leave a comment if you disagree.

… It did look gawd awful to see the Japanese coach pushing cash at judges. That truly is a legacy of the bad old days. Days so long ago that a few dollars was a disincentive.

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

34 thoughts on “Uchimura’s Pommel dismount?”

  1. It’s apparently a policy at the olympics. Korean delegation had to do it in Fencing. It’s disgraceful and against the olympic spirit

  2. The cash was because to file an inquiry you have to make a cash deposit as a fee. One that is refunded if your inquiry is accepted. Just like in American football when coaches can use a time-out as a deposit on a challenge, and if they win the challenge, they don’t forfeit that time out.

  3. Is it true that money is required for a formal inquiry? Someone made this comment on another website:

    “Unbelievably,payment is required for a formal inquiry.If the inquiry is accepted you get your money back, if not, they keep it.”

  4. I don’t understand why it’s not considered a fall. He clearly didn’t establish any control, and clearly fell off the horse. Are falls simply not permitted by rule?

  5. PH is hard to understand, and many 4 year fans are going to see that as a fall + seeing the Japenese coach give money to the judges…not good.

    Very bad.

    Dan Keatings has class.

  6. How will the Japanese team return to Japan with their heads held high? They know within themselves that that dismount was not worthy of the score -how very un-Japanese of the Japanese team. Accept that you were beaten, and that makes you the higher man. Poor show.

    I feel the judges were scared to have a Yang Tae Young repeat, and went all chicken on the correct decision. That ‘dismount’ looked bailed to me, from every angle (granted NBC are not exactly thrilling me with their coverage, so perhaps the judges had a better view)

  7. Ono – i know i don’t understand PH, but it just seems like if you were to translate that same exact motion to an attempted PB dismount, and with that lack of control on the way down, falling off the bars wouldn’t get you credit for a dismount, would it? (Not complaining, honestly curious as to how the TC interpreted it).

  8. It would be better to have a limit on the number of appeals, like they do in tennis. Seeing people hand over money just looks dodgy.

    @Daboochmeister – if you translate that to a bad PB dismount with the same landing position he would still get credit for the dismount, but would receive a lot of deductions.

  9. In the Code of Points: Under ‘Inquiry’ –

    j) In the days following a competition, a global video analysis will be
    carried out by the TCs, and in case the mistakes are established,
    the guilty judges will be punished accordingly.

    SO it will be interesting to see how the peers view it – and how we can find out what their decisions are.

    This chapter, interestingly enough, only describes what will happen to the judges, not what will happen to the afflicted gymnast…

    In my book, he never made full support in the handstand – so should not be credited. I’d need to see their slow mo replay to see how they arrived at that decision.

  10. Uchimura landed on his feet and no other body part touched the ground. What he did was not good, but it was not a fall according to the code of points.

    It’s possible to not meet the requirement for a PH dismount and still not count a fall.

  11. I have been searching everywhere for proof that a cash deposit is required for an inquiry and I can’t find it anywhere. I competed in gymnastics for 16 years and have never heard of such a thing. I watched the video of the process and you can see one of the judges who seems to be saying “put your money away” or “get that away from me I don’t want that.” as that is happening another judge standing near by is nervously eyeing the live camera as if thinking to him self this doesn’t look good at all.

    I think that the overall correct decision on the dismount was made, but it is clear that the Japanese judges were going to try and use some bribery if needed. If this is true it is absurd and not needed in the sport of gymnastics.

    If anybody can find proof of the “new cash deposit inquiry” rule that Tim Dagget (NBC gymnastics announcer) so nervously and horribly tried to explain on TV, please guide me towards it. I’d like to believe this exists, but I’m not so optimistic.

  12. From the moment they have the slightest doubt he was on the required angle, they must authomatically give him the benefit of the doubt, which they did in the end.
    It’s a pity they didn’t got it right from the beginning.

  13. from Code of Points.

    … inquiry will start from USD 300.-. This principle applies to the second inquiry USD 500 or the third USD 1000.- and any subsequent inquiries. The starting fee is relevant of the point of success of the inquiry.
    1st inquiry: USD 300.- If the inquiry is successful the sum for the 2nd inquiry is USD 300.-
    If the 1st inquiry is not successful, the 2nd inquiry is USD 500.-

    i) The fee of each non successful inquiry will be transferred to the FIG Foundation.

    Anyway, I hope Judges to open the video whether it is success or not.

  14. Haha, yea imagine in a tennis match seeing the player challenge a call and then having to give the umpire $100, that would be ridiculous!

  15. As an MAG coach and judge. in my opinion it is impossible to credit this as a dismount. This attempted dismount must go through handstand to receive C or in this case D value which Uchimura was trying to gain.

    He clearly doesn’t go to handstand therefore ‘no’ dismount should be credited. How Stoica can credit that with a C really baffles me.

    Stoica has for sure lost the Ukrainian vote!

    However all this a side, I am a coach and very proud to be part of what should be considered the best systems in the world.
    Haven’t stopped smiling since yesterday evening.
    And without question there is more to come!!


  16. To get credit it doesn’t need to go through handstand. It needs to be within 45 degrees. There will be a deduction for being short of handstand, but it does get counted. He probably got a full point in deductions though.

  17. It is $300 – 400 per appeal (Swiss dollars? American dollars?) or some amount around that; either way, it’s large and expensive, and as Luke said, it’s to discourage menial disputes.

  18. That was a colossal flub & certainly not an actual dismount. Looked like a crashing helicopter more than it did an actual gymnastics skill. Disgraceful.

  19. Clinton, sorry but I disagree.
    The code clearly states that “all dismounts OTHER THAN handstand dismounts must be executed at a minimum of 45 degrees….”

    How is it possible to be credited what is called a HANSTAD dismount when you are not actually in the vertical position we know to be handstand.

    My second point is even if he had decided during the dismount he couldn’t make a D value turn he was positioned far to behind the horse to be able to change this for a C dismount.
    If the body does cross the horse it is a non-recognised dismount.

    Domestically in the last cycle here in the UK we have often discounted dismounts that are similar to what we saw yesterday. To encourage quality dismounts. Maybe this is why we are without question the strongest nation in the world on Pommel horse

  20. Any skill that is executed in such a way that the E jury deducts a large, 0.5 deduction should not be given by the D jury. Regardless of name, country or style of routine up to that point. Surely the Surerior Jury should have used common sense when the D1, D2 ( Japanese) and Supervisor all gave the ‘no dismount’ call.

  21. It’s incredible that the dismount was given. There was no support through the turn. As great a gymnast Uchimura certainly is, this was not his best work. He was falling from the pommel horse, did not show support in his turn, did not cross the horse as he was supposed to and made the best of a fall from the apparatus. The Difficulty judges, one of whom was japanese himself, made the right call and the apparatus supervisor agreed with their assessment. No dismount was awarded. If it hadn’t been Uchimura then the decision would have remained. Three international experts were in accord. Where do the MTC get 0.7 from. If a C dismount was awarded, that would have satisfied a partial dismount requirement for 0.3 and 0.3 for a C, which would have been 0.6. Had they awarded a D dismount, which it certainly was not, then that would have been 0.5 full dismount requirement and 0.4 for a D resulting in 0.9. It was never a D. The additional 0.7 is an impossible increment.
    The judges were entirely correct in their original assessment and every international judge reviewing the video cannot help agree with their colleagues who were charged with evaluating yesterday’s routine.
    Ukraine lost out on a medal yesterday and Britain dropped from silver to Bronze. There is no other sport where the judges or referees are overruled in this manner. A disservice to gymnastics was done yesterday.

  22. Adam, the relevant section is Article 22.10 – elements that go to/through handstand. The deduction is based on the deviation from the perfect position. Same as doing a stutz but not quite making handstand. The skill is counted up until a 45 degree angle (with relevant deductions), only when the angle is 45 degrees or more is the skill not counted.

    The paragraph you quoted is for wende type dismounts.

  23. Even provincially in my country that dismount should not have been credited. At least not as a D value, most likely not at all. If you a a firm believer in always going in favour kof the athlete the correct evaluation would have been to give partial credit for the handstand by awarding a B value since falling off with a full turn is clearly not what the full turning handstand was intended to be if credit for a D is expected, and leave the athlete with a non commensurate value for the dismount. That in my opinion would be a fair evaluation, leaving the athlete with partial credit for a partial element.

  24. Just want to give a shout out to the Japanese official who was “on the money”. He was prepared with USD in hand to make the appeal. The system worked.

    The controversy is because the judges didn’t make the call the first time around.

  25. Chapter 6 Article 21
    4. Judges of the E-Jury (and the D-jury) must remain up-to-date with contemporary gymnastics, must know at all times what the most contemporary performance expectation for an element should be, and must know how standards are changing as the sport evolves. In this context they must also know what is possible, what is reasonable to expect, what is an exception, and what is a special effect (see also Chapter 13.3) —

    So if Falls are -1.0, Large Errors are -0.5, Medium Errors -0.3 and Small Errors are -0.1 and they increased his score by 0.7 then they are essentially saying he went from a large error to a meduim error. But in Chapter 6 Article 22 3. d) states
    “d) Falls and spotter assistance: (deduction = 1.0 p.)
    i. any fall on or from the apparatus during an element
    without having reached an end position that permits
    continuation with at least a swing (i.e. a distinct hang
    phase on Horizontal Bar or a distinct support phase on
    Pommel Horse after the element in question) or that otherwise fails to display a momentary control of the element during landing or re-grasp”
    I think this performanced lacked a distinct support phase in the dismount element.
    Chapter 6 Article 22 # 15. States
    “Deductions for poor landings are listed in Article 24. A correct landing is a prepared landing, not one which happens by luck to end in a standing position. An element should be performed with such excellent technique that the gymnast has fully completed it and has had time to reduce rotation and/or extend the body prior to landing.”
    I think this landing had an elemnt of luck.

  26. Richard, thanks for pointing out that paragraph. It pretty much just says that judges are somehow expected to keep up with a bunch of ill defined and constantly changing rules. No wonder the judging is so inconsistent.

  27. @Bushido: You can’t fault the japanese team for this. It was all their coaches and officials doing. In the coverage I watched, all 4 (except Koji for obvious reasons) team members sat stoically (especially Uchimura) after his set. When it flashed on the screen that their inquiry had been accepted not one of them even so much as cracked a smile. This is not what they wanted either….

    @Adam Patterson:
    “Maybe this is why we are without question the strongest nation in the world on Pommel horse”
    -wow so quickly that medal goes to your head. Are you guys so good because you always practice ‘on your high horse.’ I think maybe Hungary or the 3-5 pommel specialists sitting at home in China might disagree with you there.

  28. Okay, so I may be a little biased and I know diddly-squat about scoring in gymnastics but, in my view, he started falling before he even went into the last part of the dismount, handstand or otherwise, so how could any of what happened after he started falling count for any points at all??

  29. The change of score had nothing to do with deductions. The only thing that was changed was his difficulty score. No one can challenge the execution E score, however coaches are free to challenge the D score of a gymnast if they believe it has been incorrectly evaluated. This was done. Nevertheless, three international experts judged that the dismount was not counted. This decision was overruled. He was clearly falling from the apparatus but as a true star with cat like reflexes he managed to get onto his feet. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at the judges meeting before the AA.

  30. I don’t think anyone can say three Category 1 international judges aren’t up to date with modern contemporary gymnastics. The dismount should be clearly performed as to be recognisable by the judges. don’t get me wrong, I wanted Uchimura to be challenging
    Sherbo’s record at this Olympics. Sadly for us all, he wasn’t on form, looked pretty jaded but nevertheless posted a great score. The video on this site makes it pretty clear the judges got it right in the first place.

  31. Absolutely disgusting. Waving cash at the judges, browbeating them into a favorable decision? Embarrassing. Everyone knows–and deep down the Japanese team knows–that the GB team are the true silver medalists and the Ukrainian team are the true bronze medalists.

  32. > Cee
    I didn’t know that the olympic medals are on sale for only 300 USD.
    Unless you’re ignorant, you must insult Japanese to vent your anger, intentionally. Anyway, you are disgusting.

    I wonder why there is a trend to think inquiry to be unsightly. It is the right, even if it is in the first rotation or the last rotation.

    All the decision is depend on judges.
    You’d better complain to superior jury and FIG’s inquiry system.

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