More excellent commentary from the publisher of International Gymnast magazine
9. China’s Yang Yilin and Xiao Sha were wonderful today. Both girls hit all of their routines and landed in 6th and 7th. That’s probably lower than they should have been, but it doesn’t seem the bother their performances now. The judges who continue to shave them are in reality helping them to toughen up and hit routines. It won’t be long before the world will not be able to “expect” China to miss. Their style of gymnastics will endure long after these incompetent judges retire or get ejected from the sport. …
7. Vanessa Ferrari again earns her name. This young lady is remarkable. Competing on a stress fracture, she has produced some wonderful routines so far. Although she fell on her Comaneci release on Bars, she bounced right back and fought her way to the podium to tie Barbosa for the bronze. She came here with the most ambitious program and will continue to fight for medals in every meet she competes. She is a real champion in every way you can imagine and the audiences love her. It will be fun to watch the fight between Vanessa and Shawn through Beijing. Please stay healthy both of you!
6. Nastia Liukin is such a classic beauty. With her concentration to detail and her perfectly straight lines, she is wonderful to watch as an artist, but don’t be fooled, she is a tigress. No one wants to win more that Nastia, and she pushed herself very hard here to be in a position to do just that today. Unfortunately, beam again did her in, but this time it was a fall on her layout of her series. I am betting that she rocks beam in the event finals and winds up with a medal.
5. What a surprise Jade Barbosa was. She and Hong Un Jong (North Korea) were the only two gymnasts who did more than a Yurchenko double twist, and she used her 15.90 there to help her past bars (only 14.95) to be in a tie for first with Liukin after two events. She is wonderful on beam, getting the second highest score (15.70), but gave way to the pressure in the fourth event when she touched out her full-in third pass on floor. Nevertheless, she could make some noise in Beijing if she could raise her bars to the next level. This was the first all-around medal for Brazil, yet another milestone for this nation on the move.
4. Jonathan Horton is so much fun to watch, especially when he gets pommel horse out of the way. Today after horse, even though he hit, he was in last place. Five rotations later, he was just .2 from the bronze medal. Finishing fourth is remarkable for him and should give him the motivation to work even harder to raise his A-Panel scores. If he wants to medal in Beijing, he will have to risk more than he did here. He started the finals in eight place on the planned A-Panel list, more than 1 point behind Tomita and 2.9 behind Yang Wei. …
2. Shawn Johnson, solid as a rock, had only to watch as all of those who could challenge her made mistakes. She is so comfortable with these routines that she can perform them with confidence; hence, she can maximize her B-Panel scores. Remember she entered the all-around finals sixth of all the top girls as far as far as planned A-Panel scores! In fact she was giving up .9 to Ferrari. Nevertheless, when the chalk settled, she was the champion! Congratulations Shawn! You put Iowa on the gymnastics map much in the same way Nadia put Romania there in 1976.
1. Yang Wei is the MAN! Although he showed himself to be somewhat human with a high bar routine that included two dismounts (he peeled off the bar on one of his pirouetting move), he was so steady up to that point that he only needed a 12.125 to win. With a planned 6.0 A-Panel, he had no problem making that. With his superior A-Panel scores, it will be very difficult to beat him without risking a lot more than most of the other gymnasts are willing.
Yang Wei – ESPN