Trending Today- Women's Qualification- Wait...What?

July 29, 2012
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Wait…What? Trending Today-Sunday, July 29, 2012

Women’s Qualification

By Chris Korotky

Take a look at 5 trending topics that had people talking today in London at the 2012 Olympic Games…

What About Wieber?

She’s the current U.S. National Champion, the defending World Champion and entered the Olympic Games as one of the top contenders for gold in the All-Around. But Jordyn Wieber won’t have a chance to challenge for that now. After finishing behind teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas in the qualification round at the 2012 Games, Wieber will not advance to the marquee event. The results sent the gymnastics community into shock and left Wieber in tears. Following the competition, instead of stopping in the usual Press Zone to talk about the day, a devastated Wieber darted for the exit, in tears, consoled by her coach John Geddert.

"I’m basically devastated for her,” Geddert said in a statement later. “She has trained her entire life for this day and to have it turn out anything less than she deserves is going to be devastating. She has waited her entire career for this. She is happy for her teammates and disappointed that she doesn’t get (to) move on.”

Wieber later commented on the situation through a written statement as well. “It is a bit of a disappointment,” she said. “It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the All-Around Final of the Olympics, but I’m proud of Aly and Gabby and happy that they reached the All-Around, and that I was able to help the team get to the finals. I think from the beginning we were all looking very strong. It was always going to be close between the three of us doing All-Around and in the end it is what it is. …It was hard [watching my teammate on floor during the last event] because, of course, I wanted that spot, but I also wanted Aly to do her best for the team.”

Wieber will have 24 hours to compose herself for the Team Finals competition and Raisman, the team captain who edged her for the spot, will have to find a way to bring the team together and focus for that moment…

Is 3 Really the Charm?

And all of this has led to much discussion on Twitter, Facebook and in the media about the 2-per-country limit for All-Around finals. The sport’s rules mandate that in the All-Around Finals at the Olympics, where the top 24 battle it out for that coveted title, only two gymnast per country may advance from the qualifying round. It’s a rule that has been in effect for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics and still leaves many casual fans of the sport perplexed. Previously, there was a three-per-country rule and the field was comprised of 36 gymnasts. (The last Olympics where the 3-per-country was in effect was the 2000 Olympics where Kristen Maloney, Elise Ray and Amy Chow represented the U.S. in All-Around finals).

When you look at the overall results from today (or look at the recent World Championships, where the 2-per-country rule is also used), it is disconcerting to see that a gymnast who earned a finish in the top four isn’t able to advance to have that opportunity to challenge in finals for an opportunity at that Olympic title. (Aly Raisman placed second, while Douglas placed third and Wieber placed fourth.) And this is our view regardless of who the countries are that place in the top spots. It’s sad for the gymnast who has trained a lifetime, genuinely has the potential to win the All-Around title and performed well enough to place in the top four but then not have an opportunity. And it’s sad that the public won’t have a chance to see that person showcase their gymnastics on the world’s greatest stage.

Ohhhhhh, Can-a-da!

For the first time ever, Canada has qualified a women’s team to the Olympic finals! The team of Elsabeth Black, Victoria Moors, Dominique Pegg, Brittany Rogers, and Kristina Vaculik posted a 167.696 for the final spot to advance to the Olympic championship.

Their performance even got a Tweet from none other than Justin Bieber, a Canadian himself:

Justin Bieber @justinbieber

@domiP3gg sorry im late 2 the party. want to let you know as a proud canadian Im always supporting you and proud of you. STAND UP CANADA! :)

Following their performance, the team huddled up and after the media interviews stayed in the building for a while, in tears, hugging each other and talking about the historic moment. Even more so than individual pride, what made the victory special was what they had done for their country and was yet another moment that exemplified the Olympic spirit.

Vaulting to the Top

Team USA began their qualification round with a bang; launching four phenomenal Amanar vaults (Yuchenko 2.5) that, combined, posted a team score of 47.633 (1.3 points ahead of the next closest team on the event). The team sailed through uneven bars and balance beam in gamer fashion, but struggled in the final rotation on floor (three of the four team members had out of control and out of bounds passes). Still, the U.S. landed at the top of the leaderboard with a commanding 181.863. They have the goods to capture gold here in London, but now the big test is the mental strength of the team. There’s no denying that there will be an adjustment period for Wieber, who will have to cope with today’s disappointment, processing it and blocking it out to focus for team finals. It may also create a unique dynamic among the team as they deal with the situation together. Then there’s the pressure-cooker that is the 3-up, 3-count format where focus and managing nerves is a game all unto its own. Two things are for sure – the U.S. is the most talented team and they have a track record (and medal tally) this quad that proves they can stand up to the test. But it all comes down to 12 performances on one evening. It’s gonna be exciting (and intense!).

Russian Renaissance Continues

Russia qualified to the team finals in second position, just behind the United States with a team tally of 180.429. And equally as impressive as that tally was the artistry of their gymnastics. Russian gymnastics through the years, has been marked by elegant lines, stylish presentation and polished execution. And this team keeps that tradition alive. They perform the type of gymnastics where you just want to sit back and enjoy. Their balletic training shines through and reminds us of the namesake of our sport – ARTISTIC gymnastics!

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