Top 10 Takeaways from Saturday in Tokyo!

  1. And Just Like That, We Know Who’s Headed to Finals! Click Here!
  2. Storyline Tokyo – The King performed his final routine. With a devastating fall off of high bar, one the greatest male gymnasts of all time most likely ended his career today at the Ariake. His storybook ending not to be. However, how remarkable it is that his legendary career was able to extend for the chance to win gold one more time for his home country at his home Olympic Games. We celebrate you, Kohei, for your strength, perseverance, character and for leaving the sport better that you found it.

3. Artur Dalaloyan’s (ROC) existence today here is worth gold. The fact that he is walking without a limp in life, let alone performing the All-Around and finishing 6th is nothing short of miraculous.

4. Samir Aid Said (FRA) made a promise to his father when he passed away. That he would never give up on attempting to fulfill his Olympic dream that, although he made and started, ended with a horrible fractured leg on vault in Rio in 2016. He did just that today by qualifying third for rings finals with a 15.066.

5. Rhys McClenaghan (IRL) is the first Irish men’s gymnast to qualify for an event final with his amazing pommel horse routine today. Love how he posts “we” got the job done here today on his Twitter. He knows the country and all of his coaches and family are behind him!

6. They’re Only Human – Frustration can be controlled, but when it is go-time, and mistakes happen, sometimes you just can’t help but be, well, upset. Nestor Abad (Spain) landed his rings dismount practically on his face. He was visibly upset and then after coaches attempted to give him feedback, he ignored that and then he threw his grips to the ground.  Aleksandr Kartsev (ROC) didn’t successfully grab the bar after his Tkatchev, trying to catch in mixed grip. He landed flat on his back, looked stunned, so much so were wondering if the lengthy pause was injury or frustration. The latter was true. 

7. Team China on VaultChaopan and Ruoteng seemed to have no issues with vault today after multiple crash landings in podium training – the board, the table or the landing. It was a worrisome training three days ago, and we are happy that whatever needed to change indeed did. Full of Kas doubles!

8. There was cheering! The U.S. Women and staff were here cheering on the men’s team! They were sitting with the men’s staff in support. This is a refreshing change to see from the days of the Karolyi reign. Especially with the pandemic crowd absence, their cheers instantly set a different tone for the evening of excitement, camaraderie and normalcy. 

9. Under Pressure –  Alec Yoder (USA) was here to do one thing. One event. Two times. Qualification, and finals. He did just that today with an amazing routine on pommel horse. It was a bit of a controversy as to whom to place in the fifth spot- essentially going to the man that would give the U.S. the best potential to medal. Yoder’s 15.2 has him waiting until next week to fulfill his dream of owning the horse. Max Whitlock (GBR) stated earlier today that it takes the pressure off so much for him to be doing three events instead of one, even though PH is his specialty. Just coming in, so hyper-focused, rotating and waiting, adds to the pressure of having literally only one chance. Alec, you were lasered-in tonight!

10. Team USA to Team Finals – The U.S. Men finished fourth today and are heading to team finals on Monday! In addition, Brody Malone and Sam Mikulak will compete in All-Around finals, Yul Moldauer floor finals, Alec Yoder pommel horse finals, Mikulak parallel bars finals, and Malone high bar finals. Shane Wiskus is first alternate to compete in floor finals. The team looked calm, ready to compete and above all, together.

Photos by Ricardo Bufolin for Inside Gymnastics

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