The marathon that is World Championships qualifications are over. Some random thoughts:
What did the uneven bars have against the Romanians?
Granted, bars isn’t a strong point for the team, but you would’ve expected more than 1 routine to not include a fall. The only Romanian gymnast that got through relatively unscathed was Laura Jurca.
Even gymnasts with Romanian ties had issues. Roxana Popa (Spain) and Aly Raisman (USA) both fell during their bars routines as well.
There may not be a better scene at these Worlds than when the Dutch women realized they qualified as a team to Rio…
— Lieke Wevers (@liekewevers) October 25, 2015
…In the arena that is, because you have to see how the Brazilian men celebrated when they found out they qualified. Arthur Nory was kind enough to share on his Instagram.
Is the new judging position better?
The FIG moved the judges to supposedly give them a better vantage point, but did they make harder to judge by moving them too far away? There were several long waits for scores for both the men and women, including some that lasted over 10 minutes. The most notable delay? The one Kohei Uchimura had to endure before his floor routine.
Should dramatic lighting be used during elite competition?
This could’ve contributed to those delays as well. Yes, I know the lighting is used for some World Cups, but the judges are in the shadows in Glasgow it seems. Plus, at the World Cups this lighting is used at, the judges are seated in their customary spots next to the competition floor.
And this is before we get into how it could’ve effected the gymnasts, particularly on floor. After podium training, Australian gymnast Luke Wiwatowski said, “the floor has some uneven lighting and some dark corners.” Other gymnasts also have commented on how the lighting threw them off.
A lot of favorites missed finals on their best event.
Four reigning Olympic Champions missed event finals — Raisman (floor), Krisztian Berki (Hungary; pommel horse), Arthur Zanetti (Brazil; rings), Epke Zonderland (The Netherlands; high bar).
That doesn’t even include other favorites like Larisa Iordache (Romania), who missed both beam and floor finals; or Becky Downie (UK), who missed the uneven bars final; as well as Filip Ude (Croatia) and Prashanth Sellathurai (Australia), who both missed pommel horse finals.
If you heard a huge exhale around 3pm EDT on Monday, that was all of the fans of the USA men breathing a sigh of relief that the pommel horse rotation had mercifully ended.
Thank goodness for Danell Leyva‘s good day all-around and this routine from Alex Naddour: