Artistic and Trampoline Gymnastics ends in Beijing today with the Artistic Men’s Parallel Bars and High Bar, Artistic Women’s Beam, and the Men’s Trampoline.
Just how much China has progressed in modern sporting culture can be seen in the relationship between their sport stars and the public. This generation can milk and manage a crown of adoring fans, they enjoy the fame, and why not.
The new arrangements for Olympic Finals has overshadowed the Artistic Women with the Beam Final tucked in amongst the spectacular blue ribband events, High Bar and Trampoline. For China it could easily have been 4 more Golds. Men’s High Bar was the most elusive with a field of Giants of Swing. Fabian Hambuechen of Germany was maybe Olympic heir apparent but he had not been too sharp so far in Beijing. Epke Zonderland of Nederlands carried a very high tariff routine, wild but compulsive watching. Jonathan Horton of the USA had proved to be a real threat to the Gold seekers.
Trampoline? How much will the Chinese win by?
Beam, can anyone outscore Li Shanshan?
Parallel Bars. Li Xiaopeng has delayed retirement to try again to win Olympic Gold. Champion in Sydney, 2002 and 2003 World Champion, 3rd in Athens, none greater on this apparatus but big pressure from Korea and Slovenia.
Li Xiaopeng, CHN, what amplitude, what a star, all the double backs above, below and through the bars done better than anyone else, double pike back kicked out to a perfect landing. 6.9, 16.45 GOLD
Again Olympic Champion. He had a 7.2 routine in reserve but saw he did not need it to win.
Yoo Wonchul , KOR, all the double backs, then flying back quarter turn to one bar, something exceptional and smart, double pike dismount nailed, 7.0, 16.25. SILVER
Anton Fokin, UZB, doubles from giants, under-somersaults, Tippelt, Healy, support double backs and double front dismount, 6.8, 16.2. BRONZE
Difficulty – Artistry.
Shawn Johnson, USA, difficult, clean but…short of being elegant, flip 2 feet flip 2 feet to layout 2 feet, standing full twisting back, piked front, full in back out, 7.0 16.225.GOLD
Nastia Liukin, USA, absolute elegance though some easy step turns as soft choreography, free walkover flip layout, side, free walkover to arabesque, 2 1/2 twist dismount, 6.6, 16.025. SILVER
Cheng Fei, CHN, immense difficulty with windmilling to recover her balance, flip somersault full twist, standing pike back, Shushunova, flip 2 1/2 twist dismount, 6.8 difficulty, 15.95. BRONZE
Li Shanshan fell trying to hold a Shushunova.
The day that the young faltered and the veterans held by their fingernails and let their legs go.
Johnathon Horton USA deserves the Gold for shear brilliance and audacity.
Zou Kai, CHN, Stalder Rybalko, straight Markelov, Pogorelov, straight Jager, double double straight, 7.2, 16.2. GOLD
Jonathan Horton, USA, AMAZING, stoop full Markelov straight, Kovacs full straight, Kovacs straight, Kovacs tucked full, double straight with triple twist, 6.9, 16.175. SILVER
Fabian Hambuechen, GER, Kovacs full but no giant only swing to upstart, stoop full out short, straight Markelov, straight Tkachev to straddled Tkachev, Rybalko, stoop half, double double straight, lost difficulty, 6.8, 15.875.BRONZE.
Epke Zonderland, NED, we will see again and again, a great gymnast with so much more to offer, Kovacs straight, Kovacs tucked, Kovacs full but OFF. Rybalko, stoop half out hop full, double double straight, 6.5, 15.00
TRAMPOLINE MEN’S FINAL
The Men’s Trampoline final ends the gymnastics at the National Chinese Indoor Stadium. For brilliance it sits comfortably alongside the Men’s Artistic High Bar for courage and excitement.
Lu Chunlong,CHN, used all the available space in three dimensions, maybe not as elegant as team mate Dong but, 16.2, 41.00 GOLD.
Jason Burdett, CAN, very good form and clarity of skill, 16.3, 40.7.for SILVER
Dong Dong, CHN, How good? Opened with 3 Triffs with everything performed more accurately and more elegantly than anyone else but, 16.2, 40.6.and BRONZE.
After a days rest the Gymnastics action changes to Rhythmic Gymnastics 21st to 24th August.