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Rio2016 LIVE page - Women's Artistic Gymnastics qualifications

Publication date : 07/08/2016

USA on top as Women's qualifications end

10:00 p.m.: Japan, Canada and France threw their best at the leaders in the final subdivision, with varying degrees of success.

The Japanese finished well on Floor to advance to Tuesday's team final in seventh place, but the Canadians were heartbroken to be the odd team out after errors on Balance Beam and Floor Exercise. Canada can take solace in having three individuals qualify for one or more event finals, but for Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers, veterans of the country's best-ever team finish from London 2012, the pill was obviously hard to swallow.

France, though eliminated from the team medal round, celebrated the elevation of Marine Brevet and Louise Vanhille (All-around) and Marine Boyer (Beam) to event finals. But the day really belonged to the Americans, who trumped the rest of the world by nearly 10 points. The U.S. will be represented by two gymnasts in every individual final except Vault, where Simone Biles posted the high score, just as she did on Balance Beam, Floor Exercise and in the All-around. Madison Kocian remains first on Uneven Bars. For them, the only thing that could make this night better is to have it happen again two days from now.

Team Japan


American women storm subdivision four, Olympic champion Douglas knocked out of All-around final

Team USA

8:00 p.m.: The American women wrote the prelude to a second straight Olympic team gold medal in the penultimate subdivision of the day, relegating China to second place by nearly 10 points.

Two-time London gold medallists Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman, joined by Olympic newcomers Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian presented the highest degree of difficulty of any team seen thus far while maintaining a superb level of execution. The scores followed: the Americans are on track to have two gymnasts in every final, with three-time World champion Biles and Raisman advancing to the individual All-around final in first and second position.

If there is a false note to be found among the glory, it is that Douglas, the reigning Olympic All-around champion who hoped to be the first woman since 1968 to successfully defend her crown, finds herself in the position of American Jordyn Wieber four years ago in London, the victim of a rule that allows only two gymnasts per country to advance to the All-around final. The 20-year-old finished just behind Biles and Raisman in the overall standings. She can, however, look forward to the final on Uneven Bars.

Much is expected of Biles at this Olympic Games, and she didn't disappoint, taking the lead on Vault, Beam and Floor, in addition to the All-around. Kocian, one of four gymnasts to share the World title on the event in 2015, swung into the lead. Just like her team.

Full results can be found here.


The German reaction

Elisabeth Seitz (GER)

4:45 p.m.: No, they're not that surprised to sit fifth after the third subdivision. Happy, more like.

"That was nearly the best performance we can do," said Elisabeth Seitz, a member of the German team four years ago in London. "I think there are just little things to improve, because our competition today was extremely good. We didn't have to count one mistake. Especially on bars, my routine and Sophie Scheder's routines were brilliant, so it looks like Germany has two finalists on uneven bars and also in the all-around and hopefully the team final which was our biggest hope."

The German women did not automatically advance to the Olympic Games as a team after last year's World Championships; instead, they earned their Olympic tickets at April's Test Event, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the team.

"After the Glasgow World Championships, where we missed the Olympic qualification, we knew we had to be a better team, and everyone needed to be more together. That's what happened at the Test Event in Rio in April," Seitz said. "Because of that we became a better team. We pushed each other to be our best."


British move into third following subdivision 3

4:15 p.m.: Neither Great Britain nor Brazil nor Germany managed to top China or Russia in subdivision three, but all landed in the top five.

In spite of some shaky moments, the British fared best in this subdivision, moving into third place on the strength of strong overall performances on Vault and Uneven Bars.

The crowd was loud for the host country, which got the party started with a hit parade on Balance Beam. The sprite-like Flavia Saraiva hit the best set of the day on the event so far for 15.133 and was immediately showered with applause by her adoring public. But it was Olympic rookie Rebeca Andrade who stayed solid over all four events, overtaking Russia's Seda Tutkhalian for the All-around lead, again much to the delight of the spectators. The high point for Andrade was her Amanar vault, the most difficult being done among the All-around contenders.

At the very top of the scoreboard, nothing else has changed: Hong Un Jong (PRK) remains in pole position on Vault, Aliya Mustafina (RUS) leads Uneven Bars, and Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) is number one on Floor Exercise.

Full results can be found here.

Team Brazil


Happy Houry Gebeshian

3:00 p.m.: Why did Armenia's Houry Gebeshian kiss every apparatus after she competed in subdivision two?

"I just wanted to thank the sport. The only way I could do it was by hugging and kissing the apparatus," explained the physician's assistant, who saved up her vacation time to come compete at the Olympic Games. "That's not something I normally do. But it's the last competition of my life. Gymnastics has given me so much."

Not only did Gebeshian hit all her routines in Rio, she made history as the first Armenian woman ever to compete in Gymnastics at the Games. But certainly not the last.

Houry Gebeshian (ARM)


Russia, Italy trail China in subdivision two

Team Russia

2:00 p.m.: Balance Beam frustrations plagued Russia and Italy in subdivision two, but both teams regrouped on their final apparatus and now sit second and third, respectively, behind China in the team standings.

Russia's golden ambitions were curbed by the Beam during the first rotation after veteran Aliya Mustafina and newcomer Angelina Melnikova both recorded falls. Italy fared no better, going 0-3 in hit routines before Elisa Meneghini delivered a clean performance to anchor the team effort.

Russia was redeemed by the Uneven Bars, a traditional team strength, where Olympic gold medallist Mustafina delivered a carbon copy of her London 2012 routine to take the lead. The Italians shone on Floor, where 2006 World champion Vanessa Ferrari performed to the same opera music she used to such success a decade ago. After a fourth place finish on Floor in London, the 25-year-old now leads the qualification on her best event.

Five-time Olympic medallist Catalina Ponor of Romania sizzled on Balance Beam to take the lead on one of Gymnastics's most precarious events, while Hong Un Jong (PRK) retains the lead on Vault in spite of a challenge from Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber, who stuck her first of two efforts.

Russia's Seda Tutkhalian, the 2014 Youth Olympic champion and one of the few gymnasts to hit all four of her routines in this subdivision, moved into the top spot in the All-around rankings, just ahead of Mustafina and China's Wang Yan.

Full results can be found here.


Photo of the moment: Reaching for the Olympic goal

Shang Chunsong (CHN)


China takes the lead in subdivision 1

11:15 a.m.: 2008 Olympic team champion China was disappointed to finish just off the podium four years ago in London. So far in Rio, things are looking up: the Chinese women turned in a solid performance during the first of five subdivisions in qualification, showing the one thing their elegant Gymnastics sometimes lacks: consistency.

China's Wang Yan posted the morning's  top scores on Floor and in the All-around, while teammates Fan Yilin and Shang Chunsong led on Balance Beam and Uneven Bars, respectively.

2008 Olympic vault champion Hong Un Jong performed two excellent Vaults, though she omitted the much-anticipated triple twisting Yurchenko she submitted to have named after her. Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina, in her seventh -- and according to her, her last -- Olympic Games, also played it safe, opting not to perform the massively difficult Produnova vault she showed in podium training in her quest to make the Olympic final on the event.

Check out the FIG's livescoring of the event here.


Eleven prospective new elements in Women's Gymnastics

9:30 a.m.: Eleven new skills in Women’s Gymnastics have been submitted for consideration to the FIG Women's Technical Committee at the Olympic Games. The technical committee has already rated the elements for difficulty from A to I, with A being the easiest and I the hardest. Vaults are given a numeric difficulty rating.

If done successfully at any time during the Games, these elements will be officially named for the gymnast who performs them.

Here are the prospective new elements:

The Steingruber

Submitted by: Giulia Steingruber, Switzerland

Apparatus: Vault

Element description: A handspring front stretched salto with two twists.

Element value: 6.6.

Note: Steingruber has successfully competed the same vault with half a twist less for the past several years.

The Hong Un Jong

Submitted by: Hong Un Jong, Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Apparatus: Vault

Element description: A Yurchenko vault with a triple twist

Element value: 6.8

Note: This vault is a more difficult variation of the Amanar vault, a Yurchenko with 2.5 twists.

The Gebeshian

Submitted by: Houry Gebeshian, Armenia

Apparatus: Uneven Bars

Element description: A hecht mount with a 360 degree turn with repulsion off the low bar to the high bar.

Element value: D

Note: Gebeshian is Armenia’s first ever female gymnast to compete at an Olympic Games.

The Biles

Submitted by: Simone Biles, USA

Apparatus: Uneven Bars

Element description: A Wieler kip with a 360 degree pirouette.

Element value: E

Note: This would be the second move named after Bilesin in the code of points. She already has a tumbling skill named for her on Floor Exercise.

The Dick II

Submitted by: Marisa Dick, Trinidad and Tobago

Apparatus: Balance Beam

Element description: A mount – change leg leap with 180 degree turn to free sit split position.

Element value: D

Note: Dick made international headlines after a different Beam mount named after her at last fall’s World Championships. This move would be called the Dick II.

The Sugihara

Submitted by: Aiko Sugihara, Japan

Apparatus: Balance Beam

Element description: A double turn with free leg held in split throughout.

Element value: E

Note: Sugihara, an Olympic rookie, won the Asian Championships in 2015. Twisting elements are her specialty -- her nickname is “Twist Princess.”

The Jurkowska-Kowalska

Submitted by: Katarzyna Jurkowska-Kowalska, Poland

Apparatus: Balance Beam

Element description: A Gainer stretched salto dismount off the end of the Beam with two twists.

Element value: F

Note: Jurkowska-Kowalska caused a stir when she trained this element at June’s European Championships in Switzerland.

The Wevers I

Submitted by: Lieke Wevers, Netherlands

Apparatus: Floor Exercise

Element description: Triple turn with free leg at horizontal throughout.

Element value: E

Note: Wevers, part of the Dutch team nicknamed “OrangElegance” for its clean execution, competed in the Floor final at the 2015 World Championships.

The Wevers II

Submitted by: Lieke Wevers, Netherlands

Apparatus: Floor Exercise

Element description: Triple turn with free leg in back altitude throughout.

Element value: E

Note: Wevers, part of the Dutch team nicknamed “OrangElegance” for its clean execution, competed in the Floor final at the 2015 World Championships.

The Fragapane

Submitted by: Claudia Fragapane, Great Britain

Apparatus: Floor Exercise

Element description: Switch leap with 720 degree turn.

Element value: E

Note: Fragapane won four gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the first Englishwoman to do so since 1930.

The Andrade

Submitted by: Rebeca Andrade, Brazil

Apparatus: Floor Exercise

Element description:  A double tucked back salto with 540 degree turn.  

Element value: G

Note: Andrade is making her Olympic debut with the Brazilian team.

Giulia Steibruber (SUI) could perform a new Vault at the Rio Games


Welcoming the women

RIO DE JANEIRO, 9:00 a.m.: For the past four years, the American women have been on fire on the international stage, radiating confidence and winning title after title.

China has finished a step below the USA on the podium at the past two World Championships, its best results since 2008, when the great Cheng Fei led the team to their only Olympic team victory in Beijing.

Great Britain rides into Rio on a high, having won their first-ever World team medal, a bronze, at the 2015 Worlds. Russia, the reigning Olympic silver medallists, are hoping to regain their footing on the podium after a meltdown at the 2015 Worlds left them fourth. The absence of London All-around silver medallist Viktoria Komova and 2011 World Floor champion Ksenia Afanasyeva have impacted the team's depth, but London team leader Aliya Mustafina, who was Russia's most decorated athlete at the 2012 Games, is back to fight for more.

Find out more about each team, its members and its history in the World of Gymnastics Magazine - Olympic preview edition here. Flavia Saraiva, Brazil's pint-sized crowd favorite, graces the cover.

Brazil's Flavia Saraiva on the cover of the June 2016 World of Gymnastics Magazine