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Olympic Gymnastics Mens All-Around Results

August 14, 2008

The night began with nerves high and tension thick.  The induvidual all-around competition consists of the six mens apparatus’s with their total scores combined.  One wrong mistake on one event could be the coming undone for a leader.  Just ask Yang Wei.   In Athens, it was his fall off high bar, that gave way to Paul Hamm’s perfect routine that earned him the gold.  But this competition there was no Paul Hamm to get in his way.  However, there were some very tough competitors including Korea’s Yang Tae Young who had made a protest at the Athens Olympics that he had been scored too low and should have been Olympic All-Around Champion.  Also included was Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen.  Twenty-two year old American hopefuls,  Jonathan Horton and Alexander Artemev ended up fiishing ninth and 12th, respectively.

The American men had hopes of making the medal podium, but even with some of the greats faltering in huge ways, Horton couldn’t seem to pull together a stuck landing on his less difficult routines and Artemov did his less difficult routines to the best of his ability.  While a medal wasn’t in their plans for last evening they did more than was required of them to help the American team win their Bronze medal Monday night.

However, Horton’s missed opportnities at strong landings were minimal in comparison to the faltering of the more seasoned favorites for the all-around.  Fall after fall on “The Beast”, the Pommel Horse, made for an evening of dismay and hopes for many gymnasts.  A nasty fall for the Japenense hopeful and former silver medalist, Hiroyiuki Tomito on Still Rings dashed his hopes of Olympic All-Around Gold.  Fatigue, Stress, and pressure seemed to weigh heavily on most of the competitors last night.  All save Yang Wei, who performed his superior routines solidly enough to earn him the All-Around title and abled him to continue his mission to win EVERY gold medal available to the mens competition.

Winning silver was 19-year-old Kohei Uchimura of Japan, who American team alternate David Durante had touted as a dark-horse contender. The bronze went to little-known French veteran Benoit Caranobe, who was 33rd at last year’s world championships and 17th at the 2004 Olympics.

Yang Wei crushed his competition and here were the final results:

1. Yang Wei, China, 94.575.

2. Kohei Uchimura, Japan, 91.975.

3. Benoit Caranobe, France, 91.925.

4. Hiroyuki Tomita, Japan, 91.750.

5. Sergey Khorokhordin, Russia, 91.700.

6. Maxim Devyatovskiy, Russia, 91.700.

7. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 91.675.

8. Yang Taeyoung, South Korea, 91.600.

U.S. Finishers

9. Jonathan Horton, Houston, 91.575.

12. Sasha Artemev, Highlands Ranch, Colo., 90.675.

There were certainly many upsets for Tomito, Fabian, and the Russians, and the Americans finished very respectively for the top twenty-four male gymnasts in the world.

Also, there was again some discussion about the new way the judges have been tallying their scores, and this is the main issue I was talking about a few days ago.  It’s perfectly fine to encourage gymnasts to try more difficult routines and push themselves harder, but is it truly fair to award someone a higher score when they have fallen on their face attempting this tougher element (IMO they haven’t completed the element fully and shouldn’t be given credit for it if they fall during it’s attempt) than someone who has a very difficult routine and executes it perfectly?  This is where the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) is at it’s greatest dispute.  In 2006, they felt the scoring was too simple and as some in the gymnastic community have joked,

“was altered to uneducate gymnastics fans who caught on too easily when the scoring was altered years ago”

Last night one of the Japenese did a tremendous vault but took almost five running steps, two of them out of bounds after his landing and still received a 16.100 because his start value was so high.  I don’t think this contributes to the sport or helps the gymnasts or makes it fair for them at all.  Certainly not when the highest an athlete can score on Pommel Horse is  mid 15.000’s and has the opportunity to score high 16.000’s on vault on Parallel Bars.  The scoring system is flawed and needs to be corrected so it is truly fair to everyone.  Gymnastic’s IS a subjective sport to a point, and the judges have tried to make it organic enough that it is just a bunch of elements so their opinions can’t be criticized.  Their intentions have nobility, but the results are not at all what the intent was, and this Olympics has shown something must be done.

I like that the athletes are trying more difficult moves and elements, but what I would enjoy more is if they could execute them properly.  What is the point of watching them do something great if they fall on their face and still get a high score.  It just doesn’t seem right.  I don’t have the answers to fix this judging problem, but there is one and it needs to be fixed.

But they won’t be for this Olympics, so we can only hope the best for our favorite gymnasts.  Tonight is the women’s all-around competition.  Former World Champion Shawn Johnson begins her quest for induvidual gold! See you!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2008 12:06 pm

    The success of U.S. women’s gymnastics can, in part, be traced back to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. That’s when the American women, coached by Bela Karolyi, won their first gymnastics team medal in a non-boycotted Olympics. The team members were Wendy Bruce, Dominque Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kerri Strug, Kim Zmeskal, and Betty Okino. This great video documents the breakthrough through some never-before-seen home video. Check it out. I think you’ll like it.

    The Growing Bolder Media Group

  2. ng kai-lee permalink
    November 13, 2008 11:07 am

    yes. the fall from SR cost tomita a medal. reading the news of his retirement just makes me so sad. i’ve always thought, “if he didn’t fall from the SR, would it change everything?”
    on the other hand, congratulations to uchimura! he’s so young, its possible for him to win the gold sometime in future. and his FX routine was great, too! although he finished fifth in that ^^

    p.s. i’m a crazy fan of them (tomita and uchimura)

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