Whether it is to add a perspective and knowledge on things or to provide commentary if NBCOlympics doesn't work for you, I will be doing my own "quick hits" tonight on my blog for the podium training session#1, featuring medal contending teams China and Romania.
9:59 EST Gymnasts are marching out.
10:02 China is warming-up on beam, Romania on vault. The event order of the podium training session will be the same as the actual team prelims.
10:06 Yang Yilin had a fall on her front aerial+side aerial combo, hit that combo perfectly while Chinese were warming up. Otherwise a good set.
10:09 Deng Linlin, excellent beam set aside from a low dismount landing on her double pike.
10:11 Li Shanshan had an exceptional beam set, though did have a low chest and one step on her double pike. No Y-scale turn.
10:15 Cheng Fei went before Deng Linlin and had a very solid set as well, awkward landing on her 2.5 dismount, however. Jiang Yuyuan fell on her back tuck+sheep jump (fall looked savable) and was off alignment on her Ruflova. Odd how Yuyuan went last on this event, her weakest. Yilin just hit her front aerial+side aerial perfectly.
10:19 Nistor was very distraught after doing her vault (which NBC didn't show). Bela Karolyi is in the stands, talking to the media. China is done with beam.
10:22 First rotation is concluded.
10:24 Romania is moving to bars, China to floor. Not surprisingly, He Kexin is not doing floor and didn't do beam.
10:33 Deng Linlin was listed as "He Kexin." LOL Took a step on double arabian, underotated triple turn, and also underotated her 2.5 twist at the end of her combo pass.
10:37 Yang Yilin, could've gone OOB on her first pass (view was obstructed but it looked like she went out), triple twist was possibly short of rotation and had low landings on her combination pass and finishing double pike. This definitely was not her best routine here.
10:40 Jiang Yuyuan, very good tumbling and expression. Had a low double pike and an underotated triple turn but otherwise flawless.
10:42 Cheng Fei, has switched her routine around and put piked full-in for her second pass, whip+triple for her 3rd, and 2.5 twist to dismount. If I am not mistaken I believe that puts her routine at a 6.6 A-score, the same as Shawn Johnson. Really excellent set, chest was low on her double-double (as it normally is) and whip+triple full was a tad off but Cheng looks like she is in fine shape for these Olympic Games.
10:44 China put Li Shanshan last on floor, don't know why they're putting their weak links last in the lineup and whether they will do that come time preliminaries. Rotation 2 has concluded.
10:49 DTY from Deng Linlin with one step, did another one later that was almost identical. As expected, Shanshan is sitting this event out.
10:55 Showed parts of Nistor and Izbasa's beam routines and they looked good, minus a very dropped back (even more so than I remembered it being) on Nistor's "Nistor." Two good Amanars from Cheng Fei, remember she hasn't even tried the Amanar all year long. Yuyuan did another Amanar, but with a big step to the side and was possibly a smidget underotated.
11:02 Cheng Fei just landed on her knees on her Cheng vault attempt, first major mistake from her during this entire podium training session.
11:04 Cheng Fei did her Cheng again, much improved. Had one hop and piked down the last half twist of the vault, and a low chest on landing. Very solid vault though, definitely still the prime favorite for vault gold.
11:05 Gymnasts marching to final piece of apparatus, which for China is uneven bars.
11:09 Deng Linlin crashed her piked jaegar, and had several missed handstands. Great laidout full-twisting double back dismount.
11:12 He Kexin did some skills include her jaegar1/2+jaegar combo, and her 1.5 pirouette into her tucked full-in dismount. Step on the landing but looked excellent as always.
11:15 Full set from Deng Linlin, very low dismount. Hit the jaegar she missed earlier but broke form. Had several missed handstands. In the event that China would have to use Linlin to do UB in TF a door would come flinging open for the United States.
11:17 Yuyuan crashed her jaegar, otherwise a good set. Falls on beam and bars for Yuyuan in this podium training session are a bit unusual for this generally consistent gymnast.
11:20 Yang Yilin had a low landing on her dismount and failed to go over the bar one of her pirouettes, Yang too has looked a tad off her game the entire night.
11:23 Excellent set from He Kexin, small hop on landing and had a loss of swing on her shoot transition to the high bar.
11:24 Yuyuan made her jaegar afterwards without issue, but went over on a stalder1/2 on the low bar and had to let go of the bar and do it again. Yuyuan also had a step forward on her double layout dismount.
11:25 Saw Izbasa and the last two tumbling lines of her routine (1.5 twist+rudi and triple twist). Looked a tad sluggish, and triple twist was underotated and had some crossed legs as well.
11:30 He Kexin went back and did another bar routine. Did an even better routine complete with a stuck dismount. Almost overarched a low bar handstand, however, but this girl is so bloody consistent it will be a tall order for anyone to beat her in uneven bar finals.
11:33 This now concludes the women's podium training session for subdivision one. Most of the footage was on China, and here are my comments on each member of the team.
Cheng Fei: She is peaking at the right time, enough said. Excellent on her three apparatus; she is going to be tough to beat for floor and vault finals. Did indeed go for the 6.6 A-score on FX, and with Johnson playing with fire on some of her skills (whip+triple twist in particular) and Izbasa looking a bit shaky, Cheng could indeed be the one to beat on that apparatus. A fall on her first Cheng vault is a tad alarming, but she did her second one just fine so I don't think it is much of a cause for concern. Balance beam looked very solid as well and has wisely stuck with her 2.5 dismount.
Overall: Obviously China has no plans to peak in this prelims session, however what is interesting with China is that they are not dealing with any of the jet lag and time-change issues that the other teams have so what we saw tonight should be a good indication of what we're going to see in prelims. The team looked very solid, however Yilin and Yuyuan in particular had some issues here and there. I didn't notice any upgrades with the exception of Cheng Fei's floor routine. China is pretty set with all of their team final lineups in terms of being competitive with the USA and all of the other teams. While I would say this team will be tough to beat, I wouldn't say they are unbeatable.