Right off the bat the major story of this women’s all around final was going to be about the gymnasts that had to retire from competition prematurely due to injury, almost as much as it was going to be about the ones competing in the final:
First, Rebeca Andrade, got injured and did not show up for podium training, medical investigations later indicating she had a torn ACL. The Brazilian powerhouse has a program loaded with interesting and difficult skills; among hem, a huge score booster in her Amanar vault. Her scoring potential was equally constructed out of difficulty and clean execution, setting her apart as a threat to the podium.
A couple of days later Larisa Iordache tore her Achilles tendon during the floor touch warm-up for the qualifying round. Besides her long list of previous achievements ( and two all around medals at Worlds, in 2014 and 2015), Iordache had by far the highest difficulty this year, across the four events, and the proven scoring potential in international meets of some of the biggest all around totals of the year.
And 15 minutes before the start of the all around final, USA gymnastics announced that Ragan Smith was pulled out of the competition with an ankle injury. Smith seemed on the right track to win everything this year: she was the American Cup champion in March, the US National Champion in August and was sitting in 2nd place all around after qualifications (just 0.001 behind Mai Murakami), counting a fall on beam in qualifications.
Needless to say everyone was less than excited for the all around final at the beginning of the event. But only two hours later most of us were in tears of joy or of raw emotion at the end of a meet that was wide open until the very last rotation.
Morgan Hurd eventually won with a total of 55.232, followed by local favorite Ellie Black (55.132) and Russia’s Elena Eremina (54.799).
Morgan has had one complicated year: in the spring international assignments she did not deliver the clean routines expected from her (although she still won a bronze at the Stuttgart world cup). In the US summer season she looked improved but still very inconsistent finishing only 6th all around at the US Championship. But more numbers done in training started to pay off a few weeks later. A much more confident Hurd won the AA at the final US camp meet and her place in the US team for the Montreal Worlds. Here, in the all around final, she was consistent and demonstrated extraordinary polish. She had an imperfect meet: went out of bounds on floor, doubted herself and wobbled a few times in her beam routine. But at the end of the day her clean lines and perseverance paid off.
Ellie Black brought the fist ever world all around medal for Canada after an extremely difficult meet for her. As the National all around champion and her country’s number 1 gymnast for the past 5 year she did not want to disappoint at a world championship on home soil. She stared with a great performance on vault, followed by a dynamic and precise bars routine. On the next event, beam, the pressure of competing under the scrutinizing eyes and through the cheers of so many fans proved a little too overwhelming and she had a mistake on a punch front. The rest of the routine was excellent with her aggressive approach paying off, she still had the 3rd highest score on the event during this final. Floor was an almost perfect routine for her but unfortunately lower difficulty kept her in 2nd place just .1 behind Morgan.
Russia’s Elena Eremina, a 16 year old bars genius with a balletic style but not much tumbling power let a shinier medal slip trough her fingers when she bobbled on a transition on her favorite event. Her bars routine, by far the most risky and the most spectacular in the competition today was still rewarded with a good score (14.2), despite a virtual miss; this score, although great for most other athletes was still .9 lower than what she was given in the qualifying round. Eremina’s beautiful lines brought her good execution scores on floor and beam (2nd highest beam score of the final).
Mai Murakami placed 4th, 1 tenth behind Eremina. She was the top qualifier with an amazing double twisting Yurcheno vault (2nd score of the day), achieved pretty much her highest potential on bars and hit the best floor routine of the day. Unfortunately she fell on balance beam on one of the element she must be doing tents of times perfectly in training every day. Her tears of disappointment at the end of the days said everything.
The Romanian Ioana Crisan was the 2nd reserve at the end of qualifications and moved one place higher after GB’s Alice Kinsella withdrew with a leg injury so was replaced by Eun Ju Lee from South Korea. With barely 15 minutes notice, after the unfortunate injury of Ragan Smith, Crisan showed up in her first World all around final. Here, she had a large mistake on bars and was heavily deducted on beam. On the bright side, she hit a solid FTY and a nice floor routine with an 8+ execution score. She finished 23rd.
Here are my live notes during the final:
Elsabeth Black (CAN) vault hit 14.600/5/4
Ioana Crisan (ROU) vault solid full twisting Yurchenko with a put of a form issue 13.566/4.6
Mai Murakami (JPN) vault stuck and very high Yurchenko double full 14.666/5.4
Morgan Hurd (USA) vault also a double twisting Yurchenko with tiny hop back but nice 14.533
Elena Eremina (RUS) vault Yurchenko 1 ½ (although 5.4 was shown, which is the value for the double) Nice vault! 13.866, maybe it didn’t have that much power
Melanie de Jesus do Santos (FRA) vault Yurchenko double full deviated to the side but well handled 14.466
Nina Derwael (BEL) & Diana Varinska (UKR) both hit bars just like in prelims
Giulia Steingruber (SUI) bars toe Shap, to Pak to van Leeuwen, 1/1 turn to Geinger, fwd giants and double front; a hit routine with the usual execution issues 12.933
Angelina Melnikova (RUS) bars – stalder full, Pak, van Leeuwen, in bar half to pike Jaeger, bobble after toe full, takes a swing and then does the full in dismount; one big mistake in her routine but managed to cover and did not fall 13.775/5.7
Brooklyn Moors (CAN) beam a few wobbles, but hit routine 12.266/5.3
Wang Yan (CHN) beam two falls , on the mount and on the series 10.2 -fall, tuck front, switch leap to ring leap, round-off layout to two feet–fall
Alt (GER) bars – beautiful routine but the score seems low 13.6/5.5
Boyer (FRA) nice pirouettes connection, floor bounces hard out of the double back.
Ioana Crisan (ROU) bars almost fall on the low bar series but managed to stay on and continue her routine relatively successfully 10.766/4.7
Mai Murakami (JPN) bars hit routine: toe Shap to inbar Geinger, blind change to Jaeger, Bail, Ray, full in dismount 13.8/5.5
Morgan Hurd (USA) bars hit routine, looked even better thank qualifications 14.3/5.8
Elena Eremina (RUS) bars – big break after the transition on the low bar (bent knees and almost stopped) that followed the Nabieva, but saved the rest of the routine 14.2/6.1
Melanie de Jesus do Santos (FRA) bars , her routine was going perfectly up until one of the last skills, went over on a full turn and had to take an extra swing 14.0/5.4
Elsabeth Black (CAN) bars it was not pretty, not gonna lie, but hit and stuck dismount cold 14.233/5.9
Diana Varinska (UKR) beam – flick flick layout to two feet, falls on leap, aerial side somi, sheep jump, double full dismount
Angelina Melnikova (RUS) beam ok full w turn, saw an aerial, lots of adjustments 12.433/5.4
Brooklyn Moors (CAN) Floor Podkopayeva, with hop, barely through on the two connected twisting elements, 2 ½ to punch front was nice
At (GER) beam – awesome layout to 2 feet mount, side aerial to loso, switch leap switch half, aerial almost off, switch ring leap leg up, side somi 13.3/5.7
Mai Murakami (JPN) beam punch front adjustment, flick loso, switch ring leap, side aerial, off on double turn ☹ double pike dismount with hop back 12.0/5.6
Morgan Hurd (USA) beam stays on at full back, side aerial with two leaps, nice flick layout stepout, leg up, aerial and another big balance check, punch front with check, full in nice 12.666/5.4
Elena Eremina (RUS) beam hit sent with some hesitations 13.133
Melanie de Jesus do Santos (FRA) beam pike front mount followed by another pike front, layout to two feet series, switch half to flick, aerial walkover, switch ring leap, double back tuck, very nice 12.433
Elsabeth Black (CAN) beam touched the beam on a punch front, but managed to stay on, this was a very nervous moment 12.866 A bit of a gift methinks but we are in Canada…
Morgan Hurd (USA) floor OOB on third pas and other steps ☹; stuck double pike dmt, this routine was gorgeous too bad about that one pass: double double super high on first, just a hop back, full in pike with small step on the second
Elena Eremina (RUS) floor – a superb routine with great execution, not a lot of difficult passes but well controlled
Melanie de Jesus do Santos (FRA) floor things were going excellent when she took some extra steps OOB after the last pass; full in layout, followed by a tuch full in, full twist to front layout, and double back tuck 13.233/5.3
Elsabeth Black (CAN) floor – gave everything she had in this routine. Very tidy on all her acrobatic passes. The public is going crazy
Mai Murakami (JPN) floor- another excellent routine, 4 turn, stuck Silivas, double layout with a small hop, 2 ½ to full, double L turn, double pike. It will not be enough as she needs over 14.7
Here are the final results
Article: Bea Gheorghisor