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The Triumph of the All-Around Final: A Recap

The newest world all-around champion has been crowned, after a night of joy, a night of triumphs and perseverance.

The night can be focussed on four stories, Kyla Ross, Simone Biles, Larisa Iordache and Aliya Mustafina. It was a four way battle for the podium, and only one could triumph.

There was also a super hot Henry Cavill/Superman doppelgänger Romanian coach man. Whew!

The night started on the vault. First up for the foursome, Kyla Ross, who did an absolutely beautiful double twisting Yurchenko vault that was near perfection. Just a small hop on the landing. She scored a 15.366.  Then, Simone Biles, the girl who has springs in her legs did a super high Amanar that defies gravity and breaks all rules of physics. But not really, she has to come down sometime. Score 15. 850

Aliya Mustafina was back after a trying qualifier and a trying few days of podium training and practices. She knocks it out of the park with her DTY that is not ugly on the first twist at least. She sticks the landing and breathes a sigh of relief after sitting down her Mustafina vault the day before.

Smelling blood was Larisa Iordache. Who had the look of a bull seeing red did the same vault and had a small hop on the landing.

Vault score Mustafina 14.891, Iordache, 15. 033

After Rotation One Standings:
Biles 15.850
Ross 15.366
Iordache 15.033
Mustafina 14.891

Elsewhere, putting up a great routine on the Uneven Bars was Spain's Roxana Popa, who looked beautiful in a lavender leotard with gold accents. Her first series was a beautiful Maloney to high bar into an immediate in-bar Gienger. She just floats on the bars and her form was fantastic. A great routine, but in my opinion, underscored since it only received a 13.533. Whatever, judges.

Japan's Asuka Teramato put on a show with a floor routine to slinky music.

Whoever was controlling the broadcast put Elisabeth Seitz's name up when it should have been Gaelle Mys of Belgium's name.  They got it fixed at least.

Time for rotation two. And time for that horrible football music that the organizers played to mark the rotations. Seriously? SERIOUSLY! I hate the NFL with a fucking passion. It's all anyone talks about from August to February. It drove me insane that it's worming it's way into my damn sport. *Rant*

Moving on.

Our leader's next rotation, was the uneven bars. Mustafina's best event, certainly a great event for Kyla, an okay one for Simone and a very hit or miss event for Larisa. 

Kyla was the first up on that rotation. This is where she transformed from a consistent but boring to watch gymnast to a beautiful, elegant gymnast. Her routine was just perfection. Crisp, clean, she hit every handstand and she ended with a stuck double layout and received a hug from her coach Jenny and an appreciative roar from the crowd.

Simone went next. She's decent on bars, but it's not her best event. But unlike her powerful counterpart, Jordyn Wieber, she can swing a decent bar set and not manage to fall down. It's clear she has a good enough bar coach to make sure that she stays consistent and she has proper technique. She uses her power to her advantage because she has great amplitude in her swing and height on her releases. 

Princess Musty's routine was far more to the fabulous Musty standard of perfection gymfans have come to appreciate. This time, she put her full difficulty. Doing her Seitz transition in mixed grip  and holler, putting the Mustafina dismount back in her routine. Save for a small step on the landing, it was a beautiful routine. Go Musty!

Iordache... Oh those Romanians and their bars. Like Forrest Gump said, their bars are like a box on chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. Well, Larisa hit her routine and had form errors here and there, but no huge problems. She scored a 14.2, which is better than her score at Euros, which I believe was a 13 something.

Yao Jinnan totally killed it again with her Mo Salto. Oh em gee! Hello awesome!

Victoria Moors did manage to get the double double layout named for her by totally sticking the crap out of it! 

Vanessa Ferrari did a very cool planche beam mount. But that make-up job she had going on made her look like she was scowling the whole time and it really aged her and not in a good way. During qualifiers, she wore a leo with two complete sleeves, but for the all-around final, she was back to sporting that strange open shoulder red leo she wore in London. During the replays of her routine, I noticed her tattoos she has on her feet and ankles and I noted that how awesome it is that the FIG is accepting tattoos. It is the 21st century you know!

Bars Scores
Kyla 15.100
Simone 14.700
Musty 15.233 
Larisa 14.200

Biles 30.55
Ross 30.466
Mustafina 30.124
Iordache 29.233

Yes, I went a little screen shot happy.

Next was the beam. The dreaded beam (cue dramatic reveal music).

Musty had an issue on the beam during qualifications along with her problems on the vault that day. It just wasn't her day on Wednesday. But she got past Hump Day and managed to get through her beam routine. She fell on her side somi during qualifications, but she hit that skill today, but fell out of a double turn. Overall, a huge improvement from qualifiers. 

Larisa Iordache was pissed after beam and she had good reason to be. She fell of the beam on an event she normally excels at. She beat Shang Chunsong for the top qualifying spot for beam finals and she has several gold medals from European Championships and World Cup events for the beam. So when she fell off the beam on a layout, it was... jaw dropping. It's really not like Larisa to miss that event at all.

Once Larisa fell, that was it for Yao Jinnan and Shang Chunsong. It was a domino effect. Tres sigh. Chunsong is like Larisa, she is fabulous on the beam. They're expected to go toe to toe during beam finals. But alas, today that was not in the cards. Unless they were competing for the prize for the person who could have the biggest wipe out on beam.

Kyla was just gorgeous. She really hit a new stride for elegance on the beam. She just moved with such precision and fluidity. This is really the best Kyla beam I have seen. For once, I didn't get bored watching her on beam. She had a small wobble on her side somi, the same element that lost her the national title to Simone.  Speaking of Simone, out of all the events in the all-around beam was not her best. I don't want to say it was her worst, since she's so consistent. She's just so powerful that she had a lot of small balance checks on her landings. The dismount totally killed it. Full in back out, same one she did at nationals. So high, so powerful, wow.

On floor exercise, Vasiliki Millousi showed up with a very sexy routine. She just slinked around that floor exercise like she was modeling lingerie. She is a very beautiful gymnast and a beautiful girl, ahem woman. At 28, it's nice to see someone who's an adult still competing  in the sport.  I'm not sure how the judges took that routine. But maybe Vasiliki and Sandra Izbasa can team up before floor finals and Vasiliki can teach Sandra how to strut on the floor. Sandra's "Feeling Good" routine was certainly sassy, but she still needs to sex it up a little bit to really sell it.

Beam Scores:
Kyla 14.533
Simone 14.433
Musty 14.166
Larisa 13.833

After the third rotation, Kyla led with a total of 44.999,  Simone second with 44.983, Musty third with 43.233.

The last rotation was floor exercise. Larisa Iordache decided she was pissed and that she did not care anymore and she went for broke on floor exercise and scored a 14.7, landing her solidly in fourth place.

I'm developing a theory that the Chinese coaches watch American TV shows and movies from the 1960's. A few years ago, one of the gymnasts on the Chinese team performed to "America" From West Side Story, which confused me for reasons that if you've seen that movie or musical, you know what that song is about and why it would be strange for a Chinese athlete to perform to that song. Shang Chunsong's coaches apparently love westerns. They have her performing to the theme from Bonanza. with gunshot effects and fake pony riding. I was not a fan of this routine. It's like watching little kids play Cowboys and Indians and during that whole giddy-yap dance sequence, I had an urge to just buy her a pony just to make that stop. Maybe the western theme is the theme du jour in China because Yao Jinnan had a country line dance move in her floor choreography

Musty had a huge improvement on her floor routine from qualifiers. On Wednesday, she sat down her first tumbling pass, whip to double arabian to stag jump (the stag jump did not happen on Wednesday). She made that pass and completed her turns she had problems with on Wednesday. She didn't do that triple Memmel turn that I saw, but I could have easily missed it. She ended with plenty of energy to spare and she scored a 14.566 for an all around total of 58.856.

Kyla's routine choreographed by Precision Choreography was worth all the money she paid to have that done. Her routine was so beautiful and she just fed on the energy from the crowd and just the whole night. It wasn't the most difficult routine, but it was beautiful and the tumbling clean and the dance finally transcended just motions and steps to fluid emotion and expression. Needing only a 13. 857 to take first, she scored a 14.333 to take the lead.

Simone's final performance was her swan-song, her magnum opus, the piece de resistance. To beat Kyla, she needed a 14.439. Psssst. Whatever. Easy enough for Simone. This is where Simone can use all that power she has. Simone's tumbling kept going so high, she could go into space. She stuck her signature skills, the layout half out and had so much energy, it just electrified the arena. Simone overtook Kyla with a 15.233 and an all-around total of 60. 213.

Aww, can't you feel the love?

Aliya's coach, Evgeny Grebyonkin congratulating Kyla and Simone

 It's official!
Getting some Musty love!

Final totals:
Simone 60.213
Kyla 59.332
Musty 58.856
Larisa 57.632

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