On Monday, gymnastics event finals started up again at the Tokyo Olympics with men’s vault and rings and women’s floor. With Simone Biles’ withdrawal from floor, that gold-medal opportunity will be wide open, with American Jade Carey a top contender. Also on Monday, Biles announced she will return to competition on beam on Tuesday.
It all began at 4 a.m. ET — aggressive, we know.
On the off chance you didn’t want to get up that early, we’ll have you covered with all the action:
Breaking news: Biles on beam!
Chinese men dominate on rings
It was a 1-2 finish for China in the first gymnastics final of the day on Monday. Liu Yang took home the gold in rings and You Hao finished with the silver. The duo, who competed back to back, held up a Chinese flag and posed together for photos once the final scores were revealed.
It marks the first gold medal for China in artistic gymnastics during the 2020 Games thus far.
Yang, who was the 2014 world champion in the event, took a small hop on the landing of his double twisting double tuck dismount landing but otherwise was nearly flawless and earned a 15.500. Hao finished 0.2 behind with a 15.300.
Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias earned the bronze. — D’Arcy Maine
Liu Yang, China – 15.500
You Hao, China – 15.300
Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece – 15.200
Samir Ait Said, France – 14.900
Ibrahim Colak, Turkey – 14.866
Denis Abliazin, ROC – 14.833
Adem Asil, Turkey – 14.600
Arthur Zanetti, Brazil – 14.133
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Next up: Vault, floor and rings
Monday will the be the second day of individual event finals, and it will again be a combination of men’s and women’s events: men’s rings, women’s floor and men’s vault. The top eight highest-scoring gymnasts from qualifying advanced on each event, with a maximum of two from any one country. The scores don’t carry over, however — the highest score on Monday will be crowned Olympic champ.
4 a.m. ET: men’s rings
4:45 a.m. ET: women’s floor
5:54 a.m. ET: men’s vault
Women’s uneven bars: Derwael wins gold; Lee hangs on for bronze
Two-time world champion Nina Derwael, the top qualifier entering the finals, performed her highly difficult, jam-packed routine well to win the event easily for Belgium. She earned a 15.200 score — and her country’s first Olympic gymnastics gold medal in history. The ROC team’s Anastasiia Iliankova hit her routine cleanly for the silver medal — and American Suni Lee held on for bronze.
Olympic all-around gold medalist Lee was first in the lineup and was a little off from the start, missing the connections on her release moves in more than one section of her routine. Though her quick thinking throughout helped her avoid disaster, it affected her difficulty score. Lee earned a 14.500, seven-tenths of a point lower than her qualifying score.
It appeared several of the gymnasts, Lee included, might have been affected by the reportedly cold arena and lack of a one-touch warm-up. All-around bronze medalist Angelina Melnikova (ROC) couldn’t get over on a pirouette and had to hop off, while China’s Fan Yilin — the 2015 and 2017 world champion on bars — fell on her dismount. — Amy Van Deusen
Former Olympians took to Twitter to express their concern over the temperature and lack of one-touch warm-up ahead of events:
Nina Derwael, Belgium – 15.200
Anastasiia Iliankova, ROC – 14.833
Suni Lee, USA – 14.500
Lu Yufei, China – 14.400
Elisabeth Seitz, Germany – 14.400
Melanie de Jesus dos Santos, France – 14.033
Fan Yilin, China – 13.900
Angelina Melnikova, ROC – 13.066
Men’s pommel horse: Whitlock retains title
In the final men’s event of the day, Max Whitlock of Great Britain, a three-time Olympian, repeated as pommel horse champion.
Competing in the tough opening spot, Whitlock’s routine featured the highest start value in the meet, a 7.0, which was two-tenths higher than any of his competitors. And it was clean. He also earned the second-highest execution score of the night. His 15.583 set a tough bar for the next seven men to clear.
Lee Chih Kai of Chinese Taipei finished in the silver-medal spot and Japan’s Kazuma Kaya earned bronze.
American Alec Yoder, who competed second, was off from the start of his routine. He had a major form break immediately in his routine and seemed to lose focus afterward. His 14.666 was enough to hold him in medal contention until Lee competed. He finished sixth.
Rhys McClenaghan, who earned attention as the funniest gymnast in Tokyo after posting about the “anti-sex beds” in the athletes village, was the first Irish gymnast to make an Olympic final. Unfortunately, he had difficulty throughout his routine and fell from the apparatus. He finished seventh. — Alyssa Roenigk
Max Whitlock, Great Britain – 15.583
Lee Chih-kai, Chinese Taipei – 15.400
Kazuma Kaya, Japan – 14.900
David Belyavskiy, ROC – 14.833
Kohei Kameyama, Japan – 14.600
Alec Yoder, USA – 14.566
Rhys McClenaghan, Ireland -13.100
Sun Wei, China – 13.066
Women’s vault: Andrade continues to wow, and Skinner’s unlikely Olympic medal
One week ago, MyKayla Skinner thought that her Olympic competition had ended in the qualification round. Sunday, she stood on an Olympic podium, a silver medalist on vault.
With defending Olympic vault champion Simone Biles — whose withdrawal placed Skinner into the event — loudly cheering her on from the stands, Skinner opened the meet with a clean Cheng. It was her best vault of the Games and earned a 15.033, a higher score than either of her vaults during qualifying. On her second vault, an Amanar, Skinner took a slight hop to the left on her landing but kept her feet in bounds, good enough for a 14.8 and an overall score of 14.916.
Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, coming off her silver-medal performance in the all-around, competed two gymnasts later with the same vaults and more amplitude, besting Skinner by a little over a 10th of a point and ultimately edging her for gold. Brazil had never won an Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics until earlier this week, and now Andrade has won two.
Unlike in qualifying and team competition, gymnasts are not provided with what is known as a “one-touch warm-up” or a last-minute opportunity to warm up on the competition apparatus immediately before they compete. That rule has been highly debated, as the conversation at these Games has centered around athlete health and safety, especially in gymnastics.
On American Jade Carey’s first vault, she misstepped on the runway as she approached the springboard and somehow had the wherewithal to throw just a tuck off the table. She saved her body from injury, but the mistake ended her night. Immediately, gymnastics fans took to Twitter to call for #onetouchfinals. Impressively, though, Carey regrouped, went back to the start of the runway and performed a beautiful Amanar. Her dad, Brian, who is also her coach, hugged her tightly and consoled her after her turn.
Korean gymnast Yeo Seo-jeong performed a vault named for her and — 25 years after her father took silver in the event at the 1996 Games — earned the bronze. — Alyssa Roenigk
Rebeca Andrade, Brazil – 15.083
MyKayla Skinner, USA – 14.916
Yeo Seo-jeong, Korea – 14.733
Alexa Moreno, Mexico – 14.716
Angelina Melnikova, ROC – 14.683
Liliia Akhaimova, ROC – 14.666
Shallon Olsen, Canada – 13.066
Jade Carey, USA – 12.416
Men’s floor exercise: History for Israel
In the first of four gymnastics event finals on Sunday at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Artem Dolgopyat of Israel won the gold medal on floor.
It was the first medal ever for Israel in gymnastics and is the country’s lone gold medal of the 2020 Olympics thus far, and third medal overall.
Dolgopyat, the 2020 European Champion on the event, had the highest score in qualifying and continued his dominance on Sunday. His mark was tied with Spain’s Rayderley Zapata, but Dolgopyat won the second tiebreak because of a higher difficulty score.
Zapata earned the silver medal, and Ruoteng Xiao of China won the bronze.
Yul Moldauer, the only American in the competition, finished in sixth place out of eight. He stuck all but one of his tumbling passes, but he caught his foot during a flair sequence. — D’Arcy Maine
Artem Dolgopyat, Israel – 14.933
Rayderley Zapata, Spain – 14.933
Ruoteng Xiao, China – 14.766
Sunghyun Ryu, South Korea – 14.233
Milad Karimi, Kazakhstan – 14.133
Yul Moldauer, USA – 13.533
Nikita Nagornyy, ROC – 13.066
Hansol Kim, South Korea – 13.066
Let the individual event finals begin
Sunday was the first day of individual event finals, and it was a combination of men’s and women’s events. The top eight highest-scoring gymnasts from qualifying advanced on each event, with a maximum of two per country. The preliminary scores were erased, however. The highest score on Sunday won.
The schedule — hope you had your coffee on hand for this one:
4 a.m. ET: men’s floor
4:45 a.m. ET: women’s vault
5:45 a.m. ET: men’s pommel horse
6:27 a.m. ET: women’s uneven bars
Could you tell us more about the Americans?
Funny you should ask. By this point, you’ve probably heard of Suni Lee. But if you haven’t, you should definitely check out this story on her impressive all-around win. There is also a video of her and her dad doing backflips that we can’t recommend strongly enough.
Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner both qualified to Tokyo as individual competitors, and both have had wild rides during this Olympics. Skinner thought her Olympic experience was over after the qualifying rounds, while Carey took Biles’ spot in the all-around when Biles withdrew.
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