Test Event Day 1: MAG Qualification throughout the day

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It’s day one here at the O2 Arena / North Greenwich Arena, the set up is fantastic. Gymnova are supplying the equipment so the usual red and cream brand colours look excellent, against the pink VISA carpets, not so much but all the same the set up is great.

Remember, the top 4 teams of the day will qualify to the Olympic Games in the Summer. The top 24 All Around gymnasts will also qualify, if their country has not already secured a place at the Games. Only one per nation have a shot at that.

Subdivision 1

Subdivision one has run pretty smoothly so far, 5 gymnasts up really does seem to make a difference in regards to timing. Zonderland messed up his high bar routine, breaking leg form which cost him huge as he fell. No huge surprises although so far I have been  impressed by Canada, Nathan Gafuik has an uncharacteristic slip on the High Bar and another fall on floor. It seems every video I have recorded so far has fallen, maybe I am a bad omen. We’re only in rotation 3 and the FIG have already begun uploading videos, such as this one featuring Cyril Tommasone’s Pommel routine
http://youtu.be/eTogh64GP2I

At this stage we’re in rotation 5, both Belarus and Canada are fading as France are coming through and entered this rotation in first place, of course we still have another two subdivisions to go. Igor Radivilov had some nice high tumbling on floor, meanwhile the french fans were going crazy for Arnaud Willig on high bar. I appear to be sitting smack bang in the middle of the french fan base, so loud, so enthusiastic, great to see.

At the end of this first subdivision it sits as, France on top with 350.69, Canada in second 350.659 and Belarus in third with 322.824.

Subdivision 2

We start with the Italians on  floor and Brazilians on rings, just these two teams compete for the four places available in the Olympics in subdivision 2.  The Italians impress on floor, neat and tidy, nothing too special but only one fall. The Brazilians are delighted with their set on rings as the final competitor Zanetti dismounts. After rotation one, Canada still lie in first place, with France second, Belarus third, Brazil fourth and Italy fifth. At this stage I would definitely expect one of these teams to qualify, no doubt about it.

I took a few minutes out to catch up with the Irish delegation and give Kieran Behan our best wishes for tonight’s competition. Briefly met Rick Mc Charles too who is almost watching the competition through his fingers, slowly watching Canada possibly slip down the ranks as Brazil and Italy move up. We’re midway through subdivision five now. Italy and Brazil both still looking very good.

Subdivision 3

We’re at the final stages of qualification, Team GB are coming out tonight and taking no prisoners by the looks of it. 5 perfect dead landings on High Bar during rotation 1. Ireland’s Kieran Behan has an unfortunate slip up on his first apparatus on Parallel Bars which will cost him, he performs a beautiful high bar routine in rotation two. Great Britain are also strong on floor, very strong. The shouts and cheers can be heard all of the arena from their female team mates Jennifer Pinches, Hannah Whean and Becky Downie who are sitting in the executive boxes.

Rotation 3 is about to begin, Louis Smith did some warming up on floor in preparation for Pommels, he’s up last, luckily for GB. Keatings will be first. They pull off Pommel like rock stars, beginning with Keatings. A few hairy moments for Smith as he breaks form and loses a bit of momentum, which he regains. Kieran Behan rocks the floor, would have blown it’s socks off (if the floor had socks). A great score of 14.800. He gets a great shout out by the commentators. Apologies for not paying much attention to Spain, it’s rather difficult, my heart is with Behan and my eyes are following GB!

GB have had their first fault of the day, Whitlock came off early on rings. It’s ok because GB have done so well so far and don’t need the score to count.

Great Britain have come here and done what they came to do, and more! They more than impressed.

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