Friday, August 1, 2014

Glasgow 2014: Apparatus Finals Day 1



Australia can celebrate its first individual gymnastics medal in Glasgow with a Larrissa Miller thriller, nailing one of her best ever uneven bars performances.

Up against fancied Englanders Ruby "WAIT WHAT THAT RIGHT THERE WAS SO AWESOME SHOW THAT AGAIN" Harrold and Rebecca "Made of grit, guts, elbow grease and sparkly eyeshadow" Downie, Larrissa held her nerve through her signature release combination and picture-perfect stalders. The icing on the cake was a stuck full-out dismount that the crowd roared for. It was an agonising .1 off of first place, that went to a gracious Downie. But as with Vivian's fifth place the night before, from Miller's joyous and humbled reaction it was definitely as good as gold. Fittingly, she was seen off the podium to the strains of Oz rockers AC/DC.

 If you get the chance I urge you to go back and watch the slow-motion replay of her dismount. The leg form and foot form is absolutely textbook. She could school other gymnasts with it. As one tweeter noted, standing for photographs next to the Brits, Larrissa had her feet in a perfectly dainty fourth position!

Alongside Larrissa in the purple all-around leotard was Georgia Rose Brown, possibly still catching her breath from putting up a neat performance in the vault final for 7th place. Georgia was introduced with an "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" from the crowd started by the cheery arena announcer and it seemed to be just the thing to spur her on. She, too, showed lovely form throughout (it is always a relief when she gets the geinger around) and a very satisfying stuck double tuck dismount but it was not quite enough to reach the medal podium. 5th in such a tough field is a great effort.

Larrissa and Georgia will now get to rest and cheer on Lauren Mitchell and Maryanne Monckton in the beam final, and Lauren solo in the floor final, both bound to be exciting contests. With medals from World Cups and World Championships between them, not to mention each being senior national title holder at least once, beam prowess holds the twosome in great stead.

I'm cheering them on with the hashtag #LozMezerables (until I think of a better one of course).

Australia's other finallist last night, Naoya Tsukahara, also came close to a medal in the rings final. His outstanding form on the apparatus put him in 4th place, which he can hopefully better in tonight's parallel bars and high bar finals (does he ever get tired!?), the latter of which will be an absolute stormer for the crowd as gymnastics for Glasgow 2014 comes to a close. He will share each of his finals appearances with Luke Wadsworth and Sean O'Hara.

The finals will take place at approximately 10:50pm AEST, aired live on Glasgow6 on TenPlay. Also watch out for Kent Pieterse, who will kick off Australia's campaign on vault!

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