It was Tuesday evening before I could settle down to watch the men’s gymnastics finals – individual all round. It had already been a day of controversy for the Koreans in Badminton and there was disappointment yesterday with the fencing, so I hoped Kim Soo-myun would do well for his country. Not in the top six, he was going to be battling the likes of Uchimura (Japan), Ngyuen (Germany) and of course the two British gymnasts Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis. The line-up call was not an auspicious start with a long pause due to sound loss before announcing his name, though he was amused by the incident and was cheered on by the crowd.
Rotation one saw him on the vault and leading with a score of 16.000, though sadly we didn’t get shown what must have been a stunning show. Vault always scores much higher, but it must give a boost to see yourself at the top of the board. Second rotation on parallel bars was a nice clean display, though a score of 14.641 was down to slightly bent arms at the start and a pause into a handstand during the latter half of the routine. It pushed him down to 3rd place.
The high bar was next for the third rotation, a nice swinging routine in control and without any hitches or slips gave him a 14.966: not enough for him to hold on to 3rd and with higher scores on other gymnasts’ vaults he ended in 4th place. This didn’t improve after the floor exercise for 4th rotation as he stumbled out of the edge of the mat in a break of what had been good form until now. The routine ended with a slip and slide to the corner and the score awarded was a 12.266 which knocked him out of medal range.
It must be difficult to continue with two more pieces of apparatus knowing you do not have a chance of a medal so it’s understandable that on the 5th rotation (pommel) and 6th rotation (rings) he scored a 13.7 and 14.2 respectively. He finished in 20th place overall. Two more events next week for possible medals, so lets keep our fingers crossed for them then!