2022 European Championships – a written review
I had no time to edit my reviews in video so instead I'm writing 😁
My thoughts on the podium won't be final and will be more open than usual, because:
- video can bring you as much accuracy as the numbers of frames and angles,
- the top competitors (Atamanov, Kaleyn, Nikolova and Raffaeli as well as Varfolomeev and Vedeneeva in some way) are very close competitors: due to their difference in strenghts, they will always be neck and neck in the results, unless one decides to radically improve in D and to a lesser extent in E (Raffaeli is already loaded with D, but she can improve E, Kaleyn can improve D and E but A is on point, Atamanov can improve her D even further etc...). They are kind of equal and none has a clear advantage (except Raffaeli when clean in D, which is not always). If anyone remember 2017 scores and judging, this is how it feels. For comparison, at 2021 Olympic Games the review was much more straighforward: Ashram had gigantic Difficulty scores keeping her above anyone, then D. Averina etc... This new closeness in the competitors is due to the new code limiting DA and adding A-score, but also because of the competitors.
Each time I will be giving a new podium: a comma signifies a clear gap in point between the gymnast, a slash indicates a closer gap in point between the gymnasts (less than 0.5); two slashes (//) give the separation between podium and the rest.
Fouettés with stretched leg: guess the gymnast and the competition!!
actually Vedeneeva and Varfolomeev, Karbanov pulled off some great steady 90° throughout the competition
Rules judges seemed to have difficulty applying live: the usual and the new
I am just guessing: the only for me to obtain the same score as the official ones was to add what I considered not valid because of rules. So I supposed some elements/mistakes were difficulty to identify live.
The usual because it's hard to get rid of some habits, even with a very clear code
- cabriole (leg raised at 30° during take-off whomst???)
- outside the visual field (Elements performed in front or on the side of the body are not valid for this criterion even if the trunk is bent back): I don't have enough fingers to count how many ''outside the visual field'' criterion were given in risk
- under-rotation, especially on EKB and with gymnasts turning fast (Raffaeli penche/Rf turns, she got points for imaginary turns, probably because judges can't pinpoint exactly the moment she changed legs position). Seriously, for rotations only, FIG should already start putting in place some AI like in artistic gymnastics, because it's getting ridiculous. What's the point to do a complete 180° when you can get away with 90°? By the way, when will I see a complete 180° EKB in competition? At this rate, FIG should give it 0.6 base rotation with how difficult it is.
- spotting large/medium deviation and missing apparatus handling in fouetté, especially from gymnasts with a lot of speed (Atamanov)
- illusion risk: so many illusions risk counted when the catch is done before the first illusion even started or 2 steps between illusion, which normally make the entire risk unvalid. Not so many gymnasts do it absolutely correctly (Nikolova in ball final, Kaleyn with hoop AA...)
The new (sort of):
- 360° criteria in DA is still not respected: several DA with 180° rotation were counted
- the timing of roll with DB
FIG gave visual explanations of when the apparatus roll should happen for balance:
Kolosov and Atamanov did their roll before the shape was fixed (tapping the hoop on the floor is not an apparatus handling)
Dance steps: on the opposite of the previous year, not a lot of less-than-8-seconds Dance steps (mostly from the German team or due to a loss, like Nikolova clubs EF or Jalilova ribbon EF)
“Artistic score is subjective, it just helps adjusting the scores by judges''
Well... yes and no. Artistic scores is obviously subjective (it's not “wild-subjective”, as in ''you don't do what you want, but it's still sujective). However, it is not used to give manipulate the score. A judges normally do not communicated with DB, DA and E judges so they do not know what kind of scores are given back there.
That said: E and A being on 20 points re-balance a lot more the D than in the previous quad. I notice it very much because I usually review the D first, then E and A. With the previous code, they weren't much change in ranking when adding E and A deductions, now there is.
Side note on character
As the new code emphasised how the character must be present in all the exercise, but that it doesn't not mean every preparation, every difficulty, every exit from a difficulty, every catch/throw etc... must have character (though this would be a dream and probably make an exercise so so difficult): it means the character is shown in variety of ways throughout the entire exercise (beginning, middle and end)
So, I decided to highlight the moment where the character is shown in different routines in the timeline to fully see if a character is presented during the entire routine and how many time (pink rectangles for character shown outside the Dance Steps, blue rectangles for the Dance steps).
Note: Bulgaria routines are the most ambitious routines (especially Kaleyn clubs and Nikolova ribbon) in term of adding character (a bit like Italy does with 3+2). Israel routines, although often well-connected to the music, present little to no character except in the dance steps.
In a way you can say that “overscored E” for Raffaeli compensated for “overscored D” for Kaleyn (mainly due to rolls that weren't fully done and under-rotated pivot, again) and Atamanov (under-rotated pivots with 180° Kb and Ekb). We could also say that Raffaeli had the D advantage (a one point gap in D with the rest is not an error), Atamanov the E advantage and Kaleyn the A advantage in this hoop final (please, do not think this is a general statement!).
It should have been a closer fight for the third place: Kaleyn was a bit too overscored in D compare to Polstjanaja, Onopriienko and especially Vedeneeva (who actually have fully rotated pivot, attitude and 180° side split).
Podium: Raffaeli, Atamanov, Vedeneeva/Onopriienko/Polstjanaja/Kaleyn // Kolosov, Nikolova
Some gymnasts (Kaleyn, Baldassarri), despite having big overscored D compare to rest of the gymnast, still deserved their ranking (-/+) after recalculation. In fact, Kaleyn compensated with not-so-bad E (I need to praise Kaleyn saving the ball during the risk WITHOUT making any extra-forbidden-steps and avoiding deductions) and very good A, to step above the rest of the competitors.
However, another gymnast was so much overscored compared to others that it led to a wrong podium. Yes, I'm talking about Varfolomeev, I'm sorry. She made tiny unnoticed mistakes on several big elements. The biggest one was judges not noticing she performed no handling during a 0.6 leap (there were also barely 90° side split counted as 180° -0.5 and a short second Dance Steps (0.5 penalty) among others).
That's a not lot of big missed things but since she was already very close to others gymnasts (Nikolova, Kolosov...) the rest of a correct performance was not enough to keep her on the podium in my review.
The fight for the silver/bronze should have been between Nikolova, Raffaeli and Kolosov. This is kinda what happened in with the official score, although after re-calculation, the gap should have been much closer, with an advantage for Nikolova and Kolosov (judges seemed to have problems counting rotations in Raffaeli's pivots).
Side note for Nikolova: I got a concern with her side split pivot DA handling. She's doing a bounce but the push is not clearly active (hand giving a clear impulse) and could be seen as passive (letting the ball falls on the floor, just like that).
In my re-calculation I counted it (1.1) but without it, she's out of the podium.
Podium: Kaleyn, Nikolova/Kolosov, Raffaeli/Vedeneeva // Varfolomeev/Baldassarri, Aghamirova
Ah a very closed result again, but this time for gold (Varfolomeev fans, this time you can relax.)
Sooooo, after re-calculations I have a slight advantage for Atamanov in front of Raffaeli:
-slight advantage in A for Raffaeli (one shorten dance steps, same character penalty, Atamanov had more connections deductions than Raffaeli, in particular due to two abrupt transition from floor to Kabaeva and standing to the floor at the end of the exercise, and probably the reason why Raffaeli also took the advantage with the official scores)
-advantage in E for Atamanov (this is were I don't fully understand the 8.95 for Raffaeli in comparison to the rest of E scores during this final)
Although, maybe the reason why Raffaeli took the E advantage in the official results is because Atamanov had a loss of balance (very subbtle, but still there). But then, I don't think jury was going to give her 9.3 anyway... so I don't know (yes, I'm being very helpful there).
I'm also having Nikolova lower probably because I didn't counted two under-rotated Kabaeva pivot; Nikolova is not usually a subscriber for under-rotation, but Kabaevas were not her friend during this competition (cf. Clubs AA).
Podium: Atamanov/Rafaelli, Varfolomeev // Vedeneva, Aghamirova, Lytra, Nikolova, Kaleyn
Close results? Again? Let's find out!
Ribbon routines are always a can of worms because of spirals and snakes. The difference of results came mainly from the unvalid DA/DB because of less than 4 spirals/snakes performed.
Which why gymnasts able to do 4 correct spirals/snakes should have been on the podium despite having less planned D (Vedeneeva).
The reason why Varfolomeev is also on the podium is because 1.high planned D 2.not a lot of unvalid stuff (on the opposite of Atamanov or Nikolova)
Podium: Kaleyn, Vedeneeva, Atamanov/Katz // Nikolova/Varfolomeev, Karbanov, Jalilova
Ah and yes, for the AA final, I did a re-calculation of the first six: officials scores were wack but the ranking ends up being more or less then same: Atamanov and Kaleyn first and second and Raffaeli clearly off the podium but Varfolomeev (because high D and clean E) and Vedeneeva (because everyone is more overscored in D than she is since she's executing less D) should have been closer to Nikolova's bronze.
Podium: Atamanov, Kaleyn, Nikolova/Varfolomeev/Vedeneeva // Raffaeli