Road to Rio

Rio Preview – Vault Finals

I’m so excited to start going over all the events in preparation for the Rio Olympics!  In two weeks from today, we’ll be watching the men compete in prelims and it’s only 12 days until we see the women’s podium training!  It’s right around the corner now.  So today will be about vault finals.  I’m taking D-Scores as well as total scores into account to see where everyone stands.  I’m getting most of my data from the wonderful website The All Around which has a great page of the highest scores in the World on each event.


 Gymnast  Vault 1  Vault 2  Total Rank
 Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)  7.0  6.0  13.0  1
 Dipa Karmakar (IND)  7.0  6.0  13.0  1
 Simone Biles (USA)  6.3  6.4  12.7  3
 Maria Paseka (RUS)  6.4  6.3  12.7  3
 Hong Un Jong (PRK)  6.3  6.4  12.7  3
 Wang Yan (CHN)  6.0  6.2  12.2  6
 Alexa Moreno (MEX)  6.2  6.0  12.2  6
 Marcia Videaux (CUB)  6.0  6.2  12.2  6
 Giulia Steingruber (SUI)  6.2  5.8  12.0  9
 Shallon Olsen (CAN)  5.8  5.9  11.7  10
 Ellie Downie (GBR)  5.8  5.6  11.4  11
 Claudia Fragapane (GBR)  5.8  5.6  11.4  11
 Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS)  5.8  5.6  11.4  11
 Brittany Rogers (CAN)  5.8  5.6  11.4  11
 Sae Miyakawa (JPN)  6.4  5.0  11.4  11

Leading the pack is the legendary Oksana Chusovitina as well as Dipa Karmakar, who are both vaulting a combination of the Produnova vault with a double twisting Tsukahara (note, they might be doing a full twisting Kas instead of a DTT but the women’s code doesn’t differentiate between the two so for ease I will refer to that vault as a DTT).  However, the Produnova comes with more E-Score deductions than most vaults due to the low landing position so won’t score as high as they would want unless they can land it like Produnova did at the 1999 Universiade.  Behind those two are the three front runners for the vault title.  2014 World Champion Hong Un Jong, 2015 World Champion Maria Paseka, and favorite for the Rio title Simone Biles.  These three all perform the combination of an Amanar and a Cheng, which is the highest combination of clean vaults the women have done all quad.

They have a nice advantage over sixth place Wang Yan, Marcia Videaux, and Alexa Moreno that all perform the combination of a Rudi and a DTT.  These vaults are very similar which makes it a popular combination for a lot of gymnasts. Close behind these three is current European champion Giulia Steingruber that also performs a Rudi but pairs it with a DTY instead of a DTT.

First year senior from Canada, Shallon Olsen is there in eighth place.  She does a combination of DTY and a tucked Cheng or a Khorkina vault.  And then tied for ninth is a huge group of gymnasts, most who do a DTY and a Lopez with the exception of Sae Miyakawa who competed a Cheng and a Front Layout at Gymnix earlier this year.

Rumour Alert 

These difficulty scores are all taken from vaults performed by the gymnasts this year, but there are several gymnasts that are planning on debuting new vaults or are rumoured too.  Giulia Steingruber posted a video back in spring of her training a front 2/1 which is valued at a 6.8 at the moment.  She was supposed to compete it at Euros but didn’t so we might see it debuted in Rio.  Hong Un Jong has submitted the triple twisting Yurchenko nearly every major competition she’s competed in but has yet to do it, however what a lot of people don’t realize is that to submit a new skill you have to send the FIG a video of the skill being done in practice so she’s capable of doing this vault.  This vault is valued at a 6.8 just like the front 2/1.  During Canada’s last trials for the Olympics, commentator Kyle Shewfelt stated that Shallon Olsen is capable of an Amanar and might be doing it in Rio.  Rumours throughout the British camp have stated that Ellie Downie is capable of doing an Amanar and a Cheng which would really skyrocket her chances of a vault medal.  This is how these changes would affect the standings.

 Gymnast  Vault 1  Vault 2  Total Rank
 Hong Un Jong (PRK)  6.8  6.4  13.2  1
 Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)  7.0  6.0  13.0  2
 Dipa Karmakar (IND)  7.0  6.0  13.0  2
 Simone Biles (USA)  6.3  6.4  12.7  4
 Maria Paseka (RUS)  6.4  6.3  12.7  4
 Ellie Downie (GBR)  6.3  6.4  12.7  4
 Giulia Steingruber (SUI)  6.8  5.8  12.6  7
 Shallon Olsen (CAN)  6.3  5.9  12.2  8
 Wang Yan (CHN)  6.0  6.2  12.2  8
 Alexa Moreno (MEX)  6.2  6.0  12.2  8
 Marcia Videaux (CUB)  6.0  6.2  12.2  8
 Claudia Fragapane (GBR)  5.8  5.6  11.4  12
 Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS)  5.8  5.6  11.4  12
 Brittany Rogers (CAN)  5.8  5.6  11.4  12
 Sae Miyakawa (JPN)  6.4  5.0  11.4  12

2016 Best Scores

Again, these are taken from The All-Around so a big thanks to them for this information.  This is the top 10 from Worlds last year up to the end of June this year.

 Gymnast  Vault 1  Vault 2  Average Rank
 Simone Biles (USA)  16.200  15.800  16.000  1
 Maria Paseka (RUS)  15.633  15.700  15.666  2
 Hong Un Jong (PRK)  15.666  15.600  15.633  3
 Giulia Steingruber (SUI)  15.666  15.200  15.433  4
 Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)  15.600  15.200  15.400  5
 Wang Yan (CHN)  15.066  15.133  15.099  6
 Alexa Moreno (MEX)  15.050  14.850  14.950  7
 Ellie Downie (GBR)  15.066  14.833  14.949  8
 Marcia Videaux (CUB)  14.800  15.050  14.925  9
 Dipa Karmakar (IND)  15.100  14.700  14.900  10

While US domestic competitions are notoriously overscored, it’s not unrealistic to think that Simone Biles is far and away the favorite for the vault title in Rio.  She has over 0.3 over second place Maria Paseka.  Paseka through Chusovitina are all closely ranked, then there is a several tenth break until Wang Yan but there is less than 0.2 between her and 10th ranked Dipa Karmakar.  This is going to come down to very small deductions like steps to determine who will make event finals or not.  But of course vault has proven itself to be unpredictable at times, just looking at how London’s event finals went.

Featured Image (C) Jed Jacobsohn

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