Road to Rio

Rio Preview – Bars Finals

Here we go!  My second preview for Rio!  Bars is the most open event in Rio, with only one gymnast slightly emerging from the pack of contenders to maybe be considered a favorite?  Here are D-Scores I got again from The All Around.


 Gymnast  Difficulty Score
 Fan Yilin (CHN)  7.1
 Rebecca Downie (GBR)  6.9
 Elisabeth Seitz (GER)  6.8
 Tan Jiaxin (CHN)  6.8
 Madison Kocian (USA)  6.7
 Shang Chunsong (CHN)  6.7
 Daria Spiridonova (RUS)  6.7
 Sophie Scheder (GER)  6.6
 Ruby Harrold (GBR)  6.6
 Nina Derwael (BEL)  6.6
 Louise Vanhille (FRA)  6.5
 Loan His (FRA)  6.5
 Gabby Douglas (USA)  6.5
 Aliya Mustafina (RUS)  6.5
 Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS)  6.5

There are fourteen gymnasts in this list, however China and Russia both have three gymnasts here so they have the potential to be 2-per’d out of finals.

Fan Yilin is at the top of this list, and she dominated bars throughout Chinese Nationals and will come into Rio as one of the reigning world champions.  However, her execution isn’t always the best.  She had the highest degree of difficulty at Worlds last year with a 6.9 so she ended up with the lowest execution score out of the four winners.  One 0.3 step on landing or late pirouette could open the door for the next contender, Becky Downie.  While not a model for consistency, she does come into Rio as the current European Champion

Ranked third is German favorite Elisabeth Seitz, and her recent 15.566 routine was posted here a few weeks ago.  While she’s nobody’s frontrunner at the moment, she definitely is capable of taking the title here.  These three above should all make finals barring any major error.  Also having a 6.8 difficulty score is replacement athlete for China, Tan Jiaxin however she has been dealing with an elbow issue recently so she’s a wildcard for this final.

Now it’s time for the fun part, now that the gymnasts are more bunched together.  Having a 6.7 difficulty score includes two of the reigning world champions, Madison Kocian and Daria Spiridonova.  Also with that difficulty score is Chinese team captain Shang Chunsong who has looked as confident as ever in her recent competitions.

Down to 6.6 is German favorite and finalist last year Sophie Scheder, British mainstay this quad Ruby Harrold, and Belgian newcomer Nina Derwael.  All these gymnasts have proven to not have the most consistent routines in the past so it would be exciting to see how they do in qualifying.

And last is the group at 6.5.  Two Russians are included, with reigning Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina being the highlight.  Seda Tutkhalyan also has a routine at 6.5 but is not known for her bars work and would probably be 2-per’d from finals by her two teammates.  Reigning Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas in this list, as well as French specialists Louise Vanhille and Loan His.

The numbers keep growing after 6.5 which is why I didn’t include them on my list, but notable gymnasts here include Laurie Hernandez, Angelina Melnikova, Kim Bui, Yuki Uchiyama, Brittany Rogers, Isabela Onyshko, and Jessica Lopez amongst others.

2016 Best Scores

 Gymnast  Final Score
 Fan Yilin (CHN)  15.734
 Madison Kocian (USA)  15.700
 Daria Spiridonova (RUS)  15.650
 Gabby Douglas (USA)  15.650
 Elisabeth Seitz (GER)  15.566
 Rebecca Downie (GBR)  15.500
 Shang Chunsong (CHN)  15.500
 Sophie Scheder (GER)  15.500
 Aliya Mustafina (RUS)  15.333
 Tan Jiaxin (CHN)  15.300
 Loan His (FRA)  15.100
 Louise Vanhille (FRA)  15.050
 Ruby Harrold (GBR)  14.766
 Nina Derwael (BEL)  14.375
 Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS)  14.875

Potential wise, this shows that the clear best eight gymnasts would be Fan Yilin, Madison Kocian, Daria Spiridonova, Gabby Douglas, Elisabeth Seitz, Rebecca Downie, Shang Chunsong, and Sophie Scheder.  However, anything could happen at the Olympics and I can almost guarantee this is not what the event final will look like.


I didn’t include these in my post about vault but was asked to by a couple of readers so here they are – my predictions for the eight event finalists and how they will rank in Rio.

  1. Elisabeth Seitz
  2. Fan Yilin
  3. Shang Chunsong
  4. Madison Kocian
  5. Daria Spiridonova
  6. Nina Derwael
  7. Aliya Mustafina
  8. Becky Downie
Featured Image (C) Ben Stansall

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