In Today's Code: Nastia Liukin's 2007 Bars Routine

In Today's Code: Nastia Liukin's 2007 Bars Routine
Photo: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, we took a look at Shawn Johnson's 2007 beam routine and evaluated it using the 2017-2021 Code of Points. What we found was that Johnson's routine in today's code would receive a D-score that is almost a point lower than what she received in 2007. This is unsurprising, given the amount of changes the code undergoes every four years. The FIG reviews the Code of Points typically after the Olympics and makes various changes to the composition requirements, values of skills, and connection bonus.

Today, we are taking a look at another legendary routine: Nastia Liukin's bar routine from 2007. Liukin's bar set that she performed leading up to and including the 2008 Olympics was one of the toughest routines in the world. In the uneven bars final at the Olympics, where Liukin took the silver medal, she achieved a staggering 7.7 D-score. 

Liukin's routine from 2007 was slightly different, but she still had one of the toughest routines in the world. When she competed on day two of nationals in 2007, she notched a 7.1 D-score. What would her routine receive in today's code? Take a look at her routine below and then check out our analysis of what her D-score would be in 2017-2021.

Video via USA Gymnastics


The 2017-2021 code lists the following Composition Requirements, worth a total of 2.00 of the D-score:

1. Flight from HB to LB (0.50)
2. Flight element on the same bar (0.50)
3. Different grips (no cast, mount or dismount) (0.50)
4. Non flight element with minimum 360 degree turn (no mount) (0.50)

Liukin's 2007 routine meets all of these requirements. She competes a Pak salto to satisfy the flight from high bar to low bar and a Tkatchev to satisfy the flight element on the same bar. She uses different grips in her routine, including an L-grip, and she has a non-flight element with minimum 360-degree turn when she competes her forward giant in L-grip with 1 1/2 turn on one arm (also known as an Ono 1/2). 


For content of the exercise, similar as it was for beam, the 2017-21 code counts the top eight most difficult skills toward the D-score, inlcuding the dismount. Liukin's top eight skills are:

1. Forward giant in L-grip with 1 1/2 turn on one arm (Ono 1/2) (E)
2. Layout Geinger (E)
3. Double front with 1/2 turn dismount (E)
4. Inbar stalder with 1/2 turn (D)
5. L-grip Endo (D)
6. Inbar stalder (D)
7. Tkatchev (D)
8. Pak salto (D)

Adding all these skills together, Liukin's total counted skill value from the routine is 3.5.


The last area that counts toward the final D-score is connection bonus. As with beam, connection bonus can often change the most with a new code. For Liukin's routine, she receives the following connection bonus from the 2017-21 code:

1. Inbar stalder with 1/2 turn (D) + L-grip Endo (D) + Ono 1/2 (E) + Layout Geinger (E) = +0.10
The only bonus that Liukin receives for this stacked combination is for the D+D connection at the beginning, worth +0.10.  She receives this bonus because the first element has a minimum of 1/2 turn, a requirement for receiving the D+D bonus (either that or flight). The L-grip Endo (D) + Ono 1/2 (E) connection does not receive any bonus because neither are flight elements. D+E only receives bonus in the current code if both elements involve flight. Similarly, E+E does not receive bonus in the current code either.

2. Inbar stalder (D) + Tkatchev (D) = none
This connection receives no bonus because the inbar stalder does not have a minimum 1/2 turn or involve flight.

3. Stalder 1/2 (C) + Forward giant in reverse grip with full turn to regular grip (C) + Pak salto (D) = none
This connection also recevies no bonus. There is no bonus in the 2017-21 Code for C+C connections. C+D does not receive connection bonus unless it is in the order of D(flight)+C and performed on the high bar.

Adding Liukin's connection bonus together, she receives just +0.10.


The D-score is calculated by adding the composition requirements (2.0), content of the exercise (3.5) and connection bonus (0.10). In the 2017-21 code, Liukin's 2007 routine would receive a 5.6 D-score.


Liukin's 2007 routine receives a vastly lower D-score using the current code as compared to the code that was in effect in 2007. As mentioned in the previous article, part of this is due to the composition requirements being lower by 0.50. Still, even taking this into account, her routine is still about a point lower than what it received in 2007, and that's largely because her tough connections receive no bonus in this code.

The current code emphasizes connected flight elements much more -- a gymnast can only receive +0.20 in bonus if flight is involved. For instance, connecting a Maloney (D) to a Tkatchev (D) became a popular combination in recent years, as has some type of Tkatchev connected to a Pak salto, which receives the same bonus.

In Today's Code: Shawn Johnson's 2007 Beam Routine
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