It's been a tight race at the top of this event as of late-- four gymnasts tied for gold at Worlds last year. The event has been dominated by Russia and China, but there are several gymnasts from other countries that could challenge for a medal this year. Check out our breakdown below of who we think has a shot at making the event final:
Becky Downie, Great Britain
Downie has one of the toughest bar routines in the world with a huge 6.9 D-score. Her routine is packed with tough release moves and connections, and when she hits them all, she tends to score very well. Most recently, she won gold at the European Championships in Bern, where she beat Daria Spiridonova and Aliya Mustafina with her score of 15.5. Check out her routine below:
Video via europeangymnastics
Daria Spiridonova, Russia
Spiridonova is one of the four reigning world champions on bars. Her routine is packed with difficulty, totaling 6.7 in start value. She came onto the scene in 2014 and won bronze at the European Championships in Sofia, followed by another bronze at the World Championships in Nanning. She only improved in 2015 when she won gold at Europeans in Montpellier, followed by another gold in Glasgow at Worlds. Most recently, she won silver at Europeans in Bern--check out her routine below:
Video via europeangymnastics
Fan Yilin, China
Another member of the four-way gold medal tie in Glasgow is China's Yilin. Fan's senior debut was in 2015, and she impressed by winning bronze at the Asian Championships that year before going on to win gold at Worlds. This year, Fan continued to prove she's one of the top bar workers for China by winning the bars final at the Chinese National Championships with a 15.834. Her D-score at Chinese Nationals was a whopping 7.1.
Madison Kocian, USA
Kocian was also a world champion on bars in 2015. She is the star bar worker for the USA, and put up the highest D-score on the team with a 6.7. In addition to scoring a 15.366 in the event final to tie for gold, Kocian also helped Team USA to victory by putting up a 15.3 on bars. She was also a member of the 2014 gold-medal team in Nanning, where she contributed a 14.9 on bars. At Kocian's most recent competition, the U.S. Olympic Trials, Kocian scored a 15.75 on day one and a 15.9 on day two.
Elisabeth Seitz, Germany
Seitz competed for Germany at the 2012 Olympics, where she finished sixth in the uneven bars final with a 15.266. Throughout this quad, she has continued to be one of the top competitors for Germany while exhibiting her skill on bars. At German Nationals earlier this year, she scored a 15.566 with a 6.8 D-score--those are numbers that could put her in medal contention. Check out her routine from the recent Olympic Test Event below:
Video via FIG Channel
Aliya Mustafina, Russia
Mustafina comes to Rio as the reigning Olympic champion on uneven bars. In 2012, she scored a 16.133 with a 7.0 D-score to win. In addition to her Olympic success, Mustafina also has two world medals on bars--a silver from 2010 and a bronze from 2013--and three medals from the European Championships. Recently, she won bronze at the European Championships in Bern, where she competed with a 6.3 D-score.
Tan Jiaxin, China
Jiaxin was originally named as an alternate to the Chinese Olympic team, and ended up filling in for her teammate, who suffered an unfortunate injury. Tan is one of the team's best on uneven bars. She has the second-highest D-score (behind Fan) at 6.9, and recently won silver at Chinese Nationals on the event. Tan is an experienced competitor with the Chinese team who helped the country to silver-medal finishes at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships.
Sophie Scheder, Germany
Scheder first came into the spotlight in 2013 when she made the uneven bars final at the World Championships and finished in fifth with a 6.4 D-score. She has continued to improve since then. In 2014, she competed at the American Cup and achieved the second-highest score on bars with a 15.066. She also made the bars final that year at the European Championships in Sofia, where she placed fifth. At the 2015 World Championships, Scheder upped her difficulty on bars with a 6.6 D-score, qualified to the bars final and finished in eighth. Her most recent competition was the Chemnitz Friendly on July 23, where she scored a 15.25 on bars just behind her teammate, Seitz.
Honorable Mentions:Gabby Douglas, USA
Shang Chunsong, China
Ellie Downie, Great Britain
Who do you think will make the final? Let us know your predictions!
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