Worlds 2021- MAG prelims

These have finished now. I didn’t see any, but it all seems to have been very dramatic.

Someone in one of the earlier subs today tested positive for covid, after competing and this emerged shortly before sub 6 (GB, Rhys McClenaghan, Canada) were due to start. Don’t think we know who yet. Because of this everything had to be delayed so the apparatus could all be deep cleaned.

When they all went back in, pommels in particular was splatty and at least one athlete thinks it was because of the state of the horse. Rhys fell and is not very happy about the situation.

(20) Rhys Mcclenaghan on Twitter: “I’m sad I trained until this point just to have the chalk wiped off the equipment and been told to wait 1hour 30mins before I competed. Due to a competitor in the subdivision before testing positive for covid. Time to go home and just hope there’s not another Worlds like this one” / Twitter

I haven’t seen it but apparently one of the Canadian athletes slipped and whacked his head. Afaik he is ok though. Absolute mess.

In other results, we’re on for another Japan v China MAG AA showdown. Kohei is in HB finals and there is great joy amongst the people. GB and the US both seem to have done pretty well too. Lots of finals. The US are in 2nd and 3rd on pommels which would be hilarious if not for, well, you know.

Oh, I hadn’t heard about Rhys! So upsetting!


Rhys was well pissed (and rightly so) - after the deep cleanse you could see the coaches chalking for their lives but the apparatus can’t have been the same. Echoes of the vault cock up in 2000. Not just that, the cleanse took over an hour which will have unsettled the athletes waiting to compete.

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Just such a shame.

The delay is one of those unfortunate things that can happen if there are competitions in a pandemic. Depending on exactly what happened with the initial test it might have been unavoidable. And some people cope better with that than others. I wish they’d had some spare apparatus available though.

In other news good showing in the finals for Team GB - Joshua Nathan in AA and PH, Courtney in V and SR and Hayden Skinner in FX.


The US men did pretty well for themselves. Hooray.

It is also exciting that the Men’s Olympic champion turned up in fighting form.

Ignorant question alert: Was Zhang Boheng on the Chinese Olympic team? I don’t remember seeing his name before (but that could be that my MAG memory is very bad) and he seems to have come out of nowhere.

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Will the horse be properly chalked again before AA and EF? I hate it for Rhys but that would make for a pretty depressing EF too if the horse is still slippery.

Kenzo showing his retired skills…

Or use another one.

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Incredibly frustrating because wiping down everything like that is almost pure theater. Covid does not spread readily on surfaces. It spreads through respiratory droplets; the bigger concern is the individual who is infected, vaccination status, and who he has been in close contact with.

But, sure, let’s strip the chalk (which has antimicrobial properties!) from all the equipment and then have athletes compete on slippery surfaces! Sounds like a stellar idea.


If there are real concerns about the surface being incorrectly prepared, they ought to allow mulligans and increase the size of the EF to include any repeaters who beat the 8th place score.

Having to sit through a 90 minute delay is enough of a concession to things being unavoidably hard and weird. Unsafe surfaces are not something the athletes should have to put up with for any reason. It’s just not reasonable from either an athletic or safety viewpoint.


Zhang Boheng was not on the Chinese Olympic team. I believe he either did very well during their qualification process and/or recently at national games so maybe he should have been. He’s certainly doing well so far at worlds!

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And Josh competed on the wet horse, too!

When could they have repeated though?

Increase the delay even more?

I don’t think they could put it before Women’s AA tomorrow because the apparatus layout.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding how long it took for the horse to get back to normal, but I haven’t read that anyone in the two subsequent subdivisions had any trouble. It seems possible to just slot the athletes who wanted a do-over into those subs given that only 24 athletes were listed over 12 rotations, and patch any overflow at the end of the day.

It blows and can’t totally be fixed but just not responding shouldn’t be an option. Montreal’s busted floor allowed redos. Why is this equipment malfunction different?

Jesus Christ, deep cleaning the apparatus was so unnecessary. That’s not how COVID spreads. What a terrible decision.