Today's Vault final had no big surprises. Brandie Jay of the USA won the title followed by Mexico's Elsa Garcia and Escobar from Columbia. As Spanny Tampson noted earlier this afternoon, now all three of the USA's 2 Vault competitors now have an international title. There's no doubt that I (and many other fans) miss Jade Barbosa and wish her a speedy recovery, but overall, the girls did well. While the field was slightly disappointing without any Amanars and only two DTYs, I have to respect the girls and their coaches for the high E scores in comparison. All the girls hit mid to high 8s and half of the girls reached a 9.0. You have to respect them for that.
The same cannot be said for Yamilet Peña Abreu, a gymnast from the Dominican Republic who attempted the Handspring Double Tuck. As only one of few women ever to attempt the vault, she immediately gained my respect when I heard about her earlier this fall. "Wow," I thought to myself, "a gymnast from a minor gymnastics country competing such a difficult vault!" Well, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Of the 5 different occurrences that I've seen her vault, she's fallen twice and never, ever had a non-scary landing. Every single vault looks like she's going to tear a ligament, or worse. Seriously, If you're taking a vault to your back 40% of the time that you do it in competition, and looking like your going to break something the other 60% of the time, Why are you doing it? Even when she landed the vault, her highest E score of the season was a 7.9. She competed a watered down vault in Prelims and still ended in Bronze Medal Position. Why take the risk when your body, your reputation and possibly even your life is at stake?
Watch her Worst Vault of the season:
And her best:
Do you think that it's worth it?