I didn't see He Kexin fall. I was taking a picture of Beth Tweddle, who, I have to say, I had every finger, toe and available limb crossed for.
But I heard it. We all did. And after she left the podium I was so close I could hear the quiet, distressing sobbing of He Kexin as she stood there waiting for a score she didn't want to see. Her shoulder were heaving and the tears running down her face before she even left the podium.
Every time I looked back at her afterward her face would be the same. Still, silent, with a streaming tear on each cheek. Sad. This Worlds was all about that one routine for this specialist.
I did see Huang Qiushuang fall, but I couldn't tell you why. And I saw the look of shock and horror of Yang Yilin, who had just finished chalking up for her team mate. I saw her exchange looks with the coach, in utter disbelief. She, who had spent the afternoon before talking He through her routine, moving with her, pushing through the swings in a crazed, funny dance beside the chalk bowl. I looked over to Beth, but she wasn't looking.
One of the nicest gifts I have had this Worlds is the cheeky pleasure of standing behind Beth Tweddle and Amanda Kirby as they watched the rest of the final unfold. The fun of listening to them chat lies in the way they are just so very mundane and real in these major sporting moments. It was more like listening to an old married couple watch television than watching a World Championship event final.
They have done this before. So many times.
The Russian coach came over to shake hands with both Beth and Amanda, and as he walked away, Kirby says,
"Oh, I do like him. He's a lovely fella isn't he?"
"Yeah." Beth replies. "They've been real friendly this time."
"Did ya see it?" Amanda asks.
Beth confessed that she hadn't been watching the Chinese girls,
"No I didn't. But I heard the 'ooh' and the thump and I knew it had happened again."
They watched bars as if they were simply part of the audience, openly admiring Ana Porgras's pretty swing.
"Got nice legsin her handstands, hasn't she?"
Remarking on Mustafina hitting her connection.
"Yeah, she always does that. See she just missed it the other day, that's all."
"Ooh, did she?"
Expressing genuine regret for poor little Elisabeth Seitz as she fell a second time.
"Oh, poor little thing."
And when Seitz went to clambered back onto the bars for a third time, Amanda Kirby turned on her inner instinctual coach, caring and concerned and called "Come on, girl" quietly, to nobody.
And when she landed her dismount, they clapped as hard and long as anyone.
Commenting on a mistake in Bross's routine without pleasure or spite.
"Hit the bar."
"Yep, right on the high bar there."
Any minute you expect one of them to say,"Shall I put the kettle on then?"
I love Tweddle and Kirby. There is an earthy charm to the both of them. They are so very, very real.
And what was sweeter than the clamouring of her team mates, especially Hannah and Jenni who train with her to get near Beth after the final in the press room?
I asked them how they felt when the Chinese girls fell and Jenni, in her usual childlike honesty was like, "I was soooo excited. I couldn't believe it. I knew Beth could win!!" Imogen Cairns, who was on the floor with her said "I was just like 'Oooooh my Goooooood!' as she rolled her eyes dramatically heavenward. And when Beth mentioned them in her interview, Hannah Whelan skipped with delight and said, "Ooh, we even get a mention!!!"
As they waited and watched, Cairns remarked to the girls, "Imagine of she wins a gold in London 2012."
Well, she would be so famous that she'd never be able to leave the house again, that's for sure.
Even nicer? The fact that Amanda Kirby apparently wept through the whole medal ceremony.
I sincerely admire the Chinese girls bar work. They are beautiful. But I've said it, and I will say it again, Tweddle's routine is somehow more spectacular, and bars needs spectacular. She is also an inspiration on so many levels. For showing age isn't everything in this sport. For being a great team leader. For handling the trials and temptations of being a celebrity in her home country. For being a gymnast who gives her time to younger gymnasts and fans. For being so darn no nonsense and having a good sense of humour. I am truly happy for her.