The vault line up was such a motley crew of girls. It was guaranteed its fair share of drama with the presence of two Russians, of this year's Comeback Queen and of the usual random renegade vault finalists. You never know what's going to happen.
There was no drama from Alicia this year, however. What we got from Alicia was what she had been delivering all week- good, high and CLEAN vaults. Then she got to sit in the precious but nerve-wracking position of waiting.
But if we wanted drama, the Russians delivered. The rest of the Russian team manage to turn up on the floor for every event they are not involved in. It's breaking the rules, but no one seems to care. Their appearance only adds to the intensity of the Russian presence on the Worlds stage as their voices collide and add to the theatre of it all.
Nabieva and Mustafina work well together, talking each other through the experience, using each other and the other girls as an emotional crutch, as coach, as comfort. Each stood at the end of the runway for the other, giving parting words before they headed for their seven seconds or so of make or break. They comforted each other when things didn't go their way. Nabieva needs it more than Mustafina, that's obvious, but they still go through the experience together.
But if they delivered drama, they didn't deliver the vaults, according to the judges. Three of the four vaults were downgraded, and after doing the math, they attempted an appeal in melodramatic Russian tradition. It failed.
Imogen, Diana and Ariella did well, but didn't have the vaults to medal. Perhaps Kaeslin did, but no one, at least not I, expected Jade Barbosa to come out of the gates like she did and deliver two great vaults.
I knew she was capable of great vaults, but after a week like hers, I forgot to believe in her. She didn't believe in herself either, staring at the scoreboard that blatantly read the score she would need to come in third, but she couldn't seem to get the message. It was minutes before she seemed to understand that she had won the bronze.
Who ever thought there would be a time when Alicia Sacramone was the quiet presence on any scene? But that is exactly what she was today. She went out there. She did her job. She waited, without drama, without overblown emotion, without regrets, but with maturity and the class to wait and celebrate at the very end. She just watched and waited, with a camera stuffed in her face, for it to FINALLY be her turn at the top. And so it was. As far as I am concerned. She deserves it.