BEIJING, Aug. 17, 2008 — 2008 Olympic all-around silver-medalist Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, claimed the floor exercise silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the 2008 Olympic Games at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China. Liukin is in the uneven bars finals on Aug. 18, and both Liukin and Johnson compete in the balance beam finals on Aug. 19. Jonathan Horton of Houston, a member of the Olympic bronze-medal team, will compete in the men’s horizontal bar finals on Aug. 19. This brings the USA’s gymnastics medal tally to one gold, three silver and two bronze.
Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., finished fourth in women’s vault. In the men’s competition, Alexander Artemev of Highlands Ranch, Colo., placed seventh on pommel horse.
On floor exercise, Johnson was the first to take the floor and scored a 15.500 for her routine that includes a tuck double double on her first pass. Liukin scored a 15.425 after ending her routine with a two-and-a-half twisting back. Romania’s Sandra Izbasa won the gold medal with a score of 15.650.
“I wasn’t sure how things were going to hold up today, but I didn’t really care about scores,” said Johnson. “I didn’t care about placements. I just wanted to go out and have a good time. Sitting there and watching seven other girls compete was the most nerve-wracking experience.”
“I felt so calm, and I had to get that adrenaline going,” Liukin said. “I think just because I know floor isn’t my best event, I wasn’t as nervous. I just felt that whatever happens, I’m just going to try my best.”
Sacramone scored a 15.750 on her first vault, a Rudi, and followed with a 15.325 for her Yurchenko double, averaging a score of 15.537. Hong Un Jong won the gold medal with a 15.650. Germany’s Oksana Chusovitina won the silver medal with a 15.575 and China’s Cheng Fei claimed the bronze medal with a 15.562.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t at least place, but all the girls had higher start values that I did,” Sacramone said. “I went out there and finished my Olympic Games, and I did the best I could.”
On pommel horse, Artemev scored a 14.975 after falling toward the end of his routine. China’s Xiao Qin won the gold medal with a 15.875. Croatia’s Filip Ude and Great Britain’s Louis Smith both posted scores of 15.725, but Ude claimed the silver medal through a tiebreaker and Smith earned the bronze.
“I wish I walked away with a medal (on pommel horse), but I’m happy that the team got a medal and that’s the most important thing to me,” Artemev said. “With my set, I laid out a hard routine and I wasn’t ready.”
The medalists in men’s floor exercise were: China’s Zou Kai, gold, 16.050; Spain’s Gervasio Deferr, silver, 15.775; and Russia’s Anton Golotsutskov, bronze, 15.725.
2008 Olympic Games
National Indoor Stadium
Aug. 17, 2008
Individual event finals, day one of three
1. Un Jong HONG, North Korea, 15.650
2. CHUSOVITINA Oksana, Germany, 15.575
3. Fei CHENG, China, 15.562
4. SACRAMONE Alicia, USA, 15.537
5. KASLIN Ariella, Switzerland, 15.050
6. GIOVANNINI Carlotta, Italy, 14.550
7. BARBOSA Jade, Brazil, 14.487
8. PAVLOVA Anna, Russia, 7.812
1. IZBASA Sandra, Romania, 15.650
2. JOHNSON Shawn, USA, 15.500
3. LIUKIN Nastia, USA, 15.425
4. Yuyuan JIANG, China, 15.350
5. KRAMARENKO Ekaterina, Russia, 15.025
6. SANTOS Daiane, Brazil, 14.975
7. Fei CHENG, China, 14.550
8. PAVLOVA Anna, Russia, 14.125
1. Kai ZOU, China, 16.050
2. DEFERR Gervasio, Spain, 15.775
3. GOLOTSUTSKOV Anton, Russia, 15.725
4. HAMBUECHEN Fabian, Germany, 15.650
5. UCHIMURA Kohei, Japan, 15.575
6. HYPOLITO Diego, Brazil, 15.200
7. DRAGULESCU Marian, Romania, 14.850
8. SHATILOV Alexandr, Israel, 14.125
1. Qin XIAO, China, 15.875
2. UDE Filip, Croatia, 15.725
3. SMITH Louis, Great Britain, 15.725
4. Wei YANG, China, 15.450
5. TOMITA Hiroyuki, Japan, 15.375
6. Jihoon KIM, South Korea, 15.175
7. ARTEMEV Alexander, USA, 14.975
8. Luis FUENTES BUSTAMANTE Jose, Venezuela, 14.650