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LONDON, Aug. 7, 2012 – Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, won the first all-time U.S. gold medal on floor exercise and the bronze medal on balance beam tonight at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The medals were the fourth and fifth for the women’s 2012 Olympic Champion Fierce Five and the sixth overall for the Team USA. The Fierce Five earned three gold, silver and bronze at the 2012 Olympics, while Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics) took home the men’s individual all-around bronze.
Raisman’s three Olympic medals (two individual and one team) make her the most decorated U.S. gymnast at the 2012 Olympics.
Five U.S. Olympians competed in the third and final day of event finals: Leyva and Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics) on horizontal bar; Raisman, and Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics, on balance beam; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA, and Raisman on women’s floor exercise.
Inwomen’s floor exercise, Wieber went second and Raisman went third. Wieber hopped slightly on her first pass, a double twisting double back, and went out of bounds on her second pass. She hit a nice third and fourth pass to score a 14.500, for seventh place.
Raisman did a magnificent routine complete with her one-and-a-half twist to double Arabian, punch layout front for her first pass, a piked double Arabian to jump second pass, a triple full for her third pass, and a double pike to jump for her final pass to score a 15.600 and win the gold medal. Raisman’s gold medal is the first gold medal on floor exercise for the U.S. women and the eighth medal on floor overall.
Raisman said, "It feels amazing. I have been working so hard, so to have it come true is so exciting. I have always dreamed of being the Olympic Champion on floor, so I was really happy to be able to do the floor routine of my life here today."
Wieber said, "I knew that it was going to have to take a lot of details in the routine with all the landings. I did step out of bounds, and I knew at that point that it wouldn’t be enough. I tried to still fight through and finish the routine strong."
Romania’s Catalina Ponor won the silver with a score of 15.200 and Aliya Mustafina of Russia the bronze with a 14.900.
In the balance beam finals, Douglas was up sixth and Raisman was up eighth. Douglas had difficulties on a leap and fell off the beam. She finished strong with her dismount — a flip-flop, flip-flop, double pike to score a 13.633 for seventh place. Raisman hit a nice routine complete with her front tuck, flip flop, layout series, and double Arabian dismount. Her score was flashed as a 14.966, but after a successful appeal the score was raised to a 15.066, the same score as Romania’s Catalina Ponor. Due to the tie-breaking procedures, Raisman had a higher execution score than Ponor, so Raisman earned the bronze medal. Raisman’s bronze medal on the beam makes the eighth all-time Olympic medal for the USA on balance beam.
Raisman said, "I felt really good on my beam routine today and I’m happy that it was good enough for bronze. This day has been so crazy and really special. I am really excited to celebrate with my family and friends tonight."
Douglas said, "I’m a little disappointed in my performance today, but I’m going home with two gold medals which is great. I gave it my all today, but it wasn’t my day to shine."
China grabbed the gold and silver medals with Deng Linlin in first with a score of 15.600 and Sui Lu in second with a 15.500.
On the horizontal bar, Leyva was the first gymnast to compete and didn’t disappoint. He hit his routine complete with full Takamoto, Yamawaki, Liukin, layout Kovacs and double twisting double layout dismount among others to score a 15.833 for fifth place.
Horton also hit a solid routine with a Cassina, layout Kovacs, Kolman Tak full and a double twisting double layout dismount to score a 15.466, which was good for sixth place.
Leyva said, "It (my routine) felt great. High bar finals was crazy today, and people say I have a crazy routine but I came up a little short on the crazy department today. Finals is really different because there is no one-touch and it makes you a little more nervous. I just wanted to go out and hit my routine. I’m happy that I’m done."
Horton said, "I had the lowest start value and I spent the last five to six days trying to upgrade my start value, but it just wasn’t consistent enough to do. I knew I couldn’t medal if everyone else hit, but I wanted to go out and hit the cleanest, nicest routine I could do. And that’s what I did except for the step on the dismount. I hit all of my release moves right on. I’m pleased with my routine."
Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands won the gold medal showing three major release moves in a row to score a 16.533. Fabian Hambuchen of Germany grabbed the silver medal with a score of 16.400 and Zou Kai of China won the bronze with a score of 16.366.
In the parallel bars event final, the gold medal was awarded to Feng Zhe of China, scoring a 15.966. Germany’s Marcel Nguyen won the silver with a score of 15.800, and France’s Sabot Hamilton won bronze with a 15.566. The U.S. did not have a competitor in the parallel bars final.
Gymnastics concludes at the Olympic Games with Rhythmic Gymnastics on Aug. 9-10 at Wembley Arena. Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Capital Rhythmics, will compete for the USA.
Ways to follow the Olympic Games include:
- USAGym.org, the USA Gymnastics official website, is a great source for information about the sport: latest news, the schedule of its premier events, athlete biographies, videos, photo galleries, live scoring from major events and more. USA Gymnastics also has usagymclub.org, which is a resource center for parents of potential and existing gymnasts.
- TeamUSA.org, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s website will also be a good resource for information on the Team USA in London.
- Facebook – USA Gymnastics has an official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USAGymnastics, which carries USA Gymnastics information and activities for fans. The USOC’s official Facebook page is www.facebook.com/USOlympicTeam
- Twitter – USA Gymnastics has an official Twitter feed — @usagym. The USOC’s Twitter feed is @usolympic.
- NBCOlympics.com – NBC is the broadcast and web source for coverage and news on the Olympic Games. NBCOlympics.com will carry live coverage of every gymnastics session as well as all sports, and maintain an archive for on-demand coverage. A special "Live Extra" app for smartphones and tablets is available as well. For gymnastics, viewing options will include a single "integrated" feed showing various competitors (akin to watching on TV), plus separate feeds for each apparatus.
Check your local listings for dates and times in your area here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings/index.html.
- YouTube – USA Gymnastics has an official YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/usagymnasticsorg, which features routines of the top gymnasts from various events, interviews, etc. The USOC’s YouTube Channel is www.youtube.com/TeamUSA.