Aly Raisman of US wins Olympic gold on floor exercise
The Massachusetts native takes home the top prize Tuesday while teammate Gabby Douglas fell short on the balance beam.
(Page 2 of 2)
"A gold medal is a gold medal, but I definitely felt like (beam) was redemption from the other night in the all-around," Raisman said. "I was in the same exact position, but it went in my favor this time."Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Week Two of the Olympics
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Not so much for Douglas in the event finals.
Douglas' life has been a whirlwind since she won the all-around title last week, with media wanting a piece of her and celebs flooding her Twitter timeline, eager to be her new BFF. There was training to fit in, too, with finals on both uneven bars and balance beam. She admitted after Monday's lackluster showing on bars — she was last — that it was all catching up with her.
"I'm definitely not going to lie. It was definitely hard to regain your focus," Douglas said. "You're like, 'Yes, I'm the Olympic champion. I'm a world champion.' It's definitely kind of hard to turn the chapter for event finals."
It wasn't a lack of energy that cost her Tuesday — it was a misplaced foot. Her right foot could only brush the beam as she landed on a leap, and she had no chance to save herself. As the crowd gasped, she fell onto the beam in a straddle, hanging on tight as she swung partly underneath.
Still, she leaves the Olympics without complaint.
"Olympic all-around champion is going to be attached to my name," said Douglas, the first African-American to win the all-around title. "Life is going to be crazy for me. Even though we had a very bad ending of the chapter, the beginning was very strong."
On parallel bars, Feng gave the Chinese men their third gymnastics gold medal, following the team competition and Zou Kai's win on floor exercise. And they may not be finished, with Zou still to come on high bar, where he is the reigning world and Olympic champion.
Feng flashed a thumbs-up as he walked out for the medals ceremony, and planted a big kiss on the gold after he got it.
Feng's routine was filled with intricate combinations, yet he did them with the precision of an artist and the rhythm of a musician. He held his handstands for what seemed like forever, looking like a statue, and there wasn't even the slightest hesitation as he went from one skill straight into another.
He hit the mat with a thud on his dismount and was pumping his fists even before he stood upright. He threw a roundhouse punch as he trotted off the podium, and his coach wrapped him in a big hug, pounding his back. When his score of 15.966 was posted, Feng, the 2010 world champion on parallel bars, nodded.
There were still six gymnasts to come, but it would take something pretty special to top Feng. And no one came close.
Nguyen's routine was impressive, but the European champion took a hop forward on his dismount and needed to windmill his arms to steady himself.
Zonderland has long been one of the world's best on high bar, his routine better than any circus act, and all that was missing was an Olympic medal. No longer.
He opened his routine with three straight release moves, not even pausing to catch his breath before tossing himself high into the air again. It's high risk, high reward, and the crowd loved it, oohing and aahing as he flew so high he could have waved into the overhead camera.
He was a blur as he pirouetted on the bar, yet never looked as if he was on the verge of going out of control.
When he hit the mat, he let out a roar. American Jonathan Horton, up next, could only laugh and shake his head, knowing there was no way he — or anyone — could top that show.
He was right, with Zonderland scoring a 16.533 — a number not usually seen outside the vault. Zonderland broke into a grin when he saw the mark and pointed at the scoreboard.
It was the Netherlands' first gymnastics medal since 1928, when the women's team won gold.
"It's unique to be in an Olympic final if you're a Dutch gymnast, but winning the gold is bizarre," Zonderland said. "I worked so long to achieve a result like this. This is amazing."
IN PICTURES: Week Two of the Olympics