Thursday, August 2, 2012

Aly Raisman Ties for Third In Individual All-Around, Doesn't Get a Medal

Team USA gymnast Aly Raisman, after shocking the masses by making the individual all-around finals over decorated teammate Jordyn Wieber, finished in a tie for third place overall - but is going home without the bronze medal.

The 18-year-old Needham native helped her team, dubbed the Fab Five, win all-around team gold just a few days ago, but on Thursday, stepped up to the competition as an individual.  Team USA was also represented by Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old, not-quite-5-footer from Virginia, who is officially the best all-around gymnast on planet Earth, winning her second gold medal in London.

Raisman was the second-to-last competitor to go in stage four, and her floor routine earned her a temporary spot on the medal stand, tied for second place.  When the final performance of the day from Victoria Komova of Russia pushed Raisman to a tie for third place, she was still temporarily on the medal stand.

Unfortunately, tie-break rules state that the lowest of each gymnasts four scores (from floor, vault, bars or beam) will be dropped, and the total of the other three will determine the winner.  Both tied at 59.556, Raisman and Aliya Mustafina of Russia were subjected to the tie-break rule, and Mustafina came out on top by 0.567.

Team USA representatives were in an uproar over the new rule after the 2008 Beijing Games that would only allow two athletes per country to move past qualifying into the individual all-around finals, instead of the top 24 overall, which would have pushed Wieber into contention.  The tie-break rule has not changed since the last games, but seeing an American denied a medal is always a heart-breaker.

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