15 August, 2016

With Great Britain’s first Olympic golds, Whitlock tumbles deeper into history

RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA), AGU Office Aug 14, 2016: Their names will go down in history
Ten months after becoming the first British man to be crowned World champion (Pommel Horse), Max Whitlock inked the most glorious page in United Kingdom Gymnastics history. In the space of two hours, Whitlock won Britain’s first — and its second — Olympic gold medals, draping himself in the Union Jack after both Floor Exercise and Pommel Horse, where he deprived his compatriot Louis Smith of becoming an Olympic champion in his own right by 0.133 points.
Winner of the bronze medal in the All-around Wednesday, Whitlock, 23, brought his Olympic tally to five. Smith won his fourth medal, his third in a row on Pommel Horse, ahead of American Alex Naddour.
Elsewhere, Giulia Steingruber banked her nation’s first ever Olympic medal in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics with a bronze medal finish on Vault.

The golden parade continues for Biles
Simone Biles had already dominated the Team finals with the U.S. women and the All-around final on her own. On Sunday the American crushed the Vault final. The 19-year-old Texan, who already holds a record 10 World titles in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, had never done better than silver on this apparatus on the international stage.
Using an upgraded second Vault to her full advantage, Biles surpassed Russia’s Maria Paseka, the 2015 World champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, who took silver, her fourth Olympic medal, and Steingruber. 2008 Olympic champion Hong Un Jong (PRK) ranked sixth after falling on a risky new vault.

Mustafina, the girl with the golden swing
Can Aliya Mustafina replicate her Olympic medal collection? Just as she did in London, the Russian star swung to gold on the Uneven Bars after winning silver with her team and bronze in the All-Around. All she has left is to rank third in Tuesday’s event final on Floor, where she harvested bronze four years ago.
Mustafina performed early in the eight woman final, but her score held fast against challenges from 2015 World champion Madison Kocian of the USA and Germany’s Sophie Scheder, who claimed silver and bronze.

Brazilian fiesta on the Floor
They may not have won the title, but 2005 and 2007 World Floor champion Diego Hypolito and Arthur Mariano brought the home crowd to a boil by winning silver and bronze on Floor, Brazil’s second and third medals in Gymnastics after Arthur Zanetti’s Rings triumph in 2012.
The Rio Olympic Arena resembled Maracana Stadium during a football game as reigning world champion Kenzo Shirai of Japan stacked up imperfect landings on his highly difficult tumbling passes, taking himself out of the running. Suffering from a backache, two-time Olympic All-around champion Kohei Uchimura was not able to attain his usual score either. The silver medallist on Floor from London 2012 finished fifth, just behind Shirai.

For Chusovitina, a 7th place to close out her 7th Olympics
Golden in 1992 with the Unified Team in Barcelona, Oksana Chusovitina completed her seventh (and last?) Olympic Games Sunday with a seventh place finish on Vault. At 41, the Uzbek risked the most difficult vault in the code of points, but could not secure her landing. That left Chusovitina’s execution score too weak to enable the 2008 Olympic silver medallist on Vault to score a last medal.

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