One woman’s dream come true was another woman’s nightmare for the United States in the women’s artistic gymnastics competition that aired last night. The good news is that Team USA sailed to the top as expected in the first round of competition, easily qualifying to enter the team finals in first place.
The bad news, for Jordyn Wieber at least, is that Aly Raisman and Gaby Douglas will be competing in the all-around competition, while Wieber will have to cheer from the sidelines.
In the team competition, Russia followed in second place almost a point behind the U.S., with China in third. Rounding out the top eight that will compete for a medal are Romania, Great Britain, Japan, Italy and Canada. The teams will compete on Tuesday to earn a medal.
The U.S. was heavily favored going in, and with the results from last night it looks like they’re poised to grab the first Gold since Kerri Strug limped her way to the podium in 1996.
Though the U.S is a cohesive team working together for the good of the country, they are also still competing against one another for individual medals. Last night was not only the prelims for the team competition, but each gymnast competed to earn a chance to win a medal on an individual apparatus, as well as qualify for the all-around.
Going in, everyone assumed that Douglas and Wieber were the ones who would compete in the all-around, but in the end Raisman jumped ahead of both of them for the top spot in the U.S. With Douglas in second, and only two women allowed to compete for each country, Wieber was left in the dust.
Overall, Viktoria Komova of Russia had the highest individual score of the night, with Raisman, Douglas and Wieber following right behind her, in that order. Aliya Mustafina of Russia was fifth, and Linlin Deng of China came in 6th.
Wieber is the 2011 National Champion in the sport, so her absence in the all-around is a big shock. A slight bobble on the beam and a toe out of bounds on the floor led to her demise, as Raisman basically nailed every routing. Douglas had a huge slipup on the floor as she had both feet out of bounds (Kyla Ross of the U.S. also stepped out of bounds, so the floor might’ve been on the bouncy side?), and though her 13.766 was the lowest score of the night for the U.S., she still landed in second place for the U.S.
After Wieber finished her routine, all she could do was watch her teammate Raisman take the floor. I can’t imagine that feeling of wanting your friend and teammate to be successful, but knowing if she is too successful your dreams of winning an all-around medal will be shattered. And, that’s what happened. The cameras zoomed in on Raisman’s tears of joy as Wieber’s collapsed in tears of sorrow. On Tuesday, Aug. 2 Douglas and Raisman will compete in the all-around, and Wieber will simply watch. Just .233 of a point behind Douglas, Wieber at the ripe old age of 17, may not have another chance.
While the results are surely devastating, Wieber has to stay strong and compete well in the team competition, because the U.S. is going to need her strength. A seasoned athlete, she is going to want to grab that gold, even if it is in the team competition and not as an individual. The U.S. has shown they are strong from top to bottom, and they have what it takes to win the team gold.
Wieber will have one chance for an individual medal, as her score of 14.666 on the floor placed her 6th, so she will compete for an individual medal on the floor on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Raisman will also compete on the floor for a medal, and her score of 15.25 put her in first place. McKayla Maroney, who is really only on the team to compete in vault, came in first on that event with a 15.8. She is the only U.S. gymnast to compete for an individual medal on the vault. Douglas is the only one to compete on the bars, while Ross and Raisman will join her in the beam competition. With three out of eight women competing for a medal on the beam coming from the U.S., our chances could be good.
Watch the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team compete for the gold tomorrow!