Olympics: Gymnastics

How Raisman went from fourth to bronze

Aly Raisman, right with her bronze medal. China's Linlin Deng, center, took gold and Lu Sui received silver. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

The change in Aly Raisman’s balance-beam score that awarded the U.S. gymnast the bronze medal after she was initially deemed fourth in Tuesday’s final was the result of an appeal filed immediately by her coach, Mihai Brestyan.

A gymnastics routine’s score is composed of two elements: One for the difficult of the skills; another for the execution.

Only the difficulty score can be appealed. And the coach who files an appeal runs the risk of ending up with a lower score.

The moment Raisman’s score of 14.966 was posted, placing her fourth behind Romania’s Catalina Ponor, Brestyn disputed his gymnast’s difficultly score, stating that Raisman had not been given full credit for one of the skills in her beam routine.

Such reviews are conducted by a different panel than the judges who give the initial marks. And the reviews are based on an immediate, frame-by-frame video review of the routine.

Once that was done, as the balance-beam medal ceremony was held at bay, the review panel raised Raisman’s score to 15.066 — the exact score Ponor had. A tiebreak was used to award the medal, with Raisman prevailing on her higher execution marks.

In last week’s individual all-around, Raisman was bumped from bronze to fourth after a fellow gymnast’s coach successfully appealed a difficulty score.

Gabby Douglas reflects on her Olympics

Gabby Douglas's Olympics ended on a down note. (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Gabby Douglas, the dual gold medalist from Virginia Beach, pronounced her final day at the London Games “disappointing” after she fell off the balance beam to finish out of the medals in the event, but she nevertheless leaves with a sense of brilliant accomplishment.

“‘Olympic all around’ is going to be attached to my name,” she said. “I’m in the history books.”

The 16-year-old Douglas confessed that the exhilaration of winning double gold in the all-around and the arduousness of the long competition had drained her, and “I’m not gonna lie, it definitely was hard to regain my focus.”

Douglas lost her balance when she attempted a flying split atop the 4-inch wide beam. “I rushed myself, missed my footing and fell,” she said. She landed hard on her backside, and then slid sideways and hung almost upside down by one leg.

“It was a very bad ending of the chapter but the beginning was very strong,” she said. “I gave a hundred percent and put my body on the line.”

Douglas said her first order of business on returning to the United States would be to go home to Virginia Beach for the first time in two years. Douglas moved to West Des Moines, Iowa when she was 14 in order to train with world class coach Liang Chow. “I’m looking forward to enjoying life, I just want to visit my dogs and go to the beach,” she said.

Raisman takes bronze on rescored balance beam

Aly Raisman earns bronze. (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

In a final dramatic twist to a day filled with triumph and heartbreak, American Aly Raisman was elevated from fourth to a bronze-medal finish in Tuesday’s balance beam final.

But it was a heartbreaking day for American Gabby Douglas, whose Olympics ended in disappointment as the normally rock-solid gymnast fell during her balance-beam routine and finished seventh among eight.

Raisman, who competed last, held her nerves and form but was originally scored with 14.966 points. That was just below veteran Catalina Ponor, who was credited with bronze.

But an appeal apparently was filed and upheld. And the crowd cheered when the new result was posted, with Raisman, part of the U.S. gold-medal winning team, shown third, with 15.066 points.

China took gold and silver, with Linlin Deng overtaking her countrywoman Lu Sui to move into first, with five gymnasts remaining. Deng’s final score was 15.600.

Douglas, 16, who won the team and individual all-around gold, finished eighth in Monday’s uneven bars finals and said later that she was tired from the rigor of the extended practice and competition.

Competing on the beam, with a chance for a third medal, Douglas had one pronounced balance check. Then, during a leap in which she performs the splits and changes directions, she caught only the end of the beam with her left foot. Her leg slid off the four-inch wide beam, and she followed with it.

Russian’s Viktoria Komova, also a medal favorite, performed after Douglas. With a clear opening for a top finish, Komova fell, as well.

Gabby Douglas slips off balance beam

Gabby Douglas falls off the beam. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

Gabby Douglas, the double-gold medalist in the all-around, has completed her last gymnastics routine in the London Games. The exhausted 16-year-old slipped off the balance beam during a split with a change of direction and landed hard on the narrow wooden apparatus. The normally magnetic teenager completed the rest of her moves without incident, and then grimly awaited her score, her eyes slightly puffy with fatique and mouth downturned. The judges awarded her a 13.63. China’s Linlin Deng leads with a 15.6.

China’s Sui sets high mark in beam; Douglas on deck

China’s Lu Sui is considered the gymnast to beat in today’s balance beam final, as the top qualifier on the apparatus and the reigning world balance-beam champion.

Sui went first in a competition that just got under way. She wasn’t perfect, with a wobble here and there, but set a high bar with a score of 15.000 (6.5 difficulty; 9.000 execution).

Still, there’s room for other gymnasts to overtake her.

American Gabby Douglas, who qualified third, is up sixth and looked poised and on point during warm-ups in a white, sparkly leotard.

She’ll be followed by Russia’s Viktoria Komova, the third-place qualifier, whom Douglas beat out for gold in the prestigious individual all-around title.

Just moment ago, China claimed the first of four gold medals to be awarded on the final day of artistic gymnastics competition, with Zhe Feng winning the parallel bars with a highly ambitious and well-executed routine that was awarded 15.966 points.

Germany’s Marcel Nguyen took silver (15.800). And Hamilton Sabot of France, who qualified last, emerged as the surprise bronze medallist (15.666), turning in a clean routine that was refreshing in its originality.

Medal favorites Kazuhito and Yusuke Tanaka of Japan competed back-to-back but finished out of the running. Yusuka, 22, the younger Tanaka brother, had qualified first but had an awkward pause early in his routine and finished eighth.

Douglas, Wieber are back in action

After a forgettable day on the uneven-bars, Gabby Douglas looks to rebound on the beam (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

It’s the final day of artistic gymnastics at the London Olympics, and five Americans will be in action, including individual all-around champion Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach.

Douglas is seeking a third medal to complement the two golds she has won — the individual title and team.

To do so, she’ll have to bounce back from her only sub-par performance of the Games, an eighth-place finish in the uneven-bars final Monday. Admittedly tired and worn down from the rigor of her first Olympics, Douglas made a rare mistake and was beaten by more experienced specialists whose routines drew higher difficulty marks.

She stands a far better chance of winning a third medal in today’s balance beam final. The event’s third-place qualifier, Douglas will face her toughest competition from China’s Lu Sui and Russia’s Viktoria Komova, who has yet to end a competition here without tears.

American Aly Raisman competes on both the beam and floor. She’s the gold-medal favorite on floor.

And reigning world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber also competes in today’s floor-exercise final. A medal of any color would go a long way toward easing Wieber’s hurt over missing the cut for the individual all-around title.

Two American men, Danell Leyva of Miami and Jonathan Horton of Houston, will compete in the horizontal bar final and have a chance at a medal.

The competition gets under way at North Greenwich Arena at 2 p.m. (9 a.m. Eastern time), with the parallel-bars final. That’s followed by the balance beam (9:51 a.m. ET), horizontal bar (10:43 a.m. ET) and floor (11:31 a.m. ET).

Here’s a look at how the five Americans qualified and the order in which they’ll compete:


Gabby Douglas – qualified third; competes sixth

Aly Raisman – qualified fifth; competes eighth

Horizontal bar:

Danell Leyva – qualified third; competes first

Jonathan Horton – qualified fifth; competes seventh


Jordyn Wieber – qualified sixth; competes second

Aly Raisman – qualified first; competes third