“Physically I have trained myself to be very, very familiar with the routine,” He said through an interpreter. “I mastered every move.”
She was followed by the world’s reigning uneven-bars champion, Viktoria Komova, 17, who was bitterly disappointed after finishing second to Douglas in the individual all-around. Once again the Russian under-performed, hitting the bar during her routine, and had to be consoled by her coach.
Cheered by a deafening home-court crowd, Tweddle held nothing back on the final Olympic routine of her career. A stumble on her difficult dismount was the only glitch, and it likely cost her silver.
But she had no regrets.
“You have to take risks, and with big tricks come slight inconsistencies,” said Tweddle, who considered retiring after narrowly missing a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. “I could say, ‘What it? If I hadn’t taken that step, it could have been a gold.’ But I’m not disappointed in the slightest.”
Mustafina, who followed, acknowledged that she seized on Tweddle’s poor landing as an opportunity. The Russian was nearly flawless, drawing an event-high 9.133 for her execution.
And there was nothing Douglas could do to equal that, given her lower difficulty score. So she tried to perform her skills to the best of her ability but came up short.
“I wasn’t doubting myself,” Douglas said. “But there is a lot of great talent, and I had one of the lower start values. . . . It’s still kind of disappointing how I could have done a little bit better.”
Still, Douglas patiently fielded questions from every direction, on every topic.
Yes, it was the first time she had worn the sparkly, silver leotard. “I love it!” she said
Asked how she could get other African-America youngsters involved in gymnastics: “I don’t have that control,” she replied with a slight smile.
She also was asked about the financial hardships her mother has confronted in paying for her training while rearing four children, and she explained that it had been difficult.
Then she referred follow-up questions to her mother.
As for the state of her confidence, she proclaimed it solidly intact.
“I’m going to go on beam tomorrow and finish on a good note,” Douglas said. “I’m going to finish really strong.”
Also Monday, U.S. gymnast Sam Mikulak finished fifth in the men’s vault, scoring 16.050.