Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Previewing Favorites for Women's All-Around Final
With defending World Champion Jordyn Wieber out of the competition, the field is wide open in the Women's All-Around Final.
Two members from each nation are allowed to compete past the preliminaries and now Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman carry the hopes and dreams of Olympic gold for Team USA.
Not only will the Americans be in the hunt, but Russian specialist Viktoria Komova and Romanian star Larisa Iordache will present tremendous competition in this event.
Who is the favorite to take home Olympic gold? Here are previews for six of the top competitors to win the Woman's All-Around competition.
After winning the All-Around title at the U.S. Trials and Team Gold for USA, Gabby Douglas is primed to take gold in tomorrow's competition.
In Olympic qualifying, Douglas continued her spectacular play by posting a score of 60.265, trailing only Raisman and Komova for best overall score.
The 16-year-old from West Des Moines is making her move from home worth it, boasting tremendous scores and performances so far in the Olympic Games.
The beam and uneven bars have been the best events for Douglas in qualifying, who looks to become the next face of Woman's Gymnastics with another strong performance in the All-Around Finals.
Aliya Mustafina is part of the two-headed Russian duo that is looking to take home all-around gold.
Mustafina, the 2010 World All-Around Champion, looks strong from her knee surgery in 2011 and has looked impressive so far at these Olympic Games.
Her talent is immense, especially on the beam. Look for the 2010 All-Around Champion to showcase her talent once again on the highest stage.
The odds are stacked against Mustafina, but she is a tremendous competitor who has experience. She will strive under the heavy scrutiny of the final Woman's Gymnastics competition in 2012.
Larisa Iordache holds Romania's best chance for winning Olympic gold in the 2012 Games.
Iordache thrived in the balance beam, leading her Romanian squad to a third place finish in the team competition.
This 16-year-old posted the ninth highest score in qualifying at 57.800, but needs to improve in her floor competition where she posted a low score of 13.8.
It may be a long stretch for Iordache to win gold, but in the pressure-filled competition that is All-Around competition, sometimes the newcomer can ignore the pressure of the moment and perform at the highest level.
20-year-old star Deng Linlin performed magnificently in qualifying and will pose a tremendous threat to the big four of Russia and the U.S.
In qualifying, Deng finished sixth but posted the fourth best beam score at 15.166. If Deng can build upon her tremendous beam qualifying and improve her suspect floor competition, she will be in contention for a medal at the 2012 Games.
Deng is quite the veteran as part of the gold-medal winning '08 Chinese team and finished second in the 2010 World Championships.
If China wants to repeat their Olympic dominance from the 2008 Games, then Deng Linlin must perform at the highest level in the All-Around competition.
The athlete that will benefit the most from Jordyn Wieber not qualifying for the All-Around Final is Russian Viktoria Komova.
Arguably the second-best gymnast in the world, the Russian star is prime to win her first All-Around gold medal on the Olympic stage.
The Russian superstar has won four individual All-Around gold medals in the Youth Olympic Games, European Youth Olympic Festival, Junior European Championship and Russian Cup.
She also finished second to Wieber in Tokyo at the 2011 World Championships, proving that she is most certainly the heir apparent to win gold without her in the competition.
Expect Komova to perform at a high level on Thursday, redeeming herself for faltering in the team competition for her home nation of Russia.
When Team USA needed a closer, Aly Raisman accepted the challenge and performed beautifully.
She completed the final floor competition for Team USA, clinching its first gold medal in team since the 1996 Olympic Games. Now she must take on the role of closer once again, to fill the shoes of Jordyn Wieber in the All-Around competition.
Raisman failed to qualify for All-Arounds in the World Competition a year ago, but is coming into this year's competition will momentum.
Raisman has the opportunity to prove skeptics wrong and become one of the most clutch gymnasts in Olympic history. Expect nothing but the best from the 18-year-old star.