Olympic Gymnastics Schedule 2012: Who to Watch in Women's Individual All-Around
The women's gymnastics individual all-around final at the 2012 London Olympics is slated to begin on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 11:30 a.m. ET. Of course, the time difference makes it hard for people in the United States to watch, but a live stream of the event can be found here on NBColympics.com.
If you want to wait for the competition to air on television, you can tune into NBC on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET where all of the day's most important events can be seen until midnight.
Now that we got the viewing specifications out of the way, we'll address the part that actually matters—the athletes.
There will be 24 women competing in the final. That leaves plenty of room for speculation as to who is a favorite and who is an underdog, but mostly who should be watched.
We'll get to the bottom of that here.
Aly Raisman - United States
Aly Raisman finished second in the qualification stage of the individual all-around competition.
She finished first in the floor exercise, blowing away the competition with a brilliant routine that garnered her a score of 15.325.
As is typical for American gymnasts, she was exceptional on the vault and equally as impressive on the balance beam. The only area that needs dramatic improvement is the uneven bars, in which she finished 23rd amongst the field.
Raisman seems to be the leader of this American fivesome, which would make it even more satisfying if she were able to get a hold of her second gold medal.
Viktoria Komova - Russia
Viktoria Komova was the only gymnast to post a better cumulative score than Raisman during qualifications.
She's akin to Raisman by the way that she excels on vault and balance beam, but their competitive similarities end there.
Komova is a monster on the uneven bars and placed third overall in the qualifications. Where she's lacking is in the floor exercise. Her 28th-place finish somehow didn't keep her from falling behind Raisman in the overall standings.
Barring any catastrophic mistakes or things of that nature, it's likely to be a battle between Komova, Raisman and the next athlete on this list.
Gabby Douglas - United States
Gabby Douglas is great on the vault and balance beam, but unfortunately, Komova and Raisman aren't far behind. She's going to have a problem keeping pace with Komova on the uneven bars, as that event is usually one that yields great discrepancies between scores.
The 17-year-old Virginia native must improve on her floor-exercise performance if she is going to snatch the gold from her two aforementioned competitors.
Raisman is going to make up for her deficiencies in other areas by excelling on the floor. Douglas hasn't yet shown the ability to match Raisman's success in that event, but she will need to do that to win gold.
Aliya Mustafina - Russia
How could you refuse to watch a gymnast who has a move named after her? Aliya Mustafina was so good at a particular move that it now bears her name.
Which of these athletes is most likely to win the gold medal?
Mustafina's patented uneven bars move is called (you guessed it) the Mustafina, a move that I won't even bother explaining to you.
She wasn't amazing on the uneven bars during the all-around team final, but she still managed a score of 15.700. You can bet that she'll be out for more during the individual competition.
I forgot to mention that she's no slouch on the balance beam, either. The only thing to worry about is whether her knee will hold up after her 2011 surgery, but that hasn't given her any problems at these Olympic Games.
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