US Olympic Women's Gymnastics 2012: Ranking USA's Shots at Individual Gold
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team has gotten off to a great start at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and odds are they are going to keep getting better.
With impressive results in the qualifying round and a team gold to its credit, the question now is how many gold medals will they have when they leave London?
The women's all-around will be held on Thursday (Day 6), with the individual events following later in the week.
A full schedule with U.S. participants and gold-medal chances can be found on the following slides.
5. Uneven Bars
Monday, August 6, 9:50 a.m. ET
I won't go so far as to say there is no hope of Douglas winning gold on this apparatus. She has the ability to put on a great show and wow the crowd and judges. Her releases and work in the air are great.
They simply aren't as good as a few others in this competition.
Viktoria Komova of Russia is the reigning world champion, and her teammate, Aliya Mustafina, is also a favorite to medal in this event.
Perhaps the biggest threat is Beth Tweddle, who will be performing in front of her home crowd. She had a respectable fourth-place finish in Beijing and would love to add a gold medal to the bronze Great Britain won in the team event.
There is also a pair of contestants from China that finished ahead of Douglas in qualifying.
Gold Medal Possibility: five percent
Douglas failed to medal with a solid routine that just couldn't keep up with the other competitors.
Her execution marks were acceptable, but her difficulty level of 6.3 meant she had little chance to medal. There were four qualifiers with a start of at least 7.0.
Women's Uneven Bars Final—Full Results
4. Balance Beam
Tuesday, August 7, 9:47 a.m. ET
Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman
The U.S. did fairly well in the qualification rounds and posted the highest team score on the balance beam in the team finals. Douglas posted the second-best score in qualification and was fourth in the team event.
Having two competitors on this apparatus will increase their chances for gold, but they have a major hurdle in front of them...China.
Sui Lu and Yao Jinnan took the top two spots at the 2011 World Championships and were favored to do so in London. But Yao had issues and failed to qualify.
Picking up her spot was Deng Linlin, who qualified right between Douglas and Raisman.
Viktoria Komova from Russia finished tied with Douglas. Sui was first, 0.134 points in front.
My wild card to win this event is Catalina Ponor of Romania. She is poised, experienced and skilled on this event, and her graceful movements will be rewarded by the judges.
Gold Medal Possibility: 30 percent
3. All-Around Title
Thursday, August 2, 11:30 a.m. ET
Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman
The U.S. may not be the favorite to win gold in the all-around title, but they have one advantage over the favored Viktoria Komova...it's two against one.
Granted, Komova will have her Russian teammate, Aliya Mustafina, but she simply isn't in the same class as Douglas and Raisman.
The American pair has two other advantages going for them.
They are coming off a near-perfect performance in the team finals, while Russia fell apart. The U.S. went into the team competition with confidence that will carry over to the individual events.
The other factor that will propel Raisman and Douglas is that they are competing for a third member of their team, defending world champion Jordyn Wieber.
Despite have a better score than all but one competitor from other nations, Wieber was eliminated based on the two-per-team rule.
Her teammates aren't about to squander the opportunity virtually everyone thought Wieber would have.
Gold Medal Possibility: 60 percent
Gabby Douglas won the gold medal in the all-around event. She was near-dominant in the event, beating Victoria Komova by 0.259. Raisman finished tied for third but lost the bronze on a tiebreaker.
Tuesday, August 7, 11:23 a.m. ET
Aly Raisman and Jordan Wieber
The last medals in gymnastics will be awarded to the women's floor exercise. This is a wide-open contest, with Raisman being the favorite.
She wrapped up her subdivision by posting the best overall qualifying score on the floor, securing a berth into the all-around competition in the process. She also earned the top mark during the team competition.
Part of Raisman's success comes from her opening tumbling pass, which is as hard as they get. If she can nail that run, she will have the confidence to finish strong and take gold.
Home-crowd favorite Beth Tweddle just missed the cut by finishing ninth, improving the Americans odds.
Sandra Izbasa of Romania finished second to Raisman in qualifications and during the team event. She is the defending Olympic champion on the floor and has a beautiful combination of grace and power.
Lauren Mitchell of Australia also has a chance to win this event, but the podium will likely be made up of Raisman, Izbasa and Wieber.
Gold Medal Possibility: 65 percent
Sunday, August 5, 9:50 a.m. ET
McKayla's To-Do List:
Practice, practice, practice: check, check, check.
Ignore broken toe: check.
Do five vaults: check, check, check...
Help team win gold: check.
Win individual gold: ...
McKayla has just a little bit of unfinished business, but one can be sure she'll be all business until it's done.
Vault at the London Games has been all about McKayla Maroney. She gets a great hop off the springboard and finds even more coil off the back of the vault, giving her amazing elevation for spectacular results.
She logged the highest score in the qualification round and again in the team competition, and it hasn't even been close.
Her average score was almost .5 points higher than any other competitor for the apparatus final.
Her closest competition has come from her fellow Amanar-performing American teammates. The U.S. recorded the four highest scores in the team finals and in qualification.
But surprisingly, Maroney was the only member of Team USA who performed the two required attempts to qualify for the apparatus final.
Her vault in the finals appeared flawless. Once the judges picked their jaws up, they proceeded to create fault with perfection. Look for her to nail another amazing vault in the final and be better than everyone else on her other attempt.
Maroney discussed her role on the team with The Daily News.
Vault is what I'm here for. I knew I was going to do vault no matter what. It's painful, but I'm fine and I'm ready to do my job now, so that's all that matters. I'm here to try to get that gold medal and I know that I can do it.
Gold Medal Potential: 98.6 percent
Lightning struck and Maroney slipped on her landing. She finished with a silver medal.