Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Biggest Weakness for Top Women's All-Around Contenders

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Alexandra Raisman of the United States competes in the in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The women's all-around final is made up of contenders and pretenders, but even the best performers have one potentially fatal flaw. This flaw could ruin their chances at a first-place finish, or it could dash their medal hopes entirely.

No gymnast is perfect. Gabby Douglas, Viktoria Komova and Aly Raisman are all very talented, but every rotation is a possible pitfall.

Let's take a look at each contender's shortcoming and how it will impact Thursday's final.


Gabby Douglas

We'll start with the top contender. Douglas is above-average on every apparatus, but her floor exercise leaves something to be desired.

On the floor, Douglas was No. 33 in qualifying. It was the only glaring hole in her routines and she never found any consistency.

One minor stumble can cause a blemish on the scorecard in these events. Douglas has made a habit of stringing a few small mistakes together, creating a larger problem.

Finding a true hole in her game at this point is nit-picking. She's been very good in this summer's games and there's no reason to think that won't continue.


Viktoria Komova

Komova caused heads to turn in qualifying action. She achieved the top score, and she will threaten for the gold medal in the final.

The only thing that could get in her way, much like Douglas, is her floor segments. She was No. 28 on the floor in prelims. She was a bit better than Douglas, but it's still a worry spot for this elite gymnast.

When it comes to bars and beams, Komova is dominant. If she masters the floor, she could earn a gymnast's highest honor.


Aly Raisman

Raisman wasn't even supposed to be here, but she enters as the No. 2 overall qualifier. She doesn't carry the hype of her American teammate Douglas, but she's not far behind in terms of talent.

Unlike her contending counterparts, Raisman excels on the floor. She held the top qualifying score and that will be the area where she earns her stripes.

The uneven bars could knock her out of contention. She finished 23rd in qualifying on the bars and it's an obvious weakness. She displays brilliance at times, but she isn't consistent enough.

Her presence in the final is surprising, but it shouldn't be. She's extraordinarily talented, and she's peaking at the opportune time.


Aliya Mustafina

Mustafina is an underdog, but she's a very consistent performer across the board. When it comes to gymnastics, she can do it all.

Her biggest weakness lies on the balance beam. She struggled with her dismount in earlier competition, and she must make the proper adjustments for Thursday's rotations. Other than that, her abilities are air-tight.

Elite doesn't come to mind in this case, but she does everything well. She will need to take things to another level on at least one apparatus to earn a gold medal, but she's a definite threat to finish in the top three.

If she figures out her beam routines, don't be surprised if she sticks in the top two.