2012 Olympics: Biggest Disappointments from Day 6
Day 6 of the 2012 Summer Olympics was filled with triumphs, but, as always, there wouldn't be the triumphs without the disappointments to match.
American gymnast Aly Raisman failed to medal in the women's all-around, despite earning the exact same score as Russia's Aliya Mustafina, who took the bronze.
Read on to find our pick for the most discouraging, disheartening...and disappointing moments of the day.
Aly Raisman Misses Podium Due to Unfair Rule
Aly Raisman didn't put together a masterful performance in the women's all-around, but she didn't deserve to be left medal-less, either.
Raisman's final score of 59.566 was identical to that of Russia's Aliya Mustafina. But, due to a rule that the IOC implemented in 1997 for tie-breaking scenarios, she was denied.
According to NBCOlympics.com, here is the rule:
Should there be ties in the team finals in London, the lowest apparatus score will be dropped and the remaining scores added. If that doesn't break the tie, additional apparatus scores will be dropped, one at a time, until there is a winner. If no winner emerges, the tie stands.
This seems like a reasonable solution at face value, but when you take a look at the way things went down on Day 6, it's far from reasonable.
Mustafina took a fall during her balance-beam routine, resulting in a horrible score of 13.366—the 18th-ranked score out of the 24 total contestants in the all-around. Raisman's score of 14.200 in the same event was her lowest score and Mustafina ended with sole possession of third.
It doesn't get more disappointing than that.
Missy Franklin and Jessica Hardy Fail to Medal in 100-Meter Freestyle
Jessica Hardy and Missy Franklin fizzled out in the women's 100-meter freestyle in their latest events. Franklin finished in fifth, while Hardy finished dead last.
It wasn't the outcome they expected, especially after Team USA had been so dominant in the pool through most of the first week.
Ryan Lochte Goes 0-for-2 in Thursday's Bid for Gold
This is not the expression of a happy man.
Ryan Lochte made grand claims before the Olympics; he talked about how this was going to be his time to shine. He referenced Michael Phelps' accomplishments and thought he could match them.
Sorry to be the one to say it, but Lochte isn't even in the same galaxy as Phelps.
He proved it once again on Day 6, finishing in second place behind Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley and in third place behind American teammate Tyler Clary and Japan's Ryosuke Irie in the 200-meter backstroke.
As hard as it is to call a two-medal performance a disappointment, Lochte's Day 6 fits the bill.
Czech Republic Tennis Champ Petra Kvitová Lost in Straight Sets
The fact that No. 6 seed Petra Kvitová lost to No. 14 seed Maria Kirilenko isn't a monumental shock, but the fact that she lost in straight sets makes her performance one of the biggest disappointments of the day.
Kvitová's biggest issue in this match was that she just couldn't get her serve to drop consistently. She was only successful on 57 percent of her first serves, and she made four double faults as a result.
Kirilenko, on the other hand, played a relatively mistake-free match, and she's moving on as a result. Hey, at least Kvitová put up a fight, unlike Caroline Wozniacki, who was annihilated by Serena Williams.
Great Britain Women's Cycling Duo Disqualified
Great Britain's women's cycling team took a huge punch to the gut when Jessica Varnish and Victoria Pendleton were disqualified from medal contention after it was determined that they had made an illegal changeover in the team sprint.
The team had previously set a world record in the heats and looked like locks for the podium. Then, the hammer dropped.
BBC announcer Chris Boardman, a former Olympic gold medalist in his own right, spoke of the ruling, per the Guardian: "I was watching the change and Vicky was coming through pretty fast. They are not allowed to overtake. They're trying to make it fair for everyone, the rules are the rules."
Pendleton didn't seem to object to the ruling, either, saying:
We were probably a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing and a bit too eager. It's just one of those things. Now and again rubbish things happen and it is one of those days. We were very pleased with our time. We were hoping to go a bit faster in the final.
It's a tough ruling, but in the end, order must be maintained.
Brazil Loses to Russia (Men's basketball)
In one of the biggest upsets of the day, Russia beat Brazil by one point, winning the game by a score of 75-74.
Brazil's team is stocked with quality players, including a few serviceable NBA pros, and they gave Team USA a run for their money in the exhibition match leading up to these Games. They were considered to be the second-best in Group B after Spain.
Russia, on the other hand, wasn't considered to be a threat to Spain, but after three games they are both tied with three wins apiece.
Brazil, one of my dark horses for the podium before the Games began, now face an uphill battle toward that goal.
Chinese Women's Gymnasts Fail to Medal
China took women's gymnastics by storm four years ago, winning the team competition and taking many of the individual evens. They also generated a ton of controversy by putting what looked to be prepubescent girls out there, claiming they were 16 years old.
Nothing was done to punish the obvious infractions, but this time around, it's plain to see that China has altered their approach. Their athletes all look to be of age, but the results haven't been to their liking, as they didn't have any medals after five days.
Their losing streak continued on Day 6, as neither of their two individual all-around contestants came close to finishing in the top three. Deng Linlin finished in sixth place, while Huang Qiushuang finished in seventh place.
After their coup in Beijing, this one's gonna leave a mark.
US Swimmer Kate Ziegler Can't Overcome Flu
Kate Ziegler was picked to swim at the 2012 Olympic Games for one reason: she rocks in the 800-meter freestyle. She isn't competing in any other races.
Then she got hit with the flu bug one day after the opening ceremony, according to the Los Angeles Times, and she's been trying to recuperate ever since. But when it was her time to compete in the heats this Day 6, she still hadn't recovered her strength.
As a result, she finished dead last in her heat, and suddenly her Olympic hopes were dashed. Making matters worse, Ziegler was projected to win a medal in the 800 free.
What a heartbreaking turn of events for what has surely been countless hours and years of preparation leading up to this one moment. My heart goes out to her, as I'm sure yours does too.
US Archer Khatuna Lorig Misses Mark, Podium
Khatuna Lorig, originally from the Republic of Georgia and competing for the US, was in terrific position to take the bronze in the women's individual archery competition. She had come from being down 4-2 to Mexico's Mariana Avitia earlier in the match, but her final two arrows cost her a spot on the podium.
From the Washington Post:
Trailing 4-2 going into the fourth set, Lorig hit a 10 so perfectly centered that it hit the camera hole and bounced off the target. Avitia followed with a 7, and Lorig had an opening. She followed with an 8, and Avitia answered with a 9. But Lorig’s third arrow was a disastrous 6, giving the bronze to Avitia.
The only thing you can say after something like this is that her nerves got the better of her. Sixes aren't indicative of an Olympic archer, but she shot two of them in this bronze-metal match.
Avitia surely earned her bronze medal by keeping things together, but Lorig shares an equal part for her disappointing closer of a performance.