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McKayla Maroney Wins 2012 Olympic Women's Gymnastics Vault Silver Medal

Luis BatlleContributor IAugust 5, 2012

McKayla Maroney's score of 15.083 gave her the silver medal in the 2012 women's vault final at the Olympics in London.

The American sensation was as impressive as any gymnast in the final, but in what was a controversial finish, she took home second place.

Romania's Sandra Izbasa was the gold-medal winner at the event after posting a score of 15.191. Her run was certainly strong, but it was tough to see the most talented gymnast go down in the fashion that she did.

After several noteworthy runs to open up the final, Maroney stepped up to the mat and destroyed the competition. Her score of 15.866 was easily the best of any of the eight competitors in the final. The running start was top-notch, the lift-off was sensational, and a near-perfect landing had many believing Maroney would run away with the gold medal.

It was the second run where the controversy came into play.

Maroney nearly landed an impressive second run, but she wasn't able to hold on to her landing as she fell to the mat. It was hard for coaches and fans of the sport to watch because it was clear Maroney was the most impressive women's talent on this apparatus at these Games.

Maroney had this to say via Twitter following the second-place letdown.

McKayla: ""It happens, it's gymnastics. You can't be perfect and sometimes things don't go as you planned ... I messed up."

— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) August 5, 2012

The judges were not the quickest to add in adjustments to her scores, as it seemed Maroney still had a chance at gold.

Yet after the scores were properly assessed, Maroney fell short in what was a gold-medal win for Izbasa. The fall dropped her second-run score to 14.300 and her final score to 15.083.

There is no doubt that this 16-year-old prodigy will only improve with time. The sky is the limit for the 2011 world vault champion, and her first run in this final made it clear she is still the most prolific vaulter in the sport. 

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