Viktoria Komova: Anything Less Than Gold on Balance Beam Would Disappoint
The sight of 17-year-old Russian women's gymnast, Viktoria Komova, bracing her fellow Russian teammate, Aliya Mustafina, waiting for the final scores in the all-around finals had everyone in the arena in anticipation.
Once the scores were revealed, it was almost a heartbreaking sight to see the reaction of the young Russian star. She was devastated. She was seeing flashbacks of the 2011 World Championships when she was waiting in anticipation to see her final score, just to find out she placed in second behind the United States' Jordan Wieber.
This time it was different—it wasn't Wieber who outperformed her, it was the American Gabby Douglas who took gold over Komova, teammate Aliya Mustafina finishing with bronze.
Although this was just one event for Komova, it was hers for the taking and she let it slip away. There is no doubt that she was the favorite for the event and Gabby Douglas came and won the hearts of millions by defeating the Russian star with a lovable personality and an award-winning smile draped across her face.
Douglas and Komova would face each other again just four days later in the finals for the uneven bars. Komova seemed to be the favorite in this event because of her status as 2011 Uneven Bars World Champion. She seemed poised to put the defeat on Thursday behind her and Monday would be her day.
This again, however, was not her day.
She put together a strong routine before she slightly clipped the lower bar, which forced her to make one too many moves before her dismount. Her landing was not perfect either, wavering a bit before finally standing firm and finishing with a score of 15.666—not good enough for medal contention.
Will Komova Win Gold on Balance Beam?
She has been frustrated so far in these Olympic Games, making it clear that a silver medal is still a failure in her eyes. She has the will to win gold and she has put forth the training and the hard work to get the much-coveted medal.
You would think that the uneven bars event was a total loss for Russia because of Komova's disappointing score, but fellow Russian Mustafina won the gold medal. She became the only gymnast to finish with a score over 16 in the event.
As happy as Komova could be for her fellow Russian gymnast, she was just as upset that she didn't place in the event that she was most comfortable with.
The Olympics have come down to one event, for Komova to prove herself gold medal-worthy: balance beam.
This is not her strongest event per se, but she is a strong all-around gymnast. She has never won an individual medal on the balance beam in her appearances at the World Championships in 2011 nor the European Championships in 2012.
She has made it clear to the entire gymnastics field that she will not settle for a silver medal. She is out there looking for gold and gold only. She is one of the world's best young female gymnasts and it is shocking to everyone that she has yet to win the prestigious gold prize.
Look for her to come out strong on the balance beam and give everything left in her tank to win the only thing she came to London for: a gold medal.
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