After a night of mishaps by the men, the women came into the all-around competition swinging.
Nastia Liukin, daughter of Soviet Union double-gold-medalist Valeri Liukin, captured gold. Nastia was born in Moscow, but at age 2 her father moved the family to the United States.
Shawn Johnson of Des Moines, Iowa came up just 0.600 points shy in taking silver, while Yilin Yang of China won the bronze.
Johnson fared well in every event but suffered in the uneven bars, earning a score 1.500 points behind Yang, who led with 16.725 points.
It all came down to the last event, floor. Yang went first out of Johnson and Liukin, and did the best she could. She had one small step after a tumbling pass, and bent knees in the air that cost her. She received a 15.000.
Liukin went next. Her routine, perfect. Her elegance and grace proved a major factor as she recorded a score of 15.525.
Now it was the World Champion in floor, Johnson's turn. During her routine, teammate Liukin was pacing, but also clapping and cheering Johnson on. Johnson also performed a perfect routine, matching Liukin's 15.525.
As the score flashed on the board, Liukin and her father/coach fought back the tears, and embraced before teammate Shawn Johnson came and gave Liukin a well deserved hug.
Shawn Johnson, USA: 15.875
Yilin Yang, China: 15.175
Nastia Liukin, USA: 15.025
Uneven Bars Score:
Yilin Yang, China: 16.725
Nastia Liukin, USA: 16.650
Shawn Johnson, USA: 15.275
Balance Beam Score:
Nastia Liukin, USA: 16.125
Shawn Johnson, USA: 16.050
Yilin Yang, China: 15.750
Nastia Liukin, USA: 15.525
Shawn Johnson, USA: 15.525
Yilin Yang, China: 15.000
Nastia Liukin, USA: 63.325
Shawn Johnson, USA: 62.725
Yilin Yang, China: 62.650
Congratulations to Liukin and Johnson, who outshined everyone. They deserved it.
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