Dutch treat for Zonderland
High bar gold is first for his nation
Epke Zonderland’s acrobatic high bar routine earned him an equally lofty prize: an Olympic gold medal.
The gold was the first by a Dutch man in artistic gymnastics, and only the second for the country. The other? A gold by the women’s team back in 1928.
When Zonderland saw his mark of 16.533 — a number not usually seen outside the vault — he pointed at the scoreboard. The crowd roared, and his fellow competitors lined up to congratulate him. Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen won the silver medal and defending Olympic champion Zou Kai got the bronze.
Zonderland has long been one of the world’s best on high bar, his routine better than any circus act, and all that was missing was an Olympic medal. No longer.
He opened his routine with three straight release moves, not even pausing to catch his breath before tossing himself high into the air again. It’s high risk, high reward, and the crowd loved it.
When he hit the mat, he let out a roar. American Jonathan Horton, up next, could only laugh and shake his head, knowing there was no way he — or anyone — could top that.
He was right.
Danell Leyva was fifth and Horton sixth, capping a disappointing Olympics for the US men. Leyva’s all-around bronze was the team’s only medal.
In other event finals, Deng Linlin won gold on balance beam, upstaging her teammate Sui Lu It was the second gold of the day for the Chinese, following Feng Zhe’s title on parallel bars.
Alistair Brownlee captured the gold medal by pulling away from Javier Gomez of Spain halfway through the 10-kilometer run. Gomez took silver, with Alistair’s younger brother, Jonathan Brownlee, claiming bronze.
Chris Hoy set a British record with his sixth gold medal, defending his keirin title to finish a dominating track cycling program for the home nation.
Britain won seven of the 10 gold medals awarded to match its haul from the Beijing Games. It also won a silver and a bronze.
Laura Trott of Britain won the final event of the multidiscipline omnium to overtake Sarah Hammer of the United States for the gold medal. Trott won the race in 35.
Britain ended Germany’s decades-long domination of team dressage by winning the gold medal at Greenwich Park, adding to its first team show jumping gold in 60 years that it won a day earlier. Germany took the silver and the Netherlands got the bronze.
Ilya Zakharov of Russia scored 104.50 points on his last dive to win the 3-meter springboard, spoiling China’s bid to sweep all eight diving events.
American Troy Dumais finished fifth, his best showing in four Olympics.
Windsurfing made a spirited Olympic Games exit, with Dorian Van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands collecting the men’s gold medal he’d clinched days earlier and Marina Alabau of Spain winning the women’s regatta. Windsurfing got the heave-ho for the 2016 Rio Olympics in a vote in May, replaced by kiteboarding.
Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina had the crowd cheering before they even dived in the pool, extending Russia’s monopoly of the sport with a dominating duet win. The silver went to Spain, which leaped over China.
China won the women’s team title with a 3-0 victory over Japan. China has won three gold medals in the sport at the Games, along with two silvers. It could complete the gold sweep in the team events Wednesday in the men’s final.
Iran ruled the final event of the weightlifting competition, winning gold and silver in a super heavyweight battle. World champion Behdad Salimikordasiabi needed just four lifts to secure the gold ahead of Iranian teammate Sajjad Anoushiravani, sparking wild celebration among scores of Iranian fans. European champion Ruslan Albegov of Russia finished third.
Iran broke its Greco-Roman gold medal drought by winning their third in three days. Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei won the gold medal in 96-kilogram weigh class, beating Russia’s Rustam Totrov, 2-0, 1-0. Kim Hyeon-woo also won gold at 66 kilograms, beating Hungary’s Tamas Lorincz, 1-0, 2-0.
The Americans failed to win a medal in Greco-Roman for the first time since 1976.