LONDON - American Gabby Douglas won the gold medal ahead of Russians Victoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina in the women's all-around gymnastics competition Thursday as Needham's Aly Raisman finished fourth.
It was the third straight time the Americans had won the gold medal in the event, following Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008. Douglas nailed her floor routine with a series of exuberant tumbling passes that reaped a score of 15.033 and gave her a total of 62.232 to Komova's 61.973.
Though Mustafina and Raisman each had 59.566 total score, the Russian took the bronze on a tiebreaker. When two gymnasts tie in total score, the tiebreaker is based on the sum of the execution and difficulty scores for each gymnast’s top three apparatus scores. By that measure, Mustafina had 45.933, Raisman 45.366.
"I'm trying to be positive about it. They said that they took out the lowest score and added the rest and she had the highest score. No one told me that, I found out from one of the media people," Raisman said.
But Raisman was pleased for her teammate.
"I think she really believes in herself and she's been working really hard. I'm really proud of Gabby she did an amazing job today," she said.
After the first rotation, Douglas and Raisman were sitting 1-2 in the all-around standings after the vault, by far the Americans' strongest event. Douglas, who scored a 15.966 to Raisman's 15.900, had a bit of an edge since she'd performed on vault in the team final where Raisman sat out the event. The difference in the scores, which had the same 6.5 start value, was the landing. Douglas stuck hers while Raisman took a hop forward. Next up is bars, where Komova figured to shine. Douglas has a decided advantage.over Raisman, since she was more than a point better in qualifying and will go for a medal in next week's event final.
Though the Russians fought back on uneven bars, Douglas grabbed the lead after the second rotation with a solid performance that earned her a 15.733 and gave her a 31.699 overall. Komova, who threw a 15.996 was second (31.432), followed by teammate and former world champion Mustafina, who scored a 16.100 for 31.333. In fourth, at 30.233 was Raisman. Bars is her weakest event and she figured to lose ground there. She submitted a workmanlike effort that earned her a 14.333, which was .167 higher than she'd earned in qualifying. But she needed to have a strong showing on balance beam to get into medal contention, especially since Douglas is excellent there.
The Russians, who wobbled on beam in the team final, came apart there as Mustafina fell off and was hung with a 13.633 and Komova had a precarious routine that garnered only 15.441. Douglas steadied herself after some early shakiness and earned a 15.500. That put the pressure on Raisman, who was last up and had been jogging in place while she waited. She had considerable trouble, losing her balance and nearly falling off and finding herself askew a couple of other times. Her score of 14.200 dropped her to fifth and killed her chances of gold, although a medal still was possible since floor exercise is where Raisman is a world medalist and a contender for gold in the apparatus final. Douglas, though, was sitting pretty with a 47.199, with Komova second at 46.873 and Mustafina third at 44.966.