The favorite in the women's gymnastics all-around was eliminated on Sunday…on a technicality. United States gymnast Jordyn Wieber finished in fourth place overall in all-around points in the qualification on Sunday, yet didn't make the finals due to an Olympic rule in which no more than two gymnasts from any one country can compete in the all-around final. The second and third place finishers in the qualification were Wieber's American teammates, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas.
Wieber, a 17-year-old Michigan native, made a name for herself in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo when she won the individual and team all-around. As such, she came into London with hopes to win all-around gold. On qualification day in London, Wieber amassed great scores in all four apparatuses (Vault, Uneven Bars, Floor Exercise, Balance Beam). She never scored lower than 14.6 on any apparatus, which is something that cannot be said of Viktoria Komova, Aly Raisman or Gabby Douglas, who are first, second and third, respectively. However, her total was only good enough for fourth place, and she didn't qualify for the final because both Raisman and Douglas are American.
It just doesn't seem right that the fourth-place gymnast and reigning world champion will not get a chance to compete in the final.
Why does this two-per-country rule exist? The most plausible reason for this is to avoid dominance of one country so that other countries have the opportunity to shine. In other words, it may seem great to Americans if they won gold, silver and bronze, but that would seriously displease every other country. However, countries are allowed to dominate other sports. Earlier this week, Italy swept the podium in the women's fencing foil. Jamaica has the opportunity to do the same in short distance runs, as does Kenya in long-distance runs. It just doesn't seem right that the fourth-place gymnast and reigning world champion will not get a chance to compete in the final, while there will be 21 girls who scored lower than her who will have that chance.
Without Wieber, the United States will look toward Raisman and Douglas to win their third straight gold medal in the women's individual all-around. The current favorite is Viktoria Komova from Russia, who placed first in the qualifications on Sunday. Komova also came in second place in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships, only behind Wieber.
Douglas has an excellent chance to earn the gold medal as well. She won the all-around at the United States Olympic Trials earlier this year, and in the qualifications on Sunday, Douglas earned the top score in the vault and tied for the top score with Komova in the balance beam. Raisman, on the other hand, was not expected to perform as well as she did in the qualifications. She ended up in second place, with a lot of help from an outstanding floor exercise, for which she received the best score of any gymnast. Raisman has an excellent chance at an all-around medal in London.
Other gymnasts to look out for are Aliya Mustafina from Russia, Deng Linlin from China and Vanessa Ferrari from Italy.
However, Jordyn Wieber's disappointing qualification, does not mean that the Olympics are over for her yet. On Tuesday she will compete for the team all-around with her American teammates featuring Douglas, Raisman, Kyla Ross and vault-specialist McKayla Maroney. Wieber will also compete in the floor exercise final next Tuesday, and could also compete in the finals for balance beam and uneven bars. Hopefull, the disappointment of Sunday will not affect Wieber's performance in those events.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
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Scott Cohen May 1st
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I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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