Olympics gymnastics finals conclude with wins for Netherlands, United States, China

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland.
Image: McSmit.

Artistic gymnastics events at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games concluded yesterday with two gold medal wins for China and gold medals for the Netherlands and the United States.

China's Feng Zhe won gold in the men's parallel bars, just narrowly beating out the German gymnast Marcel Nguyen by 0.166 points.

China also claimed a gold with Deng Linlin scoring a 15.600 in the women's beam. The balance beam proved treacherous for some: Gabrielle Douglas, considered a favourite for the event, came seventh after a dramatic fall. The United States did manage to get a bronze on the beam thanks to Alexandra Raisman who pulled off a routine that received enormous applause. She initially got less points than Romania's Catalina Ponor, but took the bronze after an appeal.

The men's horizontal bar event was a volley of high-scoring, high-difficulty routines. Danell Leyva from the United States started with a strong 15.833 point routine. China's Zhang Chenglong then grabbed the lead by earning 16.266 points. The German gymnast Fabian Hambuchen raised the bar even further with a 16.400 routine. The Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland performed a near-flawless and immensely difficult routine that earned 16.533 points, earning him both a gold medal and a standing ovation from the audience in the North Greenwich Arena.

Zonderland's performance makes him the first Dutch gymnast to win gold at the Olympics since the win for the Dutch women's team at the Amsterdam Games in 1928. Hambuchen got a silver medal and the Chinese gymnast Zou Kai took bronze.

In the women's floor event, the eighteen-year-old United States gymnast Alexandra Raisman secured a second gold after her success in the women's team event last week. As in the beam event, she narrowly beat out Catalina Ponor from Romania with a score of 15.600 to 15.200. Aliya Mustafina from Russia took home bronze for her 14.900 point routine.


Sources

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