Fab Five golden in women’s team gymnastics
The pride of women’s U.S. gymnastics, also known as the Fab Five, lived up to their moniker Tuesday as they won gold in the artistic gymnastics team competition. The quintet of teenagers (Needham’s Aly Raisman is the oldest of the group at 18 years old) bested their competition by over five points, the equivalent of a gymnastics blowout. The gold marked the first golden finish for a women’s U.S. gymnastics squad in the team event since 1996.
The Americans started off with a dominant score in vault, executing the most complex of vaults to finish almost two points ahead of Russia. The team struggled a bit in uneven bars, which is the greatest weakness of the U.S. team, finishing third behind Russia and China, but placed first in both beam and floor to win gold.
The result was extra sweet for Jordyn Wieber, who failed to qualify for the individual all-around final because of a limit on the amount of athletes per country in the final. By winning the team final, Wieber was consoled with the team gold medal.
Young talent Kyla Ross (15 years old) and McKayla Maroney (16 years old) proved they belonged with solid performances in the final. Maroney highlighted the vault competition as she landed a seemingly flawless vault, although judges did reduce her score to a 16.233 (which was still the best of any gymnast Tuesday night).
Gabby Douglas, who will compete in the individual all-around final as well, kept busy as she was the only gymnast to compete in all four areas of the team final Tuesday night. Raisman cemented the victory for Team USA with her floor routine, which earned top honors for the night.
The golden finish Tuesday was the culmination of weeks of hype surrounding the Fab Five, who were favorites for gold but saw all too easily how expectations do not always translate into positive results as the American men’s gymnastics team failed to medal in the men’s team final. There would be no such let down from the ladies Tuesday night as they lived up to every expectation placed upon them.