LONDON - McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All Olympia, won the silver medal on vault today inside the North Greenwich Arena at the 2012 Olympic Games. Maroney's is the third Olympic silver vault medal for the U.S. women (Mary Lou Retton in 1984 and Annia Hatch in 2004).
When asked about her fall on her second vault, Maroney said, "I didn't get my full block, my hands didn't really touch the vault. I still walked out with a silver medal and I'm happy about that. I'll have to watch the video and figure out what happened. It's really sad that I had to fall on that vault but I'm glad I won a silver medal."
She added, " I know I can do better vaults but I also know I didn't deserve the gold medal because I fell on my second vault. It happens. It's gymnastics. You can't always be perfect. Sometimes things don't go as planned."
Today's event finals competition began with the men's floor exercise final, with Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma. His first pass was an Arabian double layout, followed by a well-executed layout Thomas. Unfortunately, he had a landing error on his side pass of one-and-a-half twist to double front full. He finished his routine with a whip to tucked Thomas, a two-and-a-half to layout front full and dismounted with a clean triple full. He scored a 15.333 to finish in fifth place.
Dalton said, "I just wanted to go out there and have fun today. I knew I'd have to be perfect to get a medal with my start value. I've done routines that would have been really close before, but it's hard to time it at the right time. I'll take fifth in the world."
Zou Kai of China won the floor exercise gold medal with a score of 15.933. Kohei Uchimura of Japan and and Russia's Denis Ablyazin, both scored a 15.800. Due to the tie-breaking procedure (highest execution score), Uchimura took the silver and Ablyazin the bronze.
Maroney, seventh up in the women's vault final, performed her trademark two-and-a-half twisting Yurchenko for her first vault to score a 15.866. During her second vault, a Yurchenko half-on, front layout full off, Maroney had an uncharacteristic fall on the landing and scored a 14.300. Maroney's two-vault average was a 15.083, which was 0.108 behind Romania's Sandra Raluca Izbasa, who won the vault gold medal with an average score of 15.191. Russia's Maria Paseka won the bronze medal with a 15.050.
On the pommel horse where the Americans did not have a qualifier in the field, Hungary's Krisztian Berki claimed the top spot scoring a 16.066. Great Britain's Louis Smith also scored a 16.066, but due to the tie-breaking procedures, Smith earned the silver medal. Great Britain's Max Whitlock scored a 15.600 to grab the bronze medal.
Men's and women's event finals continue Aug. 6-7. Monday's events are men's still rings and vault and women's uneven bars. The U.S. athletes competing on Monday include Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan, on men's vault, and Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics, on women's uneven bars. Tuesday's events are men's parallel bars and horizontal bar and women's balance beam and floor exercise. The U.S. athletes competing on Tuesday include Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics) and Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics) on horizontal bar; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's AmericanGymnastics, and Douglas on balance beam; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA, and Raisman on women's floor exercise.
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