Shock and awe on the London Games’ gym floor.
As expected, Team USA’s female gymnastics team dominated the competition at Sunday’s preliminary rounds — finishing 11 points ahead of second-place Britain — but the day’s events ended in heartbreak for fan favorite Jordyn Wieber.
Losing just two all-around competitions since 2008, 17-year-old Wieber was distraught after she placed behind her Team USA colleagues Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, delivering shaky performances during her balance beam and floor exercise routines.
“It was a bit of a disappointment. It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the all-around at the Olympics, but I’m proud of Aly and Gabby and happy they reached the all-around and that I was able to help the team get to the finals,” Weiber told Us Weekly in a statement after her competition Sunday. “I think from the beginning we were all looking very strong. It was always going to be close between the three of us doing the all-around, and in the end it was.”
Wieber’s Team USA colleague, national team coordinator Martha Karolyi, applauded the teen for her efforts Sunday, sympathizing with the odds-on favorite. “I would be very disappointed, too. She is reigning world champion, also U.S. champion. Today she wasn’t quite as sharp,” Karolyi admitted. “She was very good but not quite as sharp and the other two girls surpassed her. So we will give her all the support. I think she gave a very nice effort, no major errors. What can you do? Sport is sport.”
Raisman and Douglas — the only two allowed to represent Team USA — will join 22 other athletes to compete for the all-around title Tuesday, the biggest gymnastic prize in this year’s Games.
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