Aliya Mustafina takes gold again in uneven bars

For one of the few events in women’s gymnastics in this year’s Olympic games, the United States were not clear favorites for the gold. While defending co-world champion Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas were in the field of eight in the uneven bars, the favorite was defending Olympic champion in the event, Aliya Mustafina.

Daria Spiridonova, also co-world champion, was expected to push Mustafina.  Unfortunately for Spirdinova, she missed a bid at a medal after failing on a catch from the lower bar to the high bar. She finished last with a score of 13.966.

Aliya Mustafina performed a nearly flawless routine on the bars, earning a score of 15.900. That was just enough to win her third gold in Rio, giving her seven Olympic medals for her career.  She edged out Kocian who scored a 15.833 to take home the silver.  Kocian finishes her 2016 Olympic experience with a gold and silver. The bronze went to Sophie Scheder of Germany, who scored a 15.566.

Gabby Douglas, who has won three Olympic gold medals in her career, finished a disappointing seventh after struggling to stay on the high bar during a handstand. While she was able to somewhat recover and not fall, the deduction from the miscue was significant, giving her a score of 15.033.

Finishing just shy of medals were Elisbath Seitz, .033 behind Scheder and Shang Chungsong, just .133 behind. Rounding out the field was Jessica Brizeida Lopez Arocha, Douglas and Spiridonova.

The United States are expected to take home more medals with Simone Biles, who won the vault, favored in the beam on Monday and the floor exercises on Tuesday.



Kerry Kauffman
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