Needham gymnast Aly Raisman will compete for Olympic gold in the all-around during the upcoming 2012 London Olympics women's gymnastics finals.
Raisman's place as one of Team USA's two qualifiers for the all-around came as a surprise to many experts and Olympics watchers, who expected Jordyn Wieber—the defending world champion and reported favorite in the all-around—to earn the spot.
But Wieber took a slight step out-of-bounds during her floor routine in the qualifying round on Sunday, July 29, which earned her a lower-than-expected score of 14.666, while Raisman had a near perfect performance, scoring 15.325 and securing a spot as one of two U.S. athletes who would advance to the all-around, along with Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach, VA.
Gymnasts who compete for all-around are scored in each of the four events—vault, balance beam, uneven bars and floor exercise.
Following Sunday's five qualifying rounds, Raisman was ranked second overall with an individual score of 60.391 behind Russia's Victoria Komova, who had a score of 60.632. Douglas is ranked third with a score of 60.265.
Wieber, of DeWitt, MI, ended the day with an individual score of 60.032—enough to be ranked fourth overall and help her team earn a spot in the team final but not enough to overcome either of her two teammates for a chance at all-around gold.
“It is a bit of a disappointment," Wieber was quoted as saying in a press release from U.S. Gymnastics. "It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the all-around final of the Olympics, but I’m proud of Aly and Gabby, and happy that they reached the all-around and that I was able to help the team get to the finals."
Raisman, Douglas and Wieber will compete for the team medal on Tuesday alongside teammates McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross, both of California.
In addition, four of the U.S. women's gymnasts will compete in the individual event finals—Maroney on vault, Douglas on uneven bars, Douglas and Raisman on balance beam and Raisman and Wieber on floor.
The women’s team final will begin on Tuesday, July 31 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch the competition live online at NBCOlympics.com (with a cable, satellite or telco TV subscription that includes MSNBC and CNBC) or see the highlights in the NBC primetime broadcast, which begins at 8 p.m.
The women’s all-around finals will be held on Thursday, Aug. 2 beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. The individual event finals will be held on Aug. 5-7. The schedule is as follows (all are in Eastern Time, which is five hours behind London).
- Women's Vault Final—Sunday, Aug. 5, 9:50 a.m.
- Women's Uneven Bars Final—Monday, Aug. 6, 9:50 a.m.
- Women's Balance Beam Final—Aug. 7, 11:47 a.m.
- Women's Floor Exercise Final—Tuesday, Aug. 7, 1:23 p.m.
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