Danell Leyva, Team USA Fall Flat in Quest for Olympic Gold in Gymnastics
Read "Danell Leyva, Miami's Olympic Prodigy, Goes for Gold."
The U.S. men's gymnastics team came into Monday's medal round as the gold-medal favorites. They finished the day not even on the podium. Looking for the country's first all-around gold in gymnastics since 1984, the men's team instead finished in fifth place, unable to capitalize on their first-place ranking after the qualification round Friday. The Chinese took gold, with the Japanese taking silver and Great Britain ending up with the bronze.
It was a rough go for Team USA in the all-around gymnastics event, no more so than for Homestead native Danell Leyva. After leading the team in the qualification round, Leyva slipped badly on the pommel horse in Monday's competition. The rest of his day was solid, including an excellent performance on the high bars and in the floor exercise. But the damage was already done.
Leyva wasn't the only U.S. olympian to have a bad day on the mats. Fellow national champion John Orozco also had struggled with the pommel horse, and a vault where he landed on his backside instead of his feet cost the U.S. some major points. Overall, the U.S. finished seventh in the pommel horse and sixth in the vault.
Despite the disappointing team finish, Leyva still has two opportunities to bring home a gold medal in individual competition. The first will come this Wednesday, in the individual all-around. Leyva's second medal shot will be Tuesday, August 7, on the horizontal bars, considered to be his best event.
The final results from Monday: China in first, Japan in second, Great Britain in third, Ukraine in fourth, United States in fifth, Russia in sixth, Germany in seventh, France in the eighth and final place.
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