Miami's Danell Leyva won a spot on the medal stand today, but he will only be showing off bronze hardware.
After his team's disappointing finish in the men's final on Monday, the Cuban-born Team USA gymnast posted a strong comeback this morning to snag a bronze medal in the all-around final to determine the world's best male gymnast. Leyva excelled on the parallel bars, high bar, and rings,but he had trouble with the pommel horse, the same apparatus that doomed Team USA to a fifth place finish two days ago.
It appeared his uneven performance on the pommel horse was enough to knock him out of medal contention, but Leyva -- who along with John Orozco were the only members of Team USA to qualify for the individual finals -- roared back. During his final routine, the high bar, Leyva left the announcers in awe.
"Leyva is doing some spectacular stuff on the high bar," noted David Enrich. "He's getting big air," added Stu Woo. He scored a 15.7 to put briefly put him in second place. As chants of "USA" reverberated throughout the North Greenwich Arena, Leyva was mobbed by his always-exuberant coach and step dad Yin Alvarez.
However, a solid routine on the high bars by Marcel Nguyen catapulted the German over Leyva. Neither gymnast were going to leapfrog Japan's Kohei Uchimura, the three-time world title champ who captured the gold as many gymnastics pundits had expected.
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It wasn't exactly the story-book ending to Leyva's first Olympic experience. In addition to Team USA's poor showing, Leyva had to contend with a Deadspin report that published semi-nude photos of himself that he sent to a woman who was not identified by the sports website.
Leyva still has one last chance to take home a gold medal from London. He'll be competing in the finals for the high bars next Tuesday.