The 2012 Summer Olympics women’s gymnastics individual all-around competition was a fight to the finish amongst the top four women of the day — Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman of the United States and Victoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina of Russia.
In the end, Gabby Douglas pulled it out and kept up the U.S. streak of women’s all-around titles. She performed nearly flawlessly on all four apparatuses and silver medalist Komova could not catch her on the floor exercise despite out-scoring her on what was both their final rotation.
Raisman and Mustafina ended up tying for third place with a total score of 59.566, but the tiebreaker awarded the bronze to the Russian. The tiebreaker is awarded to the gymnast with the higher execution score (the scores awarded on each apparatus are made up of an execution score and a degree of difficulty score).
It was a hard loss to swallow for Raisman, who would have been on the podium had she not had a near-fall on the balance beam. Her beam score Thursday was a 14.2, as opposed to a 14.933 during the team all-around competition or the 15.1 she scored in qualifying. Either score would have secured her the bronze medal, though Mustafina fell completely off the balance beam and her score reflected that mistake as well.
Douglas makes history with her gold medal. While a gymnast of African descent has medaled on an individual apparatus (Dominique Dawes of the U.S. did it in 1996), no woman of African descent has ever won the all-around title.