Today brought another day of nail biting Event Finals. First up was the fight to declare the “Lord of the Rings”. Reigning Olympic Champion Chen Yibing of China took to the apparatus first, performing a clean cut, tight routine, he was sure he had his title. It was only when last competitor Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti of Brazil took to the rings that it was clear that Yibing could really be challenged for first place. Zanetti made history for Brazil today, winning his countries first Olympic medal in Artistic Gymnastics. The 22-year-old scored 15.900 to win the historic gold, beating Chen Yibing into second place by a mere margin of 0.100. Italy’s Matteo Morandi clinched the bronze, edging out Russia’s Ablyazin who seems to keep just missing out on the gold medal he so clearly desires. The crowd roared for 39 year old Bulgarian Jordan Jovtchev who finished off his 6th and final Olympic Games in 7th place.
1. Arthur Zanetti (BRA)- 15.9
2. Chen Yibing (CHN)- 15.8
3. Matteo Morandi (ITA)- 15.733
4. Aleksandr Balandin (RUS)- 15.666
5. Denis Ablyazin (RUS)- 15.633
6. Tommy Ramos (PUR)- 15.6
7. Jordan Jovtchev (BUL)- 15.108
8. Federico Molinari (ARG)- 14.733
Next up was the very exciting Women’s Uneven Bars final. The home crowd longed for Beth Tweddle to claim gold on this event. Unfortunately for Tweddle it was not to be with reigning Olympic Champion He Kexin of China setting the bar high as she went first in the competition, scoring a high 15.933. Viktoria Komova was also a contender for a bar medal but had to settle for fifth after clipping the bar with her foot when winding up to her dismount.Tweddle performed a lovely executed routine, taking very large step back on landing her dismount, it is likely that this step back cost her the gold medal – all the same, her dream came true, ending her career with an Olympic Uneven Bars medal. Aliya Mustafina took the bars after Tweddle, she must have been saving her all for the bars final as we witnessed her perform the bar routine of her life today. She stuck her signature “Mustafina” dismount, securing Russia’s first gold medal (in gymnastics) of these Olympic Games. It should also be noted that Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz performed an excellent routine, with a massive high dismount to secure sixth place whilst China’s Yao Jinnan was just shy of a medal, placing 4th after performing a great routine.
The Men’s Vault Final was testosterone fueled and yet, another nail biting final. Right from the get go we saw explosive vaults. Flavius Koczi started out only making a one and a half turn in his somersault despite being awarded for a 2.5, this was later changed. The home favourite, who could have possibly slipped into a medal position, Kristian Thomas unfortunately sat his second vault – handspring double front, leaving him in 8th place. Russia’s powerhouse that is Denis Ablyazin competed in his second event final today, performing Tsukahara double pike and and half-on, 2 1/2 twist off to secure silver. Ukraine’s Igor Radivilov showed massive vaults, a hugely impressive Dragulescu vault and a Tsukahara double pike to secure a bronze medal – the first gymnastics medal that the Ukraine have won in these Olympic Games. The current World Vault Champion Yang Hak Seon vaulted last. He performed his signature vault which carries a massive start value of 7.4, the handspring triple twist and Kasamatsu double full vault to earn gold. Tomas Gonzalez Sepulveda must be mentioned for his beautifully executed vaults. He also performed exceptionally well in the Floor final yesterday, missing out on medals in both events. Gotta love his ‘tache!