Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Fate Of Qualifying First-Olympic Version

It's been awhile since the first place qualifier in the All Around final went on to win the gold medal, but how long has it really been?  Let's analyze the fate of the first place qualifier from 2004 to 2012.

Athens 2004
I'm starting here because it would be hard to analyze Sydney because of all of the technical difficulties. The American Carly Patterson qualified first, after taking the world silver medal the year before. After a heated competition, she retained her qualifying position, with Svetlana Khorkina taking the silver, which we still hear about from the Russian camp to this day.

Beijing 2008
In Beijing, the public knew that if the two Americans, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin, hit, they would finish with a gold and silver medal around their necks, the question was who would get which medal. Shawn Johnson was the heavy favorite after winning the world championship in 2007 and qualified first. After a great competition, Nastia Liukin wound up with the gold, after a floor routine to remember for ages.

London 2012
For the second time in a row, Russia's Viktoria Komova was qualified into first going into the final. For the second year in a row, an American would de-throne her. Gabby Douglas, who peaked perfectly for these games, came out of nowhere, literally, and took the London gold medal out of Viktoria Komova's hands. After vault, Gabby got hold of a lead she never let slip away from her, and in the end left her the queen of gymnasts.

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