Much like the men’s gymnastics team competition, an inquiry ended the women’s balance beam finals. That time it gave the Japanese men a silver medal. This time it resulted in Aly Raisman earning a bronze.
Raisman was the last competitor to perform. At that point, the standings were two Chinese gymnasts, Deng Linlin and Sui Lu, who were nearly untouchable at 15.6 and 15.5, respectively. But Romanian gymnast Catalina Ponor sat in a distant third place at 15.066, a score Raisman could certainly beat.
Raisman’s routine was very solid, with only one bobble and a hop on her landing. When her score came in 14.966, we were surprised — and we were not the only ones. Commentator and Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller expressed her surprise and so did the crowd in the arena.
The U.S. quickly put in an inquiry regarding the degree of difficulty score awarded to Aly and after the judges conferred, they raised it by 0.1, which tied her overall with Ponor. But Aly’s execution score was higher and that awarded her the bronze (that same tie-breaker is why Aly did not win bronze in the women’s all-around).
The degree of difficulty score is not considered subjective and it is the only score a country can ask for an inquiry on. It has to do with making sure all elements were properly counted and added together.
So Aly Raisman takes home an individual medal from the 2012 Summer Olympics. Teammate Gabby Douglas, who also competed on beam, had a costly fall that put her in seventh place. This is the second individual event final where Douglas has faltered, but perhaps she gave all she had to give to win the team gold and individual all-around gold. Either way, she can still be very proud of her performance at the 2012 games and so can Raisman.
Raisman next competes in just under an hour on the women’s floor exercise finals, alongside teammate Jordyn Wieber.