No, not the competition as in each team, but what individuals stand in the path of our ladies winning Olympic Gold.
So what does the U.S. face as far as competition in gymnastics this Olympics? Outside the U.S. team there are four other strong contenders from around the world looking to take home the prized gold medal for themselves as well as their countries in our 2012 Women’s gymnastics preview.
After a disappointing second place finish behind Jordan Weiber at the 2011 Worlds 17 year old Russian, Viktoria Komova is looking for redemption by taking the gold in the Olympic all around competition. While she is very strong on the uneven bars, taking gold in this event at World’s, she has been struggling with an ankle injury that required surgery.
Also from Russia at age 17 Aliya Mustafina is just returning from a blown ACLinjury she sustained in early 2011, although, this should not rule her out as strong competitor. With plenty of past wins such as winning the gold all round at the 2010 World’s and since returning she has won 2 gold medals this year in Russia. Aliya is a major threat for the all around competition with no real weaknesses. If she can return to the Olympics with her strong Amanar vault she may take the gold.
As the highest qualifying Chinese gymnast 17 year old Yao Jinnan helped China to win the bronze medal at the 2011 World’s. Due to a fall on the balance beam Yao took bronze in the all around but if not for the point loss she would have had the highest marks and won gold. If she sticks her landings at the Olympics, she is definitely one to watch out for.
Catalina Ponor, a 24-year Romanian, is returning to the Olympics after winning 3 gold medals in 2004 games in Athens, Greece. She helped the Romanians claim the team gold medal with impressive scores on vault, balance beam, and floor. She also took home the individual gold medals on balance beam and floor. With Olympic experience already on her side and proof she can bring it at high levels of competition Catalina is a major threat to the U.S.’s hopes of a gold medal.
If the U.S. gymnast women want to bring home the team gold medal and individual gold medals this Olympics they are going to have to stick their landings and bring their best scores to the table. With other countries such as Romania, China, and Russia with strong gymnasts hoping to also claim these titles it will be fierce competition. One I can’t wait to watch unfold.
Make sure to check out our US Women’s preview.