After leading by merely a point going into the the final rotations, China won gold in the women's team final. The United States took silver after failing to capitalize on China's mistakes on the balance beam. China's captain, Cheng Fei, fell off the beam, opening the dooor for the U.S. to take the lead.
To do that, the U.S. needed to hit every routine, and that didn't happen. Alicia Sacramone fell off the beam, and Nastia Liukin had a balance check on one of her acrobatic moves. In the floor exercises, Sacramone fell, and even the normally unflappable Shawn Johnson took a step out of bounds. China, on the other hand, recovered well in the floor exercise. Cheng Fei hit her routine perfectly, and clinched the gold for her team.
In contrast to the men's bronze, the women's silver is seen as a bit of a disappointment when you take into consideration how favored the team was going into the games. However, battling injuries and a Chinese team with incredibly difficult routines, it would have take a perfect performance by the U.S. to win gold. Moving forward, gymnastics heads into the all-around competition, where Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin are expected to battle each other for the women's title.
Photo via Getty Images
- Cheng Fei