American gymnast Danell Leyva was always considered a possibility for an all-around medal, but early in the competition at North Greenwich Arena on Wednesday, Leyva was in 17th position. He fought back over the next four rotations, and is walking away with a bronze.
After hitting on floor exercise, both Leyva and his teammate John Orozco struggled on pommel horse. Leyva's 13.5 ranked him 15th on the apparatus, while Orozco stalled out on his dismount and earned just a 12.566. After two rotations, Orozco was near tears, and Leyva hid his head in a lucky towel.
[Photos: Men's individual gymnastics all-around final ]
Their scores on still rings -- 14.733 for Leyva and 15.2 for Orozco -- helped them to start pulling out of the massive hole pommel horse dug. With stuck vaults, they moved into the middle of the pack. Orozco fell during the team final on vault, so getting a clean vault with just a step on the landing was huge. For Leyva, it set him up for a run ar the podium.
Leyva showed why he's the defending world champion on the parallel bars. He hit his routine and earned a 15.833. This put him in sixth place in the final rotation, less than a point behind Germany's Marcel Nguyen.
[Photos: Headless rhythmic gymnasts]
Kazuhito Tanaka, who had been trailing eventual gold-medal winner Kohei Uchimura all day, fell on floor exercise and pommel horse. This opened the door for Leyva and Nguyen, but both needed to hit on their final event.
Leyva was last of his rotation on the high bar. He nailed each release move. Leyva topped it off with a landing that had just a small step. Nguyen followed suit with a floor exercise that earned him a silver. Leyva earned a bronze after fighting back from 17th place. Orozco finished in eight after being in last place following the pommel horse.
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