Gymnastics: Another disappointing day for Douglas
LONDON (Reuters) - Gabby Douglas, the first U.S. gymnast to win the Olympic all-around and team gold medals at the same Games, faltered for the second consecutive day on Tuesday when she tumbled off the balance beam on the final day of the artistic program. The American teenager, showing signs of mental and physical fatigue, finished last on the asymmetric bars on Monday and seventh a day later when she fell after missing her footing on a half-turn.
It was also another disappointing session for team mate Jordyn Wieber, the world all-around champion who failed to make the Olympic final.
Wieber, suffering from a suspected stress fracture according to her coach, twice stepped out of bounds in the floor exercise. She finished seventh and will return home without an individual medal.
At the other end of the spectrum, Aly Raisman won a third and final gold for the American woman when she finished first on the floor after winning a bronze on the beam following an appeal. She was elevated to third place at the expense of Romanian Catalina Ponor.
Douglas, enviably composed but clearly tired after a demanding Olympic program said the result was a disappointment, not a disaster.
"I just rushed myself and missed my footing," she said.
"We're 16-year-olds, we have a lot of pressure on our shoulders. It's not about winning or losing, it's about putting your all into it.
"You know you have made it here and your dreams have come true. You don't lose, you just technically have a bad day.
"We all make mistakes and we are human; it's not our time to shine, if it isn't it isn't."
U.S. head coach Liang Chow, who is also Douglas's personal coach, said the key had been keeping Douglas focused during the nine days of competition.
"Focus is the key for every athlete, especially younger athletes like her. Keeping her focused is the golden key, keeping her calm and moving forward," he said.
"It was hard, as you could see after the all-around, to get her focus back because so much was going on around her. But she accomplished a lot."
Douglas will watch basketball and athletics before returning to the United States where she will relax on the beach and come to terms with her new celebrity status.
"It's going to be crazy, there are going to be parades, it's going to be insane but I'm ready for it," she said. "I made the history books."
Wieber's coach John Geddert said she knew she had missed out on individual golds she could have won.
"Not fulfilling her dreams here might add a little bit of fuel to the fire," he said. "These kids all get a little bit hungry when they don't achieve what they wanted to get.
"Team gold is what we came for, that's what we focused on. It's a team sport first."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)
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