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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Romanian gymnast triumphs in Women's Floor Exercise

Romania's Sandra Izbasa caused an upset today by winning the gold medal in the Women's Floor Exercise. Izbasa, the last gymnast to perform, scored 15.650.

The United States' Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Johnson, who performed first, looked unbeatable when China's Jiang Yuyan and Liukin could not surpass her score of 15.500.

However, Izbasa stunned the crowd by putting in an excellent performance and winning the gold medal.

Johnson put in a strong performance without any noticeable errors, but Jiang's high-leaping routine looked a chance to beat the 16-year-old American's score. Jiang, however, fell short when the judges gave her a score of 15.350.

Russia's Anna Pavlova continued her terrible day when she made a series of mistakes in her routine. She was given a score of 14.125. Pavlova finished last in the Women's Vault earlier tonight.

China's Cheng Fei was expected to challenge Johnson for the gold medal, but she made numerous errors in her routine, including a fall. Cheng's score for execution was the worst of all eight competitors and she finished with a total score of 14.550, which was only higher than the hapless Pavlova.

Liukin was once again elegant on the floor, but she just fell short of Johnson with a score of 15.425. In the end, the 18-year-old Izbasa, who finished eighth in the Floor Exercise at the 2007 World Championships, blew the field away with a commanding last performance.

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