American gymnast Gabby Douglas fell short of winning a third Olympic medal, finishing eighth out of eight in the women’s uneven bars final at North Greenwich Arena.
But the 16-year-old ‘Flying Squirrel‘ who led the U.S. to team gold and then won the individual all-around entered Monday’s competition at a considerable disadvantage, given that her routine had the lowest difficulty score among the eight finalists. The difficulty score makes up roughly half the gymnast’s total score; an execution score accounts for the rest.
Even if executed to perfection, Douglas’s routine, then, would almost certainly have ranked no higher than fourth overall. Still, she was capable of performing it better than she did Monday. Her most glaring mistake was an over-amped handstand that wasn’t perpendicular. And she suggested that physical and emotional fatigue played a part in her eighth-place finish.
“Coming into the bar final is definitely a big challenge for me,” said Douglas, who cited the superior technical rigor of Tweddle’s bronze medal-winning routine and the impeccable lines of Mustafina’s gold medal performance.
“I made a little mistake, but I’m human. And when you get toward the end of the Olympics, you’re kind of physically drained and tired.”
She’ll have another chance to medal Tuesday, when she competes in the balance beam final.