Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): North Greenwich Arena, Greenwich, London
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: August 5, 2012
McKayla Maroney of the United States, the reigning World Champion, was the favorite to win gold in the women’s horse vault at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was considered to be the world’s premier vaulter. Although she seemed to have no serious challengers for the title, one of the most interesting competitors in the event was Oksana Chusovitina of Germany who was participating in her sixth Olympics, a record for a gymnast, having earned team all-around gold with the Unified Team in 1992 and silver in the horse vault in 2008 (Yordan Yovchev of Bulgaria would compete in his sixth Olympics and tie this record the following day). She also held one World Championships title in the event, from 2003, and had been runner-up in 1991, 2001, 2005, and 2011.
Maroney’s skill was on full display in the qualifications, winning them by a margin of nearly half a point ahead of Sandra Izbaşa of Romania, an Olympic gold medalist from 2008 in the floor exercise. She continued dominating with her first vault, setting an unsurpassed score of 15.866, again nearly half a point ahead of her nearest competitor, Mariya Paseka of Russia. For the second vault, however, Maroney fell on the landing and received a 14.300, well below nearly all the other competitors. Her first vault was outstanding enough to give her an average score of 15.083, 0.033 points ahead of Paseka, with Izbaşa still to come. The Romanian’s first vault came in at 15.383, below Maroney and Paseka’s, but she scored high in the second with 15.000, giving her an average of 15.191 that was sufficient to crown her as the champion. Maroney, who had been expected to take the gold, settled for silver while Pasenka nabbed the bronze. Yamilet Peña, the first Olympic gymnast from the Dominican Republic and the 2012 Pan American Champion, finished a respectable sixth in the finals.
|2||McKayla Maroney||16||United States||USA||Silver|
|6||Yamilet Peña||19||Dominican Republic||DOM|
|12||Phan Thị Hà Thanh||20||Vietnam||VIE|
|13||Angel Wong||25||Hong Kong||HKG|