Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Rio Olympic Arena, Barra Olympic Park, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 7, 2016
Date Finished: August 14, 2016
[Dipa Karmakar] made history as the first Indian woman to compete in gymnastics at the Olympics and the first Indian in the sport since 1964. In qualifying for the vault final she became the first Indian of either sex ever to qualify for an individual final since the qualification process of limiting the number of gymnasts on each piece of apparatus was introduced at Rome in 1960. Even if she finished eighth it would be the best ever finish by an Indian gymnast. She won the bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and her performance was enhanced by her execution of the very difficult and dangerous Produnova vault. At the time of the Rio Olympics, Karmakar was one of only five gymnasts to have successfully completed this vault.
The Indian was not fancied for a gold medal, which looked certain to go to the new gymnastic sensation [Simone Biles] of the USA, who was winner of the all-round competition four days earlier. Strangely, Biles only came third on the horse vault at the 2015 World Championships and the two women who finished above her, [Hong Un-jong] of North Korea and [Mariya Paseka] of Russia, were likely to collect the other two medals in Rio. Paseka was the 2015 World Champion and bronze medalist in London 2012. Un-jong was the 2014 World Champion.
Un-jong set the mark, as she was the first to compete, with a score of 14.900, which was not likely to keep her in the lead for long. Remarkably after the next two gymnasts, [Shallon Olsen] of Canada and [Oksana Chusovitina] of Uzbekistan had completed their vaults, Un-jong was still in the lead but then [Wang Yan] of China topped her score with 14.999. [Giulia Steingruber] of Switzerland, who qualified as third best vaulter, became the new leader with 15.216. Then Karmakar went into second place after a Tsukahama gave her 14.866 points and then the Produnova and its difficulty rating of 7.00 gave her 15.266 for a score of 15.066. She was in the silver medal position with just two to go â but what a two; Paseka and Biles.
The Russian was up next and Paseka put in two vaults that yielded similar scores for an average 15.253. Biles headed the qualifiers with 16.050 but couldnât match that in the final after her very difficult Amanar vault was not quite up to her high standard. Her 15.966, however, still gave her victory by 0.713 points and make it three golds out of three events. To put her winning margin into perspective, the difference between second placed Maria Pasekaâs 15.253 and last placed Shallon Olsenâs 14.816 was only 0.437. For bronze medal winner Steinbruger, she had the distinction of becoming the first Swiss gymnast, male or female to win an Olympic medal.
|1||Simone Biles||19||United States||USA||Gold|
|6||Hong Un-Jong||27||North Korea||PRK|
|9 r1/2||Brittany Rogers||23||Canada||CAN|
|10 r1/2||Seda Tutkhalyan||17||Russia||RUS|
|11 r1/2||Ellie Downie||17||Great Britain||GBR|
|12 r1/2||Alexa MoreÃ±o||21||Mexico||MEX|
|13 r1/2||Courtney McGregor||17||New Zealand||NZL|
|14 r1/2||ZsÃ³fia KovÃ¡cs||16||Hungary||HUN|
|15 r1/2||Ellie Black||20||Canada||CAN|
|16 r1/2||Sae Miyakawa||16||Japan||JPN|
|17 r1/2||Phan Thá» HÃ Thanh||24||Vietnam||VIE|
|18 r1/2||Marcia Vidiaux||17||Cuba||CUB|
|19 r1/2||Teja Belak||22||Slovenia||SLO|