The U.S. women’s gymnastics team entered Tuesday’s team final chasing history, trying to become just the second U.S. team to ever win a team gold in gymnastics.
By the time Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber – dubbed the "Fab Five" -- ended all four rotations Tuesday, the gold was theirs.
Russia took the silver and Romania earned the bronze. China, the defending Olympic champion, was left out of the medals.
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team last won a team gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans took bronze in 2000 and earned silver at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
The Americans entered Tuesday as the gold-medal favorites, having won the 2011 World Championship title and topped the standings after Sunday’s qualifying round. Trailing the U.S. in Sunday’s qualifying was Russia in second and China.
All of the qualifying scores were erased after Sunday’s opening round and all teams started with a blank slate Tuesday.
That was good news for reigning world champion Wieber, whose small errors Sunday made her third-best on the U.S. squad behind Raisman and Douglas, leaving her out of Thursday’s individual all-around.
Wieber was distraught after learning she didn’t qualify for the all-around, and questions turned to how would the national champion respond on Tuesday.
Wieber competed for the U.S. in three events Tuesday: vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. She recorded a 15.933 on the vault,14.666 on the uneven bars and 15.000 on the floor exercise.
Douglas, who won last month’s Olympic Trials, was solid Tuesday. Competing in all four events, she tallied 15.966 on vault, 15.200 on the uneven bars, 15.233 on beam and 15.066 on floor.
Douglas and Raisman will be back in action Thursday night in the women’s all-around, where they will attempt to become the third straight American woman to win the Olympic all-around title.