After the vault and uneven bars, the United States' Gabrielle Douglas… (Ben Standsall / AFP/Getty…)
LONDON -- Halfway through the women's gymnastics all-around competition, 16-year-old Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach led over a pair of Russians.
After the vault and uneven bars, Douglas had a score of 31.699. In second was Victoria Komova with 31.432 and in third was Aliya Mustafina with 31.333. The other American, Alexandra Raisman, was in fourth with 30.233.
Douglas was the first competitor on the vault and did her Amanar without any obvious glitches to earn a score of 15.966. Raisman was second and was nearly as good, earning a 15.900. If this was to be a tone-setting start, it was a sour note for Komova, who is the defending world champion all-around silver medalist. She landed her vault almost off the mat and was scored 15.466. Her Russian teammate Mustafina was even worse, starting off with a 15.233 vault.
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There was some murmuring about the vault scoring. Douglas' form and execution of the same vault ill-performed by Komova seemed to warrant a bigger differential.
Going into the second rotation, uneven bars, Douglas had a half-point lead over Komova, who was third. Raisman was second. Komova is the defending world champion on the uneven bars.
Douglas had a long wait before doing her second event, the uneven bars. Because she had been up first on vault, which takes less time than the three other events, and because she was up last on uneven bars, she had plenty of thinking time and also cool-down time, which is not ideal.
Raisman led off on uneven bars and had a mid-routine form-break where she almost lost her swinging power. She was scored 14.333. Komova rebounded from her vault miscue with a confident uneven bars set. Her toes were pointed, her releases were unwavering and her landing had only a bitty step. She earned 15.966 to surge ahead of Raisman.
Mustafina, who suffered a severe knee injury in 2011, owned the uneven bars with speed and strong releases. Her score of 16.100 was the best so far.
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