West Des Moines-trained gymnast Gabby Douglas finished the London 2012 Olympics Tuesday with a disappointing showing on the balance beam, failing to medal after slipping on the beam.
The other American in the balance beam finals, Aly Raisman, turned in a strong performance, scoring 14.966 to finish fourth.
Des Moines Register deputy sports editor Mark Emmert Tweeted that Douglas got the loudest ovation from a large contingent of Americans inside North Greenwich Arena before she and her coach headed to the tunnel rather than watch the other competitors.
"Tough break," he Tweeted later as Douglas slipped and fell off the beam. "She hadn't faltered on the beam in two months. Looks mad at herself. Chow gives her a reassuring smile and big hug."
Her final score was 13.633. "She got the two golds she wanted most, and will certainly be remembered as one of the biggest stars of these Games," Emmert Tweeted.
Douglas’s routine is difficult, with a standing full backflip and a full twist, and if she could have landed squarely on her feet as she did last week in the all-around finals, the gold was within her grasp, according to Inside Magazine publisher Chris Korotky.
The balance beam is the same apparatus that earned West Des Moines gymnast Shawn Johnson her only gold medal among four earned at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Both women trained at Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute and both trained intensely with balance beam specialist Liewen Zhuang.
Douglas has two golds to show for her Olympics debut – one for the team competition and the other for best all-around gymnast. She failed to medal in the uneven parallel bars Monday, finishing last.
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