The U.S. women's gymnastics team had a lot to celebrate on Sunday after an outstanding performance at North Greenwich Arena, but it might take Jordyn Wieber some time to join the fun.
Though the U.S. left the third of five subdivisions atop the qualifying standings with a score of 181.863, and remained there at the end of the night despite a close call from Russia, Wieber missed out on a chance for all-around gold because her team is just, well, really good.
Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Wieber posted the best three all-around scores -- though Russia's Victoria Komova would surpass them all later on -- but since a country is only allowed to send two gymnasts to the final, Wieber found herself as the odd one out.
The U.S. came out on fire, with Douglas, Wieber, Raisman and McKayla Maroney -- injured toe and all -- posting scores of at least 15.8 on the vault. Kyla Ross then stepped in for Maroney for the final three rotations and the group hardly stumbled.
They wrapped their part of the competition with an 11-plus point lead over Great Britain and that mark was good enough to stay ahead of Russia, which notched a score of 180.429 later on Sunday thanks to excellent performances from Komova (60.632 all-around score) and Aliya Mustafina.
"I think we definitely set the bar high. It's an amazing feeling that Team USA is so strong. I'm just so proud of those guys," noted Douglas.
Another medal hopeful, 2008 goal medalist China, was third and Romania grabbed the fourth spot, pushing Great Britain down to fifth. However, the top eight teams advance to Tuesday's team event and that will also include Japan as well as seventh-place Italy and Canada, which slid in at eighth.
It will be the U.S. leading the pack. The favored squad hardly showed any mistakes until the floor exercise, though Wieber had a crucial error on the third event -- the beam -- that hurt her score.
Ross, Wieber and Douglas all stumbled on landings on the floor, but Wieber's 14.666 mark still had her second behind Douglas. Then Raisman put together a great routine that netted her a 15.325, and an all-around score at 60.391. That was .126 ahead of Douglas, who will also head to the final of the event on Thursday.
Wieber is not.
"It is a bit of a disappointment. It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the all-around final of the Olympics, but I'm proud of Aly and Gabby and happy that they reached the all-around and that I was able to help the team get to the finals," said Wieber, who was the 2011 all-around world champion.
"I think from the beginning we were all looking very strong. It was always going to be close between the three of us doing all-around and in the end it is what it is."
Wieber still has a chance on Tuesday to help America earn its first team gold in the women's competition since 1996.
"The first thing I said to her was that I felt really bad for her," Raisman said. "I had no idea that I was in the position to outscore her, I was completely focusing on my exercises and not on the scores."
Another good sign for the U.S. was Maroney posting a score of 15.800 to qualify for the vault final later in the week. She is dealing with a toe injury after aggravating a previous fracture.
"If felt better today," Maroney said. "But you can ignore the pain you feel because it's the Olympics."
Gold on Tuesday could also have Wieber feeling better.