The world's best male gymnast has his gold. Japan's Kohei Uchimura, arguably the great male gymnast ever, won the individual all around Wednesday night in London at the Summer Olympics, posting a score of 92.690. The silver medalist at the Beijing games scored the highest routines in two of the six rotations: vault and high bar.
The gold medal is the exclamation point of an astonishing few years for Uchimura, who is the first male gymnast to win three consecutive world all-around titles (2009, 2010 and 2011). He also becomes the first Japanese man to win the Olympic all-around gold in 28 years (Koji Gushiken, 1984).
American Danell Leyva, the top qualifier heading into the finals, scored a 90.698 to win the bronze medal. Germany's Marcel Nguyen (91.031) grabbed the silver medal. John Orozco, the other member of Team USA in competition, was 8th.
Halfway through the six rotations, Uchimura was leading the field, followed closely by countryman Kazuhito Tanaka, while Leyva was a distant 16th.
John Orozco started strong with a 15.433 on floor, but then was pummeled by the pommel horse, scoring just a 12.566. He struggled through his whole routine and then had a poor dismount, coming to a full stop and having difficulty holding his handstand. Orozco was nearly crying on the sidelines, knowing his medal hopes had all but vanished.
Danell Leyva didn't fair much better. After his strong opening on floor (15.366, third-highest score), he managed just a 13.500 on the horse. After the first two rotations, Leyva and Orozco were in 17th and 22nd place, respectively, out of 24 competitors.
Heading into the final rotation, Uchimura led Tanaka by just 1.616 points, with Nguyen in third and Leyva a seemingly distant sixth. But Leyva had saved his best for last, posting the highest score of the competition on high bar, a 15.700. His clutch routine, couple with Tanaka's fall off the horse, was enough to propel the American onto the medal podium. Tanaka ended up in fifth place overall.