Yelena Isinbayeva entered the 2012 Olympics as the prohibitive favorite to win the women's pole vault. Thanks to American Jennifer Suhr, she's leaving without gold around her neck.
Suhr jumped 4.75 meters, only to have Cuba's Yarisley Silva match her; neither woman would top that mark, nor would Isinbayeva. But Suhr's fewer failures earned her the gold, according to the tiebreak procedure:
At the end of the competition, any ties are broken in favour of the athlete with fewest failures at the final height. If still tied, the athlete with the fewest total failures wins, and if still tied after that the tie stands, other than for first place, which is normally resolved by a jump-off.
The gold for Suhr, who had four failures to Silva's five, is the first for the U.S. since 2000, when women's pole vault debuted and Stacy Dragila won. It is also the second gold for the Team USA women in track and field events at the 2012 Olympics.
Russia's Isinbayeva had won the last two gold medals in the event, but had to settle for bronze after failing to clear 4.75 meters.