London, England – Deng Linlin and Sui Lu finished first and second, respectively, on Tuesday to medal in the women's balance beam final, while a late inquiry boosted American Aly Raisman's score into the bronze position.
While the Chinese duo ran away with the competition after two of the prime challengers -- USA's Gabby Douglas and Victoria Komova of Russia -- fell off the beam on their attempts. Lu's second-place score of 15.500, one-tenth off of Deng's winning score, was nearly 0.5 points higher than the bronze mark.
Deng gave an inspired effort after China failed to medal in the team event.
"I made a mistake in the women's team event so this medal compensates for that. I have no regrets," Deng said. "After the team event I was depressed. The motivation from this event came from my coach and other teammates so I could adjust in the past four days and prepare for this event."
It looked as if Romanian and 2004 gold medalist on the beam Catalina Ponor had captured third with a score of 15.066 after Raisman wrapped the competition with a 14.966 following a routine that included a wobble on the beam and a big hop forward on the landing.
However, following an inquiry, Raisman's score was raised one-tenth of a point and into a tie with Ponor. The American claimed the tiebreak as her execution score of 8.766 was 0.3 higher than Ponor's.
Current Olympic all-around champion Douglas and Komova, the runner-up to Douglas, were expected to challenge top qualifier Sui, but struggled on the apparatus. It went from bad to worse for Komova, who perhaps starting to feel frustrated after also finishing second in the team competition to the U.S. also fell backwards on her landing, giving her a disappointing score of 13.166.
Komova and Douglas had qualified second and third with an identical score of 15.266, but the Russian again failed in an attempt at a gold medal. She finished fifth on Monday at the uneven bars final.
"I was not very lucky at these Olympics. I failed them 100 percent," Komova said.
"I don't know if I will continue sports. I will go back home take some time off and think through the situation. My parents say everything is OK, but I don't feel so."
China duplicated what the U.S. did at the 2008 Beijing Games, where Americans Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin finished 1-2.