London, England – Russia's Aliya Mustafina finally earned her country a gold medal in female gymnastics at these Olympics, winning the uneven bars final in impressive fashion Monday.
Russia's talented group of female gymnasts came to London as serious contenders, but kept falling just shy of gold. They lost the team competition to the United States and then saw Victoria Komova earn silver and Mustafina bronze behind American Gabby Douglas in the all-around.
Mustafina added gold to that count as the only gymnast in Monday's competition to score higher than 9 in execution while posting a total score of 16.133. She earned Russia's first Olympic gold on this apparatus since Svetlana Khorkina in 1996 and 2000.
"I am very, very happy I've won gold. Every medal represents its own thing. I was hoping very much to win and I was very happy with my routine. I didn't know what to expect of myself today, I did my own thing," Mustafina said.
China's He Kexin, the defending Olympic champion, finished second with a score of 15.933, while top qualifier Elizabeth Tweddle of Great Britain took bronze with a mark of 15.916.
A big step back on her landing to conclude what was an excellent routine kept Tweddle from claiming Britain's first ever individual Olympic gold in female gymnastics, but the 27-year-old still ended her Olympic career with her first medal.
"It was the one that was missing from my collection, I wasn't bothered what color it was. I saw myself in third and I thought, 'Please don't be fourth again.' I just can't put into words what it means to me. My routine went pretty good, I only had a step with my dismount. If you would ask me if I want to go again, then I would say no," said Tweddle, who earlier this year wasn't even sure she would be able to compete in London because of knee surgery.
"It is my third Olympics, everyone knows I wanted this one medal to be able to finish my career happy. This was the one thing that was missing."
Douglas, who qualified sixth, finished last with a score of 14.900. Her difficulty mark of 6.300 was the lowest among all eight competitors.
Komova, the 2011 world champion, also suffered a misstep on her landing and finished fifth behind China's Yao Jinnan.