After a dismal performance in the men’s team gymnastics finals, Team USA needed a pick-me-up from one of its two gymnasts competiting in the men’s individual all-around. Wednesday saw results more in line with the U.S. women’s standout performance.
Japan’s Kōhei Uchimura took home the gold medal comfortably with a 92.690 score, and Germany’s Marcel Nguyen took silver with a 91.031. American Danell Leyva, who was the top gymnast coming out of qualifying, fended off the competition for a bronze medal, scoring 90.698.
John Orozco finished eighth for the United States with a total score of 89.331, sitting 1.367 points behind Leyva.
Leyva clinched the bronze by scoring highest in the field on horizontal bar and tying Nguyen for best on parallel bars. He was also fourth on the floor exercise.
After being pummeled on the pommel horse in the team competition Monday, the apparatus again proved to be Team USA’s Kryptonite in the all-around. Orozco struggled again with his technique on the pommel, painfully inching into his final handstand before dismounting. Were it not for his low score of 12.566 – only good enough for 23rd-best on the pommel – he may have medaled. He scored eighth or tied for eighth on vault and both bar events, third on the floor and tied for third on the rings, solid all around.
The pommel was also Leyva’s worst event, and his 13.500 was the 19th-best score in the field.
Uchimura, silver medalist in Beijing in 2008 and a three-time defending World Champion in the all-around, came in as the gold medal favorite but had qualified ninth despite a disastrous performance on the pommel horse – ranked 60th in the field. Uchimura returned with a vengeance, posting the second-best score on pommel with a 15.066. He gave up ground to Leyva and Nguen on floor and parallel bars, but his vault was best in the field, and his marks on horizontal bar and rings were second-best.
Nguyen scored in the top five on four events – tops on rings and tied for first on parallel bars – and ninth on vault.
Leyva’s medal was the 60th all-time Olympic men’s gymnastics medal won by the United States.
The American men are not done in competition at the London Games; still to come are the individual apparatus finals. Jake Dalton qualified fourth on floor exercise and will compete in the finals August 5. Leyva is a reserve in the pommel horse finals, also set for August 5, and the parallel bars finals August 7. Jonathan Horton is a reserve on the rings and would need help to compete in the finals August 6. Sam Mikulak is set to compete in the vault finals August 6. Leyva and Horton both qualified for the horizontal bar finals August 7.