Simone Biles wins Olympic gold medal in vault final

Simone Biles on vault at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Simone Biles won her third gold medal of the Rio Olympics in the vault final, scoring 15.900 for her first vault, 16.033 for her second and an average of 15.966 to clinch the top spot.

In second place were Russia’s Maria Paseka and Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber.

Paseka, the 2015 world champion on vault, earned a score of 15.253. Steingruber became Switzerland’s first female gymnast ever to win an Olympic medal with her score of 15.216.

Shortly before the Olympics started, a video of North Korea’s Hong Un-Jong surfaced and immediately started chatter that Hong could both make gymnastics history and outscore Biles. In training, she was seen attempting the triple-twisting Yurchenko, a more difficult version of the Amanar vault made famous by McKayla Maroney. Instead of doing two-and-a-half twists like in the Amanar, Hong was doing three full twists. If she successfully landed it in competition, it would be named the Hong.

After a clean first vault in the final, Hong gave the triple-twisting Yurchenko everything she had. She couldn’t get it all the way around though, landing short of three full rotations and then falling backwards.

Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina, competing in her 7th Olympics at 41 years old, attempted the tricky Produnova vault in hopes of making the podium. The dangerous vault consists of two front flips off the vaulting table and is extremely hard to land. Chusovitina came down on her feet but the force of the flip kept her rotating forward and she did a somersault onto the mat. She finished 7th.
Dipa Karmakar is the first Indian woman to compete in Olympic gymnastics and the first Indian gymnast to qualify for an individual event final. Also doing the Produnova, she nearly landed it on her feet but her bottom crashed down onto the mat seconds later. But since the difficulty value of the vault is so high, she still earned an average score of over 15.066 to place 4th.
Each gymnast performed two vaults, and her final score is the average of both. The final rankings were:
1. Simone Biles: 15.966
2. Maria Paseka: 15.253
3. Giulia Steingruber: 15.216
4.. Dipa Karmakar: 15.066
5. Wang Yan: 14.999
6. Hong Un-Jong: 14.900
7. Oksana Chusovitina: 14.833
8. Shallon Olsen: 14.816

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