Mustafina raises the bar

Aliya Mustafina of Russia competing in the women’s gymnastics asymmetric bars.

LONDON – Aliya Mustafina upset the favourites by taking the gold medal on the asymmetric bars in the gymnastics apparatus finals at the London Olympics today after all-around champion Gabrielle Douglas fluffed her routine.

Mustafina collected Russia’s first gymnastics gold here, finishing with 16.133, 0.2 points ahead of defending champion He Kexin of China.

Home favourite Beth Tweddle bade farewell to the Olympics at the age of 27 with a bronze, Britain’s first individual medal in women’s gymnastics

in the 116 years of the Games. American teenager Douglas, competing last, took

a free swing after hesitating on the higher bar and suffered with a score of 14.900 and last place.

The gold medal completed the set for the 17-year-old Mustafina, after she won team silver and all-around bronze last week.

Her team-mate, the world and European bars champion Victoria Komova, who spent much of the first week in tears after missing out on all-around and team gold, had been expected to be Russia’s

biggest medal hope on the apparatus. Judging by Komova’s miserable expression as

she stepped down after finishing a routine in which she hit one of the bars with her foot, the teenager already knew she had missed out again and she ended up fifth with 15.666.

Mustafina, by contrast, was a picture of smiling delight as she finished her routine and high-fived her coach. She has now outdone her father, Greco- Roman wrestler Farhat Mustafin, who won a bronze at the 1976 Montreal Games.

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