| Event type

Horse Vault, Women

Date29 July – 5 August 2012
LocationNorth Greenwich Arena, Greenwich, London
Participants18 from 15 countries

McKayla Maroney of the United States, the reigning World Champion, was the favorite to win gold in the women’s horse vault at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was considered to be the world’s premier vaulter. Although she seemed to have no serious challengers for the title, one of the most interesting competitors in the event was Oksana Chusovitina of Germany who was participating in her sixth Olympics, a record for a gymnast, having earned team all-around gold with the Unified Team in 1992 and silver in the horse vault in 2008 (Yordan Yovchev of Bulgaria would also compete in his sixth Olympics and tie this record the following day). She had competed for her native Uzbekistan from 1993 through 2006 and would do so again beginning in 2013 in a move that would lead her to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics and appear in her seventh Games as the oldest ever Olympic gymnast. She had moved to Germany originally to receive medical treatment for her son’s acute lymphocytic leukemia, and later received citizenship, competing for that nation in the interim. She also held one World Championships title in the event, from 2003, and had been runner-up in 1991, 2001, 2005, and 2011.

Maroney’s skill was on full display in the qualifications, winning them by a margin of nearly half a point ahead of Sandra Izbaşa of Romania, an Olympic gold medalist from 2008 in the floor exercise. She continued dominating with her first vault, setting an unsurpassed score of 15.866, again nearly half a point ahead of her nearest competitor, Mariya Paseka of Russia. For the second vault, however, Maroney fell on the landing and received a 14.300, well below nearly all the other competitors. Her first vault was outstanding enough to give her an average score of 15.083, 0.033 points ahead of Paseka, with Izbaşa still to come. The Romanian’s first vault came in at 15.383, below Maroney and Paseka’s, but she scored high in the second with 15.000, giving her an average of 15.191 that was sufficient to crown her as the champion. Maroney, who had been expected to take the gold, settled for silver while Pasenka nabbed the bronze. Maroney’s unsporting reaction to her silver medal was criticized by media outlets and a picture of her appearing disappointed on the podium became an internet meme that was so widespread that it was mimicked by American President Barack Obama when the two met at a White House function for Olympians. Yamilet Peña, the first Olympic gymnast from the Dominican Republic and the 2012 Pan American Champion, finished a respectable sixth in the finals.

1394Sandra IzbașaROU15.316 (2)15.191 (1)Gold
2412McKayla MaroneyUSA15.800 (1)15.083 (2)Silver
3405Mariya PasekaRUS15.049 (3)15.050 (3)Bronze
4361Janine BergerGER14.483 (6)15.016 (4)
5363Oksana ChusovitinaGER14.808 (4)14.783 (5)
6422Yamilet PeñaDOM14.699 (5)14.516 (6)
7324Brittany RogersCAN14.483 (7)14.483 (7)
8321Ellie BlackCAN14.366 (8)0.000 (8)
9433Giulia SteingruberSUI13.924 (9)
10450Nastassia MarachkouskayaBLR13.800 (10)
11325Kristina VaculikCAN13.800 (11)
12455Phan Thị Hà ThanhVIE13.533 (12)
13423Angel WongHKG13.533 (13)
14430Tina ErcegCRO13.516 (14)
15436Zoi LimaPOR13.316 (15)
16437Valeriia MaksiutaISR13.300 (16)
17424Dorina BöczögőHUN12.916 (17)
18456Laura ŠvilpaitėLTU11.933 (18)

Qualification (29 July 2012 — 09:30)

Top eight (maximum two per nation) qualified for the final. Mean score of two final jumps determined placement.

Difficulty Judge 1Aukje de JongNED
Difficulty Judge 2Cheryl Ann HamiltonUSA
Execution Judge 1Anca GrigorașROU
Execution Judge 2Lee Jung-HyunKOR
Execution Judge 3Mao PeiwenCHN
Execution Judge 4Maria Ratyńska-BuryPOL
Execution Judge 5Liliana RodriguesPOR
Execution Reference Judge 1Zsuzsanna KalmárHUN
Execution Reference Judge 2Johanna GrattAUT
Line JudgeDebbie MorganGBR
PosGymnastNOCPointsVault 1Vault 2
1McKayla MaroneyUSA15.80015.900 (1)15.700 (1)Q
2Sandra IzbașaROU15.31615.500 (3)15.133 (2)Q
3Mariya PasekaRUS15.04915.533 (2)14.566 (5)Q
4Oksana ChusovitinaGER14.80815.033 (4)14.583 (4)Q
5Yamilet PeñaDOM14.69914.933 (6)14.466 (6)Q
6Janine BergerGER14.48314.133 (10)14.833 (3)Q
7Brittany RogersCAN14.48314.666 (9)14.300 (8)Q
8Ellie BlackCAN14.36614.800 (7)13.933 (9)Q
9Giulia SteingruberSUI13.92414.783 (8)13.066 (16)
10Nastassia MarachkouskayaBLR13.80015.000 (5)12.600 (17)
11Kristina VaculikCAN13.80014.100 (11)13.500 (12)
12Phan Thị Hà ThanhVIE13.53312.666 (16)14.400 (7)
13Angel WongHKG13.53313.633 (12)13.433 (13)
14Tina ErcegCRO13.51613.500 (14)13.533 (11)
15Zoi LimaPOR13.31613.566 (13)13.066 (15)
16Valeriia MaksiutaISR13.30012.800 (15)13.800 (10)
17Dorina BöczögőHUN12.91612.633 (17)13.200 (14)
18Laura ŠvilpaitėLTU11.93312.233 (18)11.633 (18)

Final (5 August 2012 — 14:50)

Difficulty Judge 1Enrique SalanitroARG
Difficulty Judge 2Alain MacchiaFRA
Execution Judge 1Hakob SerobyanARM
Execution Judge 2Nikolaos ProviasGRE
Execution Judge 3Dejan DejanovićSRB
Execution Judge 4Fulvio TraversoITA
Execution Judge 5Zdravko KurtevBUL
Execution Reference Judge 1Jens HummelSWE
Execution Reference Judge 2Chen Ming-YaoTPE
Line JudgeColin LeighGBR
PosGymnastNOCPointsVault 1Vault 2
1Sandra IzbașaROU15.19115.383 (4)15.000 (2)
2McKayla MaroneyUSA15.08315.866 (2)14.300 (7)
3Mariya PasekaRUS15.05015.400 (3)14.700 (4)
4Janine BergerGER15.01615.133 (5)14.900 (3)
5Oksana ChusovitinaGER14.78315.100 (6)14.466 (5)
6Yamilet PeñaDOM14.51614.566 (8)14.466 (6)
7Brittany RogersCAN14.48314.766 (7)14.200 (8)
8Ellie BlackCAN0.0000.000 (1)0.000 (1)