Was Needham’s Aly Raisman screwed over Thursday in the women’s All-Around after tying Russia’s Aliya Mustafina for third place but not coming up with a bronze medal?
Yes and no.
Yes, in the fact that Mustafina posted a low score of 13.633 on the beam. Raisman, who was no great shakes on the beam either, still managed to earn a 14.2. If those scores were used, Raisman would have had the edge.
But due to new International Olympic Committee rules, the lowest apparatus score is taken out of the final totals in the case of a tie-breaker. With that, Mustafina finished .567 ahead of Raisman.
"I think maybe it's a bit harsh and controversial not to give Aly a medal," U.S. coach Mihai Brestyan told the JC.com. “She performed well, but I think she lost it on the beam. I don't know what happened. Perhaps nerves played a part. I tried to encourage her as usually she's very calm.
"I have never seen her do such a bad routine on the beam," Brestyan said to Yahoo! Sports. "If she did a normal beam, then she would have placed in the medals for sure. When it is for the team she is fine, when it is for herself, something is wrong."