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.
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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."