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Russia's Mustafina defeats reigning champion He to win uneven bars

08-07-2012 01:13 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Aliva Mustafina won Russia's first gymnastics gold medal as she defeated reigning champion He Kexin from China by 0.2 points.

He, who had the highest difficulty score of 7.1 in qualifications, scored 15.933 points as the the starter of the finalists.

The leading qualifier Elizabeth Teddle finished third due to two steps back in landing and scored 15.916 points.

Mustafina, the all-around bronze and team silver medalist at 2010 worlds, collected the highest 16.133 points despite a fifth-place finish in the qualifications.

The gold came to Mustafina as a surprise as the Russian returned to form after tearing left anterior cruciate ligament on vault at 2011 European championships.

Gold medalist Aliya Mustafina of Russia (C), silver medalist He Kexin of China (L)
and bronze medalist Elizabeth Tweddle of Britain attend victory ceremony of women's
uneven bars final contest of Gymnastics Artistic event, at London 2012 Olympic Games
in London, Britain, on August 6, 2012. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

"I am very, very happy I've won gold. Every medal represents its own thing. I was hoping very much to win and I was very happy with my routine. I didn't know what to expect of myself today, I did my own thing," said the 18-year-old Russian, whose father won Greco-Roman wrestling bronze at 1976 Olympics.

"I saw Beth (Elizabeth Tweddle) landed badly and I thought I had to just go for it."

Talking about her preparation, Mustafina said: "I woke up at 9 a.m. and had no breakfast. I did my warm up and rested, travelled on the bus with Victoria (Komova) and listened to music. I thought every element through before I came out."

Six months ago, Mustafina was struggling with his form and never expected to achieve this. "Absolutely, I did not (expect this to happen half year ago). I did not believe I could do it. I was nowhere near in the shape I am now," added she.

Another Chinese Yao Jinnan came fourth in 15.766 points. The all-around champion Gabby Douglas was the last with 14.900 points.

He is set to retire after the London Games and considering to study abroad.

"I'm going to take study after my retirement from sports. I'm not sure where to study, but personally I prefer to study overseas," said He, who was the gold medalist at 2009 worlds, but since then struggled, placing seventh at 2010 worlds.

"I'm satisfied with the silver actually, but I did not expect the gold will go to Russia," said He. "It expected a British competitor to come out.

"I feel much relaxed now. I shrugged off a mountain."

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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