|Maroney had a memorable, near-perfect vault in team competition, but was short of that in individuals. (US Presswire)|
We've seen them as a team, but how will they do on their own?
Sunday brought about the first doings of individual competitions in men's and women's gymnastics. It's another chance for the United States to pick up some medals after riding the momentum of the women's all-around gold, which the team won last Tuesday, and the individual all-around gold, won by Gabby Douglas, last Thursday.
McKayla Maroney, the latest evolution in vault specialist for the U.S. women, took silver in her signature event, falling to Sandra Raluca Izbasa Sunday. Fall is the key word here. Had it not been for an uncharacteristic slip from Maroney on her second vault, gold likely would have been hers. As it was, he error cost Maroney, who scored a 15.803 to Izbasa's 15.191. Bronze went to Russia's Maria Paseka, who was graded at 15.050.
Seven countries were represented among the eight vault competitors. Maroney was the only American. The finish is an improvement for the U.S., as Alicia Sacramone finished fourth in vault at the '08 Games. Annia Hatch took silver for the U.S. in Athens eight years ago. It's now been 20 years, and will be at least 24, since an American has won the event; Shannon Miller was given gold on vault at the '92 Barcelona Games.
The other big individual event from Sunday was men's floor exercise, but unfortunately for Team USA, it did not earn a medal. Jake Dalton scored a 15.333 -- good for fifth. Gold went to China's Kai Zou.