LONDON — Epke Zonderland gave the Netherlands its second-ever medal in gymnastics with victory in the men's horizontal bars yesterday, while China increased its gymnastics gold medal tally to four with wins in the men's parallel bars and women's balance beam. Zonderland produced a stunning routine to claim gold with a score of 16.533 points, as the Netherlands won its first gymnastics medal since the Dutch women's team took gold at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
Fabian Hambuchen of Germany had to settle for silver after achieving a score of 16.400, while defending Olympic champion Zou Kai of China claimed bronze ahead of compatriot Zhang Chenglong with 16.366. Zhang also missed out on a medal in the men's parallel bars, finishing ninth and last after falling, but 2010 world champion Feng Zhe, who has already won men's team gold at London 2012, ensured victory for China with a winning score of 15.966 for his routine.
Germany's Marcel Nguyen took silver with 15.800 to go with the silver he won in the men's individual all-around. Hamilton Sabot of France claimed bronze after scoring 15.566 points for his routine. Brothers Yusuke Tanaka and Kazuhito Tanaka of Japan also finished out of the medals following errors in their routines.
"I feel good. I think the judges were more nervous than me," said Feng.
"I felt I had more pressure," said Feng in reference to team-mate Zhang's fall. "But I handled it and performed well."
His compatriot Deng Linlin claimed gold in the beam with a score of 15.600 as nearly all her main rivals made fatal errors in their routines.
Compatriot Sui Lu scored 15.500 to take silver but the world champion could not hide her disappointment, and had to be consoled long before the competition had even ended.
Triple Olympic champion Catalina Ponor of Romania thought she had won bronze only for Alexandra Raisman of the United States to snatch third after an appeal. Both gymnasts scored 15.066 for their routines but Raisman had a higher execution score.
Gabrielle Douglas' hopes of a third Olympic gold ended when the 16-year-old American fell, while all-around silver medallist Victoria Komova of Russia also missed out after falling during her routine and on the dismount. "I was not very lucky at these Olympics. I failed them 100 per cent," said a disappointed Komova. "I don't know if I will continue sports. I will go back home take some time off and think through the situation." — DPA