Faulty vault costs Maroney gold medal

08/06/2012 12:00 AM

08/06/2012 8:36 AM

LONDON – McKayla Maroney's tears melted her makeup and made her voice shake.

"I'm happy to be the Olympic silver medalist," the 16-year-old gymnast from Long Beach said. "I really am."

The happiness, though, hadn't yet registered.

Sandra Izbasa of Romania was the upset gold medalist in the vault Sunday, averaging 15.191 on her two efforts. Maroney's score was 15.083. Maria Paseka of Russia took the bronze.

Maroney, the defending world vault champion, was the consensus Olympic favorite after scoring 16.233 in the team competition on the Amanar, the most difficult vault women perform.

As the first of her two required vaults, Maroney did a competent Amanar. Despite more of a step on the landing, her score of 15.866 was the highest of the day.

But her second, easier vault ended badly. Maroney didn't get her hands securely on the table, came off the apparatus low and landed on her heels before sliding to the ground.

Maroney appeared shocked and didn't even look at the scoreboard to see her 14.300.

"I really didn't deserve to win a gold medal if I fall on my butt," she said.

Women's basketball – The Americans tied their Olympic scoring mark in a 114-66 rout of China and set U.S. Olympic records for baskets (52) and assists (33).

Diana Taurasi had 22 points for the Americans (5-0), who clinched the top seed in their group for the quarterfinals and face Canada on Tuesday.

Women's volleyball – Despite losing captain Lindsey Berg to an ankle injury in the third set, the U.S. team swept Turkey 27-25, 25-16, 25-19.

The top-ranked Americans finished pool play 5-0 and face the 11th-ranked Dominican Republic in the quarterfinals Tuesday. Berg said she didn't think the injury was serious.

Women's water polo – The United States overcame an early two-goal deficit to beat European champion Italy 9-6 and will face rival Australia in the semifinals Tuesday.

Women's boxing – In the sport's Olympic debut, U.S. lightweight Queen Underwood lost 21-13 to Britain's Natasha Jonas.

Underwood led in the first round, but Jonas curiously moved ahead in the second, and Underwood had to start taking risks that rarely pay off in amateur boxing. She received a standing-eight count in the fourth round after a combination by Jonas, although Underwood didn't seem hurt.

Men's cycling – Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark won the gold medal in the omnium after crashing in one of the event's six races.

Hansen hit the wooden boards in a curve after connecting with the rear wheel of Briton Edward Clancy in the scratch race but was OK and got back on the track.

Men's sailing – After trailing the entire regatta, Britain's Ben Ainslie executed perfectly in the medals race and won his fourth straight gold and Olympic-record fifth straight medal overall.

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