GOODWILL GAMES ROUNDUP : Miller Makes Most of Last Chance in Gym
Shannon Miller would not settle for second this time.
A day after finishing second in the all-around competition, the U.S. gymnast reasserted her dominance Monday by winning two gold medals and two silvers in the individual apparatus finals.
“I like a challenge,” said Miller, of Edmond, Okla. “I like to rise to the challenge. I did at this competition and I feel really good about that.”
Miller, 17, the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history, finished first in the balance beam and floor exercise and second in the vault and uneven bars. That brought her medal total to five--two golds and three silvers.
Miller finished ahead of Russia’s Dina Kochetkova, who had beaten her by 0.057 points for the all-around title Sunday. It was Miller’s first loss in two years.
“Shannon Miller proved she is the best gymnast in the world,” Coach Steve Nunno said. “After yesterday, we had a little discussion and I told her, ‘You have another chance. You can prove it by showing you are better in every event. You have the opportunity to redeem yourself.’ ”
Miller scored 9.824 in the vault to finish behind Liliya Podkopyeva of Ukraine with 9.831. On the uneven bars, Svetlana Khorkina of Russia scored 9.862 points to Miller’s 9.850.
Miller won the beam event with 9.875 points. She started with a front somersault to the bar and ended with a full twisting back double somersault. In between, she added two reverse splits and had a series of a back handsprings followed by two back aerials.
Miller capped her day with an outstanding floor routine, earning a 9.937.
“I knew I had to come in and hit my routines,” she said. “I tried to do my best in both competitions. And it seems I got better as the days went by. I got more used to the equipment.”
Miller said she had gotten over the disappointment of finishing second Sunday in the all-around, her first loss since taking the silver at the 1992 Olympics.
There was another medal for the United States, but this one was a surprise. Marianna Webster, 15, who trains with Miller at the Dynamo Academy in Oklahoma, won a bronze in the beam. It was Webster’s first medal in major international competition.
“I think that this kind of makes a name for me in the international scene,” she said.
Webster was originally listed in fifth place with a score of 9.625. But Nunno appealed to the judges, arguing that they had not awarded her enough points based on the difficulty of her routine. The judges revised Webster’s score to 9.725, moving her to third.
The U.S. women defeated Germany, 15-10, 15-9, 15-5, in pool play to advance to the semifinals against China. Russia and Japan will meet in the other semifinal. Japan defeated Peru, 15-5, 15-7, 16-14, China defeated Cuba, 13-15, 15-13, 15-7, 15-10, and Russia defeated the Netherlands, 15-8, 15-9, 15-5.