LONDON -- Gabrielle Douglas, a 16-year-old from Virginia Beach, took the women's gymnastics all-around lead on her first event, the vault, and never let it go Thursday.
Douglas earned her second Olympic gold medal and became the first African-American Olympics all-around gold medalist by performing with ferocious power, high-flying aerial tricks on the uneven bars, a smartly cautious balance beam display and, finally, a joyfully exuberant tumbling romp on the floor exercise mat.
The silver medal went to Russia's Victoria Komova, who wept in disappointment.
Another Russian, Aliya Mustafina, and American Alexandra Raisman, had the same score, 59.566, but Mustafina won the bronze medal after a tiebreaking procedure was used. Raisman seemed stunned as she looked at the scoreboard.
The official tiebreak procedure is the total of the three best scores. Mustafina had 45.933 and Raisman 45.366.
Raisman, who had been in medal contention at the halfway point, knocked herself out with a low-scoring balance beam routine on the third rotation or there might not have been a need for a tiebreaker.
Douglas took a .326 lead into the final rotation, floor exercise, over Komova. Her power tumbling almost took her out of bounds once, but Douglas tip-toed her way inbounds.
When her score of 15.033 was posted, Douglas leaped into the arms of her coach, Liang Chow.