Originally written on Fox Olympics  |  Last updated 11/19/14
McKayla Maroney's feet skidded out from under her, and a look of shock crossed her face. The Olympic gold medal that everyone was certain was hers was gone. The world champion's rare mistake opened the door for Romania's Sandra Izbasa, and she took advantage of it Sunday, winning the title on vault. Maroney claimed the silver medal and looked downright surly as she stood on the medals podium. Russia's Maria Paseka won the bronze. Earlier Sunday, Zou Kai won his fifth career gold medal, defending his title on floor exercise. He already had one gold from China's victory in the men's team competition last week, and he has three more from the Beijing Games. He has a chance to duplicate his Beijing trifecta on Tuesday, when he tries to defend his Olympic title on high bar. Maroney was considered all but a lock for the gold medal, which would have given the US women three in the first three individual gymnastics events. She won her world title last year by almost a half-point and topped qualifying in London by a similar margin. She was so impressive Tuesday night in the team final that US coach John Geddert suggested they rename her vault "The Maroney." "Man, that thing is beast!" all-around champion Gabby Douglas said earlier Sunday. "How she gets so high, I'm so amazed. When she does it at camp, the table literally shakes." Her first vault was the Amanar -- a roundoff onto the takeoff board, back handspring onto the table and 2.5 twisting somersaults before landing -- and she did it better than the woman for whom it's named. She got such great height off the table the folks in the first few rows had to look up to see her, and her form was perfect in the air, legs pencil-straight, body tightly coiled. She took a hop on her landing, and came down out of bounds. But even with that 0.3 deduction, she still scored 15.866, including a whopping 9.666 for execution. Another vault like that, and the gold was hers. But she appeared to land the second one on the back of her heels. Her feet slid forward and she dropped to the mat with a loud "plop!" The crowd gasped, and Maroney looked stunned. She's as consistent as a Swiss watch on vault, never making errors in training or in competition. She scored only a 14.3, giving her an average of 15.083. Coach Arthur Akopyan tried to console her, but Maroney simply stared straight ahead, knowing her chance to add an individual gold to the one she won with the Fierce Five was gone.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

Bulls GM: No teams asked to talk with Tom Thibodeau

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Aaron Rodgers could take on more play-calling duties

Urban Meyer says Braxton Miller will return to Ohio State

DeMaurice Smith: NFL teams are blackballing Ray Rice

Bowl games have no place in the College Football Playoff

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is a quarterback

Report: Several Bulls players threatened to boycott Thibodeau

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Tigers' pitching woes make Scherzer loss more lamentable

Byron Maxwell guarantees Eagles play in Super Bowl 50

Australian paper runs "Bernie chokes on Kokk' as headline

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Odell Beckham Jr: Double teams on me won't work

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

For LeBron, it's about more than the ring

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.