US Gymnasts Grab Gold, Silver in All-Around

Liukin takes gold, Johnson silver to China's bronze
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 15, 2008 6:33 AM CDT
Shawn Johnson, right, and Nastia Liukin embrace after the pair won silver and gold medals in the womens' gymnastics individual all-around finals Friday. Coach Valeri Liukin looks on at left.    (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Americans Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson captured the gold and silver medals in the women’s gymnastics all-around competitions, marking the first time US gymnasts have taken the top two spots, USA Today reports. Liukin’s standout balance-beam routine and focus on artistic elements helped lead her to victory with a score of 63.325. The bronze went to Yang Yilin of China.

“It's not possible to describe how proud I am,” said Valeri Liukin, Nastia’s father and coach and a former Soviet Olympic medalist. Johnson, the leading US gymnast in recent years, didn’t match her scores from previous meets, with just a 15.275 on the uneven bars and a little balance trouble on the beam. Still, she walked off smiling after a 15.525 floor exercise.