What's buzzing:

USA's Aly Raisman suffers Olympic heartbreak after learning she did not win bronze medal

Yahoo Sports

LONDON – American Aly Raisman missed out on an Olympic Games medal in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday, thanks to gymnastics' bizarre and complicated "count-back" tiebreaker system. 

View photo

.
Aly Raisman, right, embraces Gabby Douglas, who won the all-around gold medal. (Reuters)

Aly Raisman, right, embraces Gabby Douglas, who won the all-around gold medal. (Reuters)

Raisman ended up tied for third place with Russia's Aliya Mustafina at the end of the women's all-around competition at North Greenwich Arena, with both gymnasts scoring 59.566 after their four routines.

The 18-year-old from suburban Boston expected that she and Mustafina would both receive bronze after finishing behind champion Gabby Douglas of the United States and Victoria Komova of Russia. However, Olympic gymnastics rules have a system for separating ties, and it is confusing to even the most hardened expert of the sport.

Regulation 4.4.2.2 states that a tie should be decided by the highest combined execution score on the balance beam, bars and vault, followed by the highest combined difficulty score on the three apparatus. The new tiebreaker was implemented in June, leading to confusion among the gymnasts, including Raisman and Mustafina.

Sadly for Raisman, her execution was judged to be fractionally below that of her Russian rival.

"I was hoping that they were going to give both of us the bronze," Raisman said, just moments after missing out on the podium by the narrowest of margins. "It wasn't until I came back (to the interview area) that a media person told me I had finished fourth on a count-back.

"I was definitely really sad. I knew it said I was fourth on the scoreboard, but the scores were exactly the same. I just didn't know how they were going to break the tie, or if they were."

[ Photos: U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman ]

Raisman started strong and was in genuine contention at the midway point of the final, but she suffered difficulty on both the beam and, her favorite, the floor routine.

"I have never seen her do such a bad routine on the beam,” said Mihai Brestyan, Raisman's coach. "If she did a normal beam, then she would have placed in the medals for sure. When it is for the team she is fine, when it is for herself, something is wrong."

Raisman's score of 14.200 on the beam in the third rotation meant that the best finish she could hope for would be third, barring a complete disaster for Douglas or Komova on their final floor exercise.

Even then, she needed to better Mustafina's score on the floor by 0.534 to clinch bronze, but could only manage a differential of 0.533 (15.133 to 14.600).

[ Related: Jordyn Wieber's classy gesture following Douglas' victory ]

"Maybe she was under-marked a little on the floor," Brestyan said. "It should have been a little higher. We are a bit disappointed. The goal coming here was to make this final, but when you are in it and have a chance, you start to think about a little more."

For Raisman, a little more, just one thousandth of a point more, would have given her an individual bronze to go alongside her gold medal in the team competition.

"I am still an Olympic champion," she said. "And that is amazing. But I wish I could have been up there on the podium."

  More London Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Canada Sports:
Video: Prince Harry visits with Canadian athletes
Athlete penalized for unauthorized use of a towel
Can Yohan Blake dethrone Usain Bolt?
Photos: Strange Olympic rules

  • Serena show rolls on while Fish bows out

    Serena show rolls on while Fish bows out

    By Steve Keating NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Serena Williams show continued at the U.S. Open as the world number one moved a step closer to a calendar Grand Slam on Wednesday, while Mardy Fish took a final Flushing Meadows bow as the curtain came down … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • Tejada has inside-the-park HR, Mets win

    Tejada has inside-the-park HR, Mets win

    Matt Harvey felt dehydrated and Daniel Murphy had a sore quadriceps. Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park homer and drove in four runs to back Harvey as the Mets returned to their winning ways against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 9-4 victory. … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Report: OSU's Jones treated for headache

    Report: OSU's Jones treated for headache

    Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones was taken to the hospital because of a headache, his mother told The Toledo Blade. Florence Jones told the newspaper her son was taken to an emergency room in Columbus, Ohio, and that he should be fine. Jones … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Venus seeks sisterly advice to take down Swiss teenager

    Venus seeks sisterly advice to take down Swiss teenager

    By Steve Keating NEW YORK (Reuters) - Venus Williams earned a shot at a little family revenge by outlasting American compatriot Irina Falconi 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 to set up an intriguing U.S. Open third round clash with Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic on … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • Chris Davis' walk-off home run wakes up sleeping fan at Orioles Park

    Chris Davis' walk-off home run wakes up sleeping fan at Orioles Park

    A sleeping fan woke up just in time to watch Chris Davis' walk-off home run sail over his head. … More »

    Big League Stew - 16 minutes ago