Olympics 2012: McKayla Maroney gets silver on vault after fall

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Another vault like that, and the gold was hers. But she appeared to land the second one on the back of her heels, and her feet slid out from under her. Maroney fell to the mat with a loud “plop!” drawing a gasp from the crowd.

“I kind of felt it right away when I didn’t get my full block,” she said. “It was a little bit off, and I just kind of stuck with it. I really didn’t know how to change it at that point.”

She scored just a 14.3, giving her an average of 15.083. Coach Arthur Akopyan tried to console her, butMaroney looked shell-shocked as Sandra Izbasa of Romania did two impressive vaults to claim the gold. It was Izbasa’s second Olympic gold, following her title on floor exercise in Beijing.

“I already knew that I pretty much only had the silver medal,” Maroney said. “I really didn’t deserve to win a gold medal if I fall on my butt.”

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