Women's Gymnastics Team Final Results
Aug. 17, 2004
Athens, Greece - Former Bruin Mohini Bhardwaj and the U.S. women's gymnastics team competed in the team finals at the Olympic Games on Tuesday, seeking only the third team medal in U.S. history. The competition will air Tuesday evening on NBC at 8 pm ET/PT.
The U.S. won the silver medal with a team total of 113.584. Romania captured the gold with a score of 114.283. The Americans took the lead after two rotations thanks to a stellar uneven bars set (28.524) but fell behind in the third rotation after Romania was flawless on balance beam, scoring a 28.961. The Romanians clinched the gold in the final rotation with a 28.749 on floor exercise. Russia took the bronze medal.
Bhardwaj stepped up big for the U.S. with three hit routines. She began the competition with a 9.5 on vault. She was then pressed into action at the last minute on balance beam, when the U.S. decided to rest Courtney Kupets, who was nursing a sore leg. With little preparation time, Bhardwaj hit a 9.4 on a routine with a 9.7 start value.'I was told about it early this morning in case something would happen,' she said. 'I was a little stressed out, and I think mentally I wasn't completely prepared, but I felt I did pretty well.'
With the U.S. trying to stave off Russia In the final rotation on floor exercise, Bhardwaj, the U.S. team captain, helped her team nab the silver with a score of 9.325.
The silver medal is only the third medal of any kind for the U.S. women in Olympic competition. The U.S. previously won gold in 1996 and silver in 1984.
'We are really excited to have the silver medal,' said Bhardwaj. 'It's been eight years since we've been on the award stand, and we are very happy.'
Bhardwaj is the first UCLA woman to win an Olympic medal in gymnastics. She will aim for another medal in the floor exercise finals on Monday, Aug. 23. Bruin junior Kate Richardson of Canada will also compete in the floor exercise finals, as well as the all-around finals on Thursday, Aug. 19.