(TOKYO) — The U.S. men’s gymnastics team came in fifth in the team competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
The athletes were up against powerful teams from Japan and China, as well as athletes from Russia competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). After going into the final rotation in fourth place, the U.S. dropped to fifth in the final scoring. Great Britain took fourth place.
It was a tight fight for the gold between the ROC team and Japan. The Russian athletes won in the end, with the last score determining who would come out on top. The difference between gold and silver was about two-tenths of a point.
China took home the bronze.
The U.S. team consisted of Brody Malone, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus and Sam Mikulak, a 28-year-old veteran who returned for his third Olympics.
The group has become tight-knit and exuberantly supportive of each other as they sought success at these Games. After qualifying for the finals, Mikulak told his teammates in a huddle he had “never been on a team like this and he’d just had the time of his life out there,” Malone told People magazine.
Their strong finish featured impressive performances especially from Moldauer on floor and Mikulak on parallel bars.
An American men’s team has not medaled at the Olympics since 2008.
Although this was the final for the team competition, the men still have opportunities to medal in individual events.
Malone will compete in the all-around and horizontal bar event, Moldauer in floor, and Alec Yoder — who was not part of the official team but is competing as an individual for the U.S. — qualified for the pommel horse event final.
Of course, Mikulak is looking to bring home an elusive Olympic individual medal. He qualified for the finals in the individual all-around, taking place Wednesday, and in the parallel bars.
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