With two soaring jumps that made complicated, gravity-defying movements look easy, Rebeca Andrade won the jumping final at the Tokyo Games on Sunday and clinched Brazil’s first gold medal in women’s gymnastics.
Your Olympics just keep getting better.
Andrade, 22, won the silver medal in the all-around final last week, just behind American Sunisa Lee. She dedicated this silver medal, the first ever Olympic medal for Brazil in women’s gymnastics, to her country, her coaches and her medical staff, who helped her to these games after another serious injury to her right knee.
Andrade won with a score of 15,083 points. MyKayla Skinner of the United States, who is retiring after these Olympics, finished second for the silver medal. Yeo Seo-jeong won bronze for South Korea and is the first ever medalist for South Korea in women’s gymnastics.
In 2019, Andrade needed her third operation in four years to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee and therefore missed the World Championships. Without her, her Brazilian team would not qualify for Tokyo. And she didn’t qualify for these games as an individual until June.
This last minute effort to compete in Tokyo paid off: Andrades best performance in her last Olympic Games, the Games in Rio 2016, was 11th in the all-around event.
Her first of two vaults was a cheng, which was a fillet on the springboard, a half turn on the vault, and a 1½ front layout. is Twists. Her second was an amanar who did a lap on the diving board, a back hand jump on the vault, and a back layout of 2½. is Twists. She did not survive any of the landings, but her execution and size helped her score high.
Since Simone Biles was divorced from the competition because of a mental health problem, Andre’s toughest competition was two Americans: Jade Carey and Skinner.
Carey, who finished second in jump qualifiers last week, seemed to adjust her approach to her first jump – which was supposed to be a cheng, but she made it in the end, completing only one Yurchenko tuck, which is a somersault with no twists. Stunned and almost in tears, she held her composure long enough to make a second jump, but this landing was a big step towards it. Her total score of 12,416 points left her out of the medals.
Skinner was just as stunned, but in the opposite way. Last week after qualifying, she thought her Olympics were over – and her career was over – when she finished fourth in the jump. Since only two gymnasts per country move into the final in the all-around competition and each apparatus, she was deleted from the final after Biles and Carey had crossed the finish line before her in the qualification.
In an Instagram post, Skinner, who is 24 and represented at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, said she was heartbroken about how those Olympics turned out for her.
“This closes the book on my gymnastics career, and I only regret things that are beyond my control. So no regrets, ”she wrote. “For now, I’ll just try to fill the hole in my heart.”
But on Saturday, when Biles pulled out of the vault, Skinner got the chance to put on her competition jersey one last time and see if she could win.
She posted again on Instagram: “Do this for us @Simone_Biles. … The time has come, baby! “
Finally, Skinner – whom Lee called the team’s “grandmother” for having so much experience on the national team – will return to Arizona with a long-awaited Olympic medal around her neck.
Maggie Astor contributed to the coverage.