LONDON, England (AFP) — America's Gabrielle Douglas made an unceremonious exit from the Olympic gymnastics competition yesterday, falling from the balance beam to finish in seventh place in the apparatus final.
Last Thursday, the 16-year-old from Virginia became the first black woman to win an individual Olympic gymnastics medal when she soared to victory in the all-around final.
It gave her a second gold medal of the Games, after she played a starring role in the USA's women's team success, but the stardust appeared to have deserted her yesterday.
She slipped after performing a somersault on the beam and slid off the apparatus before hauling herself back on and completing her routine, which left her with a poor score of 13.633.
"I'm a little disappointed in my performance today (yesterday), but I'm going home with two gold medals, which is great," said Douglas.
"I gave it my all, but it wasn't my day to shine."
Douglas has been nicknamed the 'Flying Squirrel' by US team co-ordinator Martha Karolyi due to her agility on the uneven bars.
She received support from teammate Alexandra Raisman, who yesterday won the gold medal in the floor exercise final and also claimed a bronze medal on the beam.
"I don't think winning the all-around affected her. I think it was just a fluke," said Raisman of Douglas' tumble from the beam.
"It was just one of those routines. She did an awesome job in the bars final, which was a tough competition. We're all so proud of her.
"It's been a long week and she competed more than anyone else. She was exhausted and it was just a fluke, what happened, because she's been good here."