USA's Leyva Wins Bronze After Big Comeback

Bronx darling John Orozco falls short, placing 8th

By Emily Feldman
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 9:27 AM EDT
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U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva celebrates after being declared winner of the bronze medal during the Artistic Gymnastic men's individual all-around competition.

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USA's Danell Leyva won bronze in day five of the London Games after staging an impressive comeback during the men's all-around gymnastics competition. His American teammate John Orozco fell short.

Leyva's third-place finish with a score of 90.698 came two days after the U.S. men's gymnastics team landed in a heartbreaking fifth place at the team finals.

Japanese three-year reigning world champion Kohei Uchimura won the gold Wednesday with a score of 92.690. Germany's Marcel Nguyen took silver with 91.031. Orozco came in eighth place in the rankings with 89.331.

Cuban-born Leyva and Bronx darling Orozco both fumbled big moments early in the competition on the pommel horse, but Leyva staged an exceptional comeback to win a medal.

Leyva's misstep on the dreaded apparatus, which is often compared to women's balance beam for its level of difficulty, came after a solid routine. It was marred however with a bad dismount, which was heavily penalized by the judges.

But Leyva's 15.7 score on the high bar in the final event was enough to earn him the bronze.

Leyva’s stepfather and coach Yin Alvarez jumped up and down and screamed after Leyva nailed the event, The Associated Press reported.

"We are a team and any medal counts," Alvarez said.

Orozco's hopes for a medal were already dented after just two rotations.The Silent Ninja ran into trouble on the same apparatus that wrecked his confidence Monday—the pommel horse. As his routine wrapped up, it looked unlikely that he would be able to find the strength to get up to the requisite handstand before dismount. But after a painfully long struggle, he managed to push himself up and complete the dismount, but not without plenty of cringing from announcers.

Orozco closed his eyes and covered his face as the judges calculated his score—a devastating 12.566.

Twitter erupted with dismal predictions for Orozco following his pommel horse routine.

"12.566 for Orozco on PH... almost certainly no *chance of AA medal counting that with this field," Inside Gymnastics Magazine tweeted.

Both Americans had been off since Monday when Orozco landed a vault on his backside and botched his pommel horse routine, as did Leyva, who had to stop and restart his routine after losing momentum. The errors shook the team and performances quickly unraveled.

Orozco and Leyva were the only two Americans who qualified for the all-around competition.

The competition will be replayed tonight at 8 p.m. ET / P.T. on NBC.

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