Oleg Verniaiev claims parallel bars gold, Danell Leyva earns silver

Oleg Verniaiev claims parallel bars gold, Danell Leyva earns silver

Oleg Verniaiev

Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev won his second Olympic medal of the Rio Games, taking a bit of revenge for his all-around silver by claiming gold on the parallel bars.

In second place was the U.S.’ Danell Leyva, who was looking for some redemption of his own. After lackluster performances at the two U.S. Olympic selection events, Leyva was chosen to serve as a team alternate, not a competing athlete. It was a surprising decision considering Leyva was the only U.S. male gymnast to win a medal at the London Olympics–bronze in the all-around–and had collected multiple world championship medals in the last few years. He was added to the team after John Orozco suffered an injury in training.

Leyva proved he belonged on the Olympic team with a near-flawless routine, a stuck landing and a score of 15.900 to win silver.

It’s the second medal for the U.S. men in Rio, who didn’t make the team or all-around podiums. Alex Naddour won bronze on pommel horse on the first day of event finals. Leyva will compete for another medal later today in the horizontal bar final. Sam Mikulak  has also qualified for the high bar final.

In bronze medal position was Russia’s David Belyavsky.

The reigning world champion, You Hao of China, put forth a strong routine before falling backwards on his dismount. He finished eighth. No Chinese male gymnast has won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

Final rankings:

1. Oleg Verniaiev:16.041

2. Danell Leyva: 15.900

3. David Belyavsky: 15.783

4. Deng Shudi: 15.766

5. Manrique Larduet: 15.625

6. Andrei Vasile Muntean: 15.600

7. Ryohei Kato: 15.233

8. You Hao: 14.833

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