LONDON — Russia's Victoria Komova, beaten to gold twice in three days by American gymnasts, could not even bear to wear the silver medal she won in the all-around final.
The 17-year-old burst into tears after she failed to overhaul American Gabby Douglas' winning total of 62.232 following a rousing performance on the floor. Shortly after the silver medal was placed around her neck, she removed the prize, claiming it was too heavy.
While her teammate Aliya Mustafina, who secured bronze, tried to console Komova, the devastated gymnast could not even look at the journalists asking her questions.
"I'm still upset because I could have won gold but I just did not get it," said Komova, whose mother was a team world champion in 1985. "When I entered the arena, I thought I would win gold."
In stark contrast, Mustafina, who had snatched a medal despite falling off the beam, was beaming.
After pre-games favorite Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the final, Komova, 2011 world all-around silver medalist, was touted as the favorite.
Komova said she did not even have Douglas in her sights, but the Russian did herself no favors after she staggered off the landing mat following her vault — her first apparatus.
That mistake made the difference between gold and silver.
As the final scores came up on the huge scoreboard in the center of the North Greenwich Arena on Thursday, Komova slumped in a chair and covered her face with both hands. A team official quickly wiped off her tears.
The Russians had already shed bitter tears Tuesday when they allowed the Americans to scoop the team gold after imploding on the floor.
Komova was determined to make amends on Thursday and had left nothing to chance, even selecting the music for her floor performance especially to please the London crowd.
Maybe she should not have bothered. Along with Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "The Show Must Go On," Komova's chosen medley also included Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good."