Nastia Liukin brings U.S. top two spots in Olympic gymnastics

August 15th, 2008 - 6:09 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

Nastia Liukin of Parker, a Collin County suburb north of Dallas, followed Carly Patterson her former training partner onto the top step of the medals stand Friday afternoon (Thursday night CDT) at the National Indoor Stadium as America’s latest gymnastics heroine.

Liukin closing with an outstanding floor routine totaled a 63.325 points beat Shawn Johnson, 16, of West Des Moines, Iowa, who takes silver with score of 62.725 points and Yang Yilin gets bronze for China with score 62.65.

Liukin, 18 years old, joins Patterson and 1984 gold medalist Mary Lou Retton in the pantheon of American all-around gold medalists.

She performed classical style of gymnastics which her father and coach, Valeri Liukin has taught her since she was small.

Nastia Liukin danced as if she was in the ballet, lightly and elegantly across the floor mat, using her classical music as inspiration to float through her floor exercise.

“mostly just shock; I couldn’t believe that it happened.” Liukin described as she realized she is the winner.

Liukin, 18, was born in Russia before her parents moved to Texas when she was a toddler, following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Her parents were both Soviet gymnasts, with her father winning two Olympic gold medals in 1988. Valeri Liukin opened a gym in the Dallas-Fort Worth area soon after arriving in America.

China which is now ranked number 2 gets overall 37 medals of that with highest 23 gold medals , 9 silver and 5 bronze, while USA has overall 43 medals; 14 gold medals, 12 silver and 17 bronze, ranked as the first.

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