NPR : News

Disappointments: Gymnast Weiber Fails To Qualify; Marathoner Radcliffe Injured

Two big disappointments this morning: American gymnast and defending world champion Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around finals.

The AP reports that it was nonetheless a great day for other Americans, who are favorites for gold:

"While the Americans breezed through qualifying in women's gymnastics Sunday, throwing down a challenge to Russia, Romania and defending Olympic champion China in the process, Wieber will miss out on the all-around final after finishing behind Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Countries are limited to two gymnasts in the all-around and event finals.

"The Americans finished with 181.863 points, more than 11 ahead of second-place Britain. That was even with Wieber, Douglas and Kyla Ross bouncing out of bounds on floor exercise, their last event."

The other big disappointment: The 38-year-old British marathoner Paula Radcliffe has pulled out of competition because of a foot injury.

As the BBC reports, this is especially heartbreaking news. Radcliffe is the fastest female marathoner in the world, yet she has never won an Olympic medal. To have tried for her first medal on home turf would have been an unforgettable spectacle.

BBC Sports Jonathan Edwards writes:

"Paula will be absolutely heartbroken. It is unlikely she would have challenged for a medal, although she would have believed she could, but to have run in London and to have finished with her head held high after all the heartache she has had in previous Olympic marathons would have been very important to her."

"The goal of a fifth Olympics in my home country, what better? The chance to make amends to myself for bitter disappointments at the previous two Olympics. Through a lot of tough times it has kept me fighting, motivated and focused. That is why it hurts so much to finally admit to myself that it isn't going to happen," Radcliffe said in a statement.

The U.K.'s Athletics Team Leader Charles van Commenee issued this statement about Radcliffe:

"This is obviously a disappointing day for Paula and our sport, but it was important to her that if she made the start line it would be in the best possible shape. It wasn't meant to be and she has taken the right decision to withdraw at this stage.

"I think it is important that we don't look at Paula's career in Olympic cycles. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest female distance runners of all times and still holds the marathon World Record.

"When we look back at her career it should be in the context of what she has achieved and not what she hasn't. I wish her all the very best for her recovery."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Penn & Teller's Magical Partnership, The Trick Is Telling The Truth

The duo Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller are back on Broadway. They both talk — yes, even Teller — with NPR's Scott Simon about magic, danger and the remarkable endurance of their 40-year partnership.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

My Cat Xavier For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow superPAC backed Hank the Cat in the 2012 Virginia Senate election. Xavier also cared about naps, treats, and prison reform.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.