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McKayla Maroney settles for silver after falling on second vault

Updated: September 7, 2012 6:12AM

Entering the women’s vault final Sunday, U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney was considered a lock for the gold medal. Her vault score in the team all-around was the highest in the competition.

The height of her handspring seemed to reach another stratosphere and the amount of air separating her from her competition was immense, making her fall to earth that much more shocking.

‘‘I didn’t deserve to win gold if I landed on my butt,’’ Maroney said after settling for the silver medal.

Maroney earned a 15.866 on her first vault, the best score of the night. On her second vault, she slipped on her landing and plopped on the mat for a 14.3. Her average score of 15.083 put her .108 behind gold-medal winner Sandra Izbasa of Romania. Maria Paseka of Russia earned the bronze.

On the medal stand, Maroney looked more angry than upset. After the ceremony, her eyes began to fill with tears as she received comforting words from her coach.

‘‘It’s more of shock,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m not disappointed about the silver; I’m disappointed about my performance.’’

Maroney said her hands didn’t fully touch the apparatus on her second vault.

‘‘It happens,’’ she said. ‘‘Sometimes things don’t go as planned.’’

Women’s Basketball

Taurasi fuels U.S. romp

Diana Taurasi scored 22 points, and the United States (5-0) tied its Olympic record for most points in a game with a 114-66 rout of China. The U.S. women also scored 114 points against Spain in 1992.

The United States, which outscored China 89-38 after falling behind 28-25 late in the first quarter, clinched the top seed in its group and will play Canada in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Women’s Beach Volleyball

2 U.S. teams in semis

Both U.S. teams reached the semifinals with straight-set victories.

Two-time defending Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings defeated Marta Menegotti and Greta Cicolari of Italy 21-13, 21-13, and Jennifer Kessy and April Ross slipped past Kristyna Kolocova and Marketta Slucova of the Czech Republic 25-23, 21-18.

Women’s Water Polo

U.S. reaches semifinals

Melissa Seidemann scored three goals and Brenda Villa two to lead the United States past Italy 9-6 in the quarterfinals. The victory set up a semifinal Tuesday against gold-medal favorite Australia.

Women’s Volleyball

U.S. stays unbeaten

Destinee Hooker scored 19 points, and the United States completed pool play undefeated with a 27-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory against Turkey.

Sun-Times wires

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