Rosannagh MacLennan wins gold

Updated: August 4, 2012, 12:37 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Rosannagh MacLennan soared to Canada's first Olympic gold of the London Games on Saturday, capturing the women's trampoline title when defending champion He Wenna of China wobbled during her final routine.

The 23-year-old MacLennan put the pressure on with a dazzling performance through her 10-trick set, rising so high you could fit a couple double-decker buses underneath her as she flipped and twisted to a personal-best score of 57.305.

After the total flashed, teammate Karen Cockburn turned to MacLennan and told her it was a winner.

MacLennan wasn't so sure.

"I didn't want to get too ahead of myself," MacLennan said.

Not with two Olympic medalists still to go. But Huang Shanshan -- who took bronze in Athens eight years ago -- only mustered a 56.730, leaving He as the last hope to give China a second straight Olympic sweep after countryman Dong Dong grabbed gold in the men's final on Friday.

He cruised through the two-round qualifying, easily posting the top score. Yet she flew wildly offline while warming up for the finals, winding up on one of the red crash pads that protect wayward flyers from injury.

She slowly made her way back to her seat but appeared to be fine when she jumped on as the final competitor. He sailed through her set only to lose control at the very end of her routine, dropping to her knees and forcing her to settle for bronze.

"I did quite good today besides that mistake," said He, who did not wear her medal afterward. "It's a regret not to see the Chinese flag raised."

Instead it was the iconic red maple leaf as Canada reached the top of the podium for the first time in London. MacLennan sang along to "O Canada" while trying to hold back tears.

"I don't think anything matches that experience," MacLennan said.

Despite her stumble, He was able to keep Cockburn from grabbing a fourth Olympic medal. The 31-year-old won bronze when the sport made its Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000 and was runner-up in Athens and Beijing.

Though Cockburn has ceded the top spot to MacLennan, she thought her performance in the finals was good enough to add to her medal stash. Instead, she missed bronze by less than 0.1 points.

"Obviously I wanted to end better than on fourth," said Cockburn, who now heads into retirement. "I'm happy with my overall career, I'm not happy today."

Savannah Vinsant became the first American to advance to the Olympic finals since the sport was introduced. The 19-year-old Vinsant, the youngest competitor in the 16-woman field, came in sixth.

Boosted by a boisterous cheering section that included 10 members of her family, Vinsant overcame the jitters and tried to enjoy the moment.

"It gives me so much more confidence," Vinsant said. "This gives me the edge. I'm experienced now so for the next Olympic Games, I won't be so uptight."


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press