Germany advanced to the finals of the men’s gymnastics team competition, but not without a gutsy performance by one gymnast who completed a routine despite suffering a serious knee injury.
During the qualification round of the team competition, Germany seemingly suffered a big blow when Andreas Toba appeared to suffer a serious knee injury on a landing during the floor routine.
Toba tried to do a front flip with two twists and when he landed, his right knee buckled and he immediately fell to the floor. He grabbed his right knee and almost immediately signalled for help.
He was devastated as trainers tended to him.
For Toba, who is the son of an Olympic gymnast, it seemed like his second Olympic games was over just as it was getting started.
He walked off under his own power, but he had a noticeable limp and looked devastated.
Once on the sideline, he was in tears and needed to be consoled by teammates.
But it turned out his night was not over.
With the top eight teams advancing to the finals, Germany was one of the teams right on the cusp of either moving forward or being eliminated. There was one event left for the German team, the pommel horse.
For each team, the lowest score in the event is eliminated, so Toba not competing there would be more pressure on his teammates as all the other scores would have to count. Instead, Toba decided to give the event a shot. The good news for Toba is that the pommel horse is mostly an arm routine.
He limped up to the horse and gave it a go.
He flew through the routine with little trouble.
But there is one spot where a gymnast must use his legs on the pommel horse, the dismount.
As he came down, you could see him favour his right knee as it was clearly still in pain.
But in the end, he absolutely stuck the landing. It was reminiscent of Kerri Strug’s vault at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
As Al Trautwig noted, that kept Germany alive for the team final. With eight teams advancing to the final, Germany finished eighth.
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