Sandra Izbasa, who beat McKayla Maroney for Olympic vault gold, will not compete in Rio

Sandra Izbasa, McKayla Maroney
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Sandra Izbasa, the Romanian who beat McKayla Maroney for 2012 Olympic vault gold, said she will not try to defend that title in Rio, according to Romanian media.

Izbasa, 25 and a four-time Olympic medalist, competed at the 2013 World Championships, took a break and returned in 2015. She missed the October World Championships due to a reported foot injury.

In London, Maroney and Izbasa were the last two gymnasts to go in the vault final.

After Maroney fell on her second of two vaults, Izbasa landed both of hers with hops and edged her American friend for gold by a combined .217 of a point.

“Honestly, the vault final is a war of the nerves, and it showed,” Izbasa reportedly said in Romanian afterward.

Izbasa also took the 2008 Olympic floor exercise title over Americans Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

Maroney came back to repeat as World champion in 2013, without Izbasa in the field, and hasn’t competed since, at least in part due to health issues.

The Rio Olympic vault favorites are American Simone Biles and North Korean Hong Un-jong, who earned medals at each of the last three Worlds, and reigning World champion Maria Paseka of Russia.

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