Halfway through the July 30 team final, a 2012 Olympic medal is all but out of reach for the US men's gymnastics team. They enter the fourth rotation dead last, trailing the leading Team China by more than eight points.
After posting respectable scores on floor exercise, Team USA moved on to the pommel horse, which is often an Achilles' heel for athletes. Although the reliable Sam Mikulak turned in a solid routine and earned a 14.500 for the effort, the other two Americans competing on the apparatus had near-disastrous results. All-Around qualifiers Danell Leyva and John Orozco posted scores of just 13.400 and 12.733, respectively.
They recovered some ground during rotation three, the still rings, with Orozco (14.958), Jake Dalton (15.033) and Jonathan Horton (15.266) delivering a series of good routines and scores. Still, it wasn't enough to save them from last place entering rotation four.
With powerhouse China on its game despite struggling during qualifications and Team Russia delivering surprisingly strong routines, it'll be very hard for the US to recover.
The 2012 Olympic men's gymnastics team final is available via Livestream at NBCOlympics.com.