Delight for United States as Douglas wins wonderful individual gymnastics gold

Gabrielle Douglas boldly triumphed in the women's individual gymnastics final on Thursday to give the United States their third consecutive Olympic female champion.

The 16-year-old from Virginia finished ahead of Russia's Viktoria Komova at the North Greenwich Arena, while Komova's team-mate Aliya Mustafina took the bronze medal.

Special win: Gabrielle Douglas performs on the beam on Thursday

Special win: Gabrielle Douglas performs on the beam on Thursday

Mustafina and America's Alexandra Raisman finished level on 59.566 points in third position, but Mustafina won the bronze on tie-breaking criteria.

Komova had been seeking revenge after the USA beat Russia to the gold medal in the team event, but Douglas produced a near-faultless performance to succeed compatriots Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin as the women's Olympic champion.

She also became the first black gymnast to win the individual women's Olympic title.

Brilliant: Douglas performs on the balance beam during the final

Brilliant: Douglas performs on the balance beam during the final

'It kinda hasn't sunk in yet. But it will though,' she said. 'A lot was going through my mind. I was just thinking that all the hard work had paid off. I was speechless, just shedding tears of joy and waving to the crowd.'

It is Douglas' second gold medal at the London Games, after her role in the Americans' team success.

Douglas took the lead after the vault and held on to top spot despite a strong uneven bars routine from world champion Komova, before closing out victory with a remarkably composed display on the floor.

Look what I've got: Douglas with her gold medal, with Russian pair Aliya Mustafina and Victoria Komova

Look what I've got: Douglas with her gold medal, with Russian pair Aliya Mustafina and Victoria Komova

Komova missed out on all-around gold to an American gymnast for the second major tournament in succession, having being pipped by Jordyn Wieber, who did not qualify for the Olympic final, at last year's World Championships.

'I'm upset because I could have won gold, but I just didn't get it,' said Komova. 'I hoped my floor routine would be good enough.'