4. Yao Jinnan, China
Yao Jinnan was born on 8th February, 1995. She is a Chinese gymnast from Fujian. She joined the Chinese national team in 2010 and is currently the strongest all-arounder of the Chinese national team. She has a twin sister who started gymnastic training with her but did not continue into elite level training.In 2011, she made successful international debut by winning gold on bars, beam and floor at the Cottbus world cup. She then won gold on floor and bronze on bars at the Doha world cup.
At the Chinese National Championships, she got silver in the All-Around and bars event final, and bronze on floor exercise. In the Japan Cup, she won gold in the team event with teammates Yang Yilin, Sui Lu and Huang Qiushuang. In the all-around, she won the bronze medal.
Yao Jinnan was named to the Chinese woman’s team to compete at the 2011 World Gymnastics Championships. Yao had a successful qualifying by completing consistent routines, qualifying as the highest Chinese gymnast in the all-round final, as well as qualifying to the Balance Beam and Floor event finals, and placing 9th, becoming first reserve for the final, in the Uneven Bars. Yao contributed high scores on every apparatus to help win the bronze medal in the team competition.
She then placed third in the individual all-around final after fellow first-year seniors Yao Jinnan and Viktoria Komova. Yao fell on the balance beam in the individual all-around competition. Without the one point deduction for the fall, her score would have been the highest total of all competitors in the meet, making her the winner of the all-around. This also would have made her the first Chinese gymnast ever to win the World Championship All-Around title.
In the Balance Beam event final, she placed second, winning the silver medal behind team mate Sui Lu, and placed fourth in the floor event final, .134 behind bronze medalist Aly Raisman.
At the Olympic Test Event in January 2012, Yao Jinnan competed on uneven bars and balance beam, qualifying in third and fifth respectively. She had some mistakes in the uneven bars final, but still managed to take the bronze medal behind Anastasia Grishina and Youna Dufournet. In the balance beam final, she had to count a fall and finished in sixth place.
At the Zibo World Cup in May 2012, Yao Jinnan competed on uneven bars and balance beam. She qualified in first place for both events and she went on to win the gold medal on uneven bars and balance beam in the final, ahead of her teammate Huang Qiushuang who won the silver on both events.
Yao Jinnan was scheduled to compete at the Chinese National Championships in May, but due to a knee injury in podium training she had to pull out.
Yao Jinnan was named to the Chinese woman’s team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Due to a thigh injury she was not at full strength, yet she was still scheduled to compete the all-around in the qualifications. In the qualifications she started with a fall on beam and had to count a low 12.833(51st place), following with a fall on floor, scoring a 13.066(54th place), and a fall on her double twisting Yurchenko on vault, scoring a 13.133. On uneven bars she competed a brilliant routine, posting a 15.766 and qualifying in fourth place to the uneven bars final. She also qualified to the all-around competition in 22th place, but due to the 2-per-country rule(Deng Linlin and Huang Qiushuang placed ahead of her) she was not allowed to compete.
In the team final Yao was scheduled to compete on vault and uneven bars. She started with a solid routine on uneven bars, scoring a 15.533. On vault she managed to land her double twisting Yurchenko, but had a low landing and only scoring a 14.333. Due to her low scoring vault and faults from her teammates, China didn’t manage to take a medal and they finished in a disappointing fourth place.
In the uneven bars final, Yao had a near perfect routine with a stuck double layout dismount. She got awarded with a 15.766 and she ended in fourth place, just 0.15 behind the bronze medal winner Beth Tweddle.