The normally rambuctious crowd in the Olympic Arena went silent. It was time for their hero, the first Brazilian gymnast to win an Olympic gold, to try and prove he was still the “Lord of the Rings.”

Arthur Zanetti, the 2012 Olympic champion on still rings, came within a few tenths of doing but couldn’t compete with Eleftherios Petrounias’ effortless-seeming holds and perfectly stuck landing.

Zanetti finished second, became the first Brazilian gymnast to win multiple Olympic medals. Petrounias took the gold, became the third Greek gymnast in Olympic history to win the still rings title. The first was over a hundred years ago at the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

25-year-old Petrounias was the only gymnast in the rings final to hit the 16 point mark. In addition to his world title on rings from 2015, he is the 2016 European champion.

It is Greece’s fifth Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. 25-year-old Petrounias played an important role in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics, serving as the first torch bearer for the Olympic torch relay. 

Petrounias received another Olympic honor when Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, came down onto the competition floor during the final to congratulate Petrounias personally. 

In third place was Denis Ablyazin of Russia.


The final rankings were:

1. Eleftherios Petrounias: 16.000

2. Arthur Zanetti: 15.766

3. Denis Ablyazin:15.700

4. Liu Yang: 15.6000

5. Igor Radivilov: 15.466

6. You Hao: 15.400

7. Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues: 15.233

8. Dennis Goossens: 14.933

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