Nastia Liukin of the United States edged her compatriot Shawn Johnson to win the women's all-around after a breathtaking Olympic gymnastics competition on Friday.
Finishing one-two on the podium, the American duo let the hosts' gold rush in the gymnastics pause after China wrapped up all the first three titles (men's team, women's team, men's all-round) in the National Indoor Stadium.
Liukin collected 63.325 points, after flawless exercises on each of the four apparatus with a good combination of difficulty and quality, beating Johnson by 0.600. The bronze medal went to Yang Yilin of China in 62.650.
Coming out in her first Olympic Games, the 18-year-old Liukin struck the most-coveted gold medal which she had waited for years.
She was an unlucky runner-up in the 2005 world championship in Melbourne, beaten by Chellsie Memmel by 0.001 points in her debut to the international arena, and the title also eluded her in the following two championships.
"I still can't believe what happened," said a beaming Liukin, who shared a sweet hug with her father and coach Valeri after the final rankings flashed on the screen.
She contributed her victory to her parents, both former Soviet Union world champions who moved to the United States when Nastia was two years old.
"My parents definitely had a big influence on my life and without them, I wouldn't have been here. My father is the reason why I won the gold medal and on the other side, my mother gave more support, getting me through the tough days."
Reigning world champion Johnson made no major mistakes but Liukin was in a different class on uneven bars.