BEIJING (AP) Nastia Liukin's loss of an Olympic gold medal couldn't have come in a closer or more convoluted manner.
The Beijing Games all-around champion from the United States received the same 16.725 score as China's He Kexin on uneven bars Monday. A tiebreaker was used because dual medals are no longer awarded in gymnastics.
And that tiebreaker was so complex that long after the medals were handed out, International Gymnastics Federation officials still were explaining it.
Suffice it to say that because of the deductions from a perfect 10 for each gymnast in their execution scores, He had gold and Liukin had her second silver and fourth overall medal of these games.
"For me, it's not correct," said FIG president Bruno Grandi, who noted the rules for dual medals were dropped in 1997 at the direction of the IOC. "When two people arrive on the same level, they are champions. But this competition doesn't belong to us. It is the IOC's.
"I believe it's correct to have two gold medals, but this is my modest opinion. The IOC is different."
Liukin would not criticize the scoring system.
"It's nothing I can control, and honestly, I can say it has been very fair to me, and I got the biggest gold medal of them all," said Liukin, winner of the gold in women's all-around gymnastics.
She doesn't have the latest one, but her four medals tie her father Valeri's haul when he competed for the Soviet Union. Coincidentally, one of Valeri Liukin's golds, on high bar in 1988, came in a tie with teammate Vladimir Artemov.
For some reason they refused to give credit for some of the moves Johnson had in her floor routine. They didn't give her credit for one of her jump split and thats just one that I could pick out. No wonder Bela is ticked.
I wonder what the chinese had done if the vote had swung the American way between Lukin and He on bars... it's starting to become a downer.
The judging is still bad and there is no excuse for it.. the point system was THEIR point system and they had 4 years to figure out the bugs.