Yang Wei to auction medal for quake victims
19 August 2008
BEIJING – Chen Yibing and He Kexin continued China’s strong showing in the gymnastics disciplines with victories in the men’s rings and women’s uneven bars Monday while Poland’s Leszek Blanik took gold in the men’s vault.
China also took gold in the women’s trampoline when He Wenna finished ahead of Canada’s Karen Cockburn and Jekaterina Chilko of Uzbekistan.
World champion Chen proved too strong for compatriot and newly-crowned all-around Olympic champion Yang Wei in his speciality rings discipline at the National indoor stadium, securing gold with a total of 16.6000 for his routine.
"I though I had the ability to win because I have claimed two gold medals in the last two world championships," said Chen.
Yang had to be satisfied with silver after scoring 16.425 while Oleksandr Vorobiov of Ukraine took bronze with a score of 16.325.
"I think I performed quite well today but Chen’s level is higher than mine so I don’t think it’s a pity to get a silver medal," said Yang, who announced that he will auction his medal and give the proceeds to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake disaster.
"The IOC donated money to Sichuan province. At that time, I made up my mind to make my own contribution," he said.
He, who has been at the centre of a controversy as to whether she really is 16 and therefore old enough to compete after Chinese media reported her as just 13 in 2007, took gold in the uneven bars with a score of 16.725 for her routine.
"I didn’t expect to win a gold medal because the more I want it the more pressure I feel," said He. "It’s more nerve-wracking than competing with the whole team."
All-around champion Nastia Liukin also scored 16.725 but takes silver after being rated second under the tiebreak rules.
"I can’t control the judges and they gave me the scores that they thought I deserved. It’s all up to them," she said.
China’s Yang Yilin scored 16.650 for her routine to take bronze while world champion Ksenia Semenova of Russia finished down in sixth.
Both Chen and Yang have already won gold for China in the men’s team event at the Beijing Games while He and Yilin were also part of China’s victorious women’s team.
There was no Chinese representation in the men’s vault final, which was won by world champion Blanik with an average score of 16.537 after vaults of 16.600 and 16.475.
France’s Thomas Bouhail also had an average score of 16.537 after vaults of 16.575 and 16.500 but finished with silver on the tiebreak rule.
Russia’s Anton Golotsutksov, winner of bronze in the floor exercise, once again finished third after vaults of 16.500 and 16.450 for an average of 16.475 points.
[dpa / Expatica]
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