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Asiad Gymnastics Events Full of Deadheats
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The Busan Asian Games five-day gymnastics events, which ended Saturday, produced six deadheats for individual apparatus golds, bringing the 14-event gold tally to 21, with China sweeping 13 of them.

Thirteen golds were awarded for the eight men's contests and eight for the six women's finals in the last two days of the tournaments, with more than 80 gymnasts from twenty countries and regions to compete.

"I think it is about friendship. At times, it is difficult to decide who is the better performer," said Gwo Fong-way, a technical official from Chinese Taipei.

The ties started Friday in the men's pommel horse, where Chinese talented gymnastics novice Teng Haibin shared the top honor with Kim Hyon-il from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at an equal score of 9.750.

Kim Hyon-il was the non-Chinese to collect a gold medal in the 14-events gymnastics competitions.

The bronze medal went to Takehiro Kashima of Japan at 9.700.

On the rings, Chinese Olympic champion Huang Xu leveled with host South Korea's veteran gymnast Kim Dong-hwa, scoring an identical point of 9.800, in the first place, while Japan's rising gymnastics star Hiroyuki Tomita seized the bronze with a point of 9.600.

Huang Xu, who also got three golds -- on the team, rings and parallel bars, said: "I think the rings gold is most valuable of the three, as the apparatus is not my specialty, but I did my best."

But Huang expected his championship on the rings, so did his family, he said.

Huang also tied with his teammate and Olympic champion Li Xiaopeng on the parallel bars Saturday, as both of Olympic champions are strong on the apparatus.

"I am very happy with the result. My strongest rival is Xiaopeng and we both came out as champions," Huang told Xinhua, adding he had "thought of the result, because I think I have the power to snatch the gold on the parallel bars."

Li Xiaopeng was also the champion of the men's vault that was decided before the parallel bars on Saturday.

South Korea's Kim Seung-il, floor champion of the Asiad, scored 9.750 to take the bronze medal, while compatriot veteran Kim Dong-hwa, was kicked to the six place after posting 9.625.

Tomita, a strong challenger of Chinese gymnasts, recorded an event-low 8.750 as he fell off the bars. He was the first to perform on the parallel bars.

Yernar Yerimbetov of Uzbekistan, a formidable contender, finished fourth with 9.700, equaled by Kim Hyon-il from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with an identical score.

Women player Zhang Nan from China, who saw the biggest harvest of four golds at the Asiad, shared the top honor on the uneven bars with Han Jong-ok from the DPR Korea on Friday.

"I am very happy to get my third gold in this Asian Games. This is an unexpected honor because I don't think I performed well enough," said Zhang, an international debutante.

Han collected the second gold medal for the DPRK, which was predicted as dark horse in the gymnastics event because few knew its real power due to its little presence in major international games.

The tie drama culminated Saturday in the men's horizontal bar event, on which three champions were decided at an equal score of 9.800.

Japan's Hiroyuki Tomita deadheated with Yang Tae-seok of South Korea and Teng on the high bar, the last men's gymnastics event of the fortnight Asiad starting on Sept. 29.

All four judges gave 9.800 to Teng Haibin, who completed a perfect and gorgeous routines on the high bar, but his result was shown on the score board as 9.775 due to a computer error.

It was until the last moment that Teng was informed to receive his title of the high bar.

"I was told before the medal ceremony that I had won. I think it's a fair decision as my performance was worth a gold medal," the 16-year-old said, "The medal was a business of the judges, not mine."

The last deadheats occurred in the women's floor exercise, the last event to wrap up the gymnastics rivalries.

Zhang Nan again leveled Olympic and world champion Oskana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan with smooth and beautiful executions recording 9.350.

Chusovitina, a 27-year-old mother and the oldest gymnastic athlete, snatched the gold medal on the vault, her specialty.

Kim Ji-young of South Korea registered 9.150 to take the bronze on the floor.

Chinese young gymnast Kang Xin grasped the gold medal on the balance beam Saturday, edging Chusovitina and DPRK's Pyon Kwang-sun to the second and third places.

From Tuesday to Thursday, China, Asia's gymnastics powerhouse, swept all the four golds in the events of the men's and women's team and all-around.

The silver of the men's team went to South Korea, while Japan collected the bronze medal. The DPRK came fourth.

The women's team silver was awarded to DPRK and bronze to Japan, with South Korea finishing fourth.

Chinese Olympic champion Yang Wei won the gold of the men's all-around, his teammate Liang Fuliang grabbed the second place.

Liang, another gymnastics genius to replace Olympic champion Xing Aowei to participate in Asian Games due to latter's hand injury, displayed extraordinary talent and power in the all-around contest.

Chinese top gymnastics official Zhang Jian commented that Liang" made no errors at all in all the six events," and Chinese team Headcoach Huang Yubin echoed his comment.

Zhang Nan gripped the women's overall title, while Chusovitina got the silver and Kang Xin came third.

China's Liu Wei and Huang Jing finished second and third on the

women's vault after Chusovitina, while Chen Miaojie finished empty handed as she fell off her specialty uneven bars, leaving the champion to Zhang Nan.

Zhang Jian hailed the performance of the Chinese gymnasts, particularly the young ones such as triple gold winner Teng Haibin and four gold holder Zhang Nan, but he also praised the tremendous progress South Korea, the DPRK and Japan have made in gymnastics in recent years.

"The DPRK has made formidable progress in recent years. South Korea and Japan are also on the rise in the sport," Zhang said.

(People's Daily October 6, 2002)

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