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Canadian coach blames Olympic regulation for early exits of top trampolinist
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Canadian coach Ross Dave on Saturday blasted at the Olympic regulation for early exits of top trampolinists at a star-studded test event for the 2008 Olympic Games.


Dave called for a change of the regulation to allow the athletes to warm up on spot before going into competition.


Six trampolinists, namely China's Dong Dong and Lu Chunlong, Japan's Tetsuya Sotomura, Russia's Sergey Chumak, France's Gregoire Pennes and Ukraine's Yuriy Nikitin, all failed to finish routines in the men's preliminaries on Friday.


"There is no warm-up on spot and the athletes have to go into performance directly," comlained Dave. "We wanted to do a warm-up, but we are not allowed because of the (Olympics) regulation. It should be changed."


According to the Olympic rule, no on-spot warm-up is allowed.


"It's good for the audience to enjoy the performance, but bad for athletes to prepare and get ready for competing. We know how important warm-up is for the competitors," said Dave.


"As a coach, we do hope that at the 2008 Olympic Games, there will be the warm-up for trampoline," he added.


Dave's point of view was shared by Chinese coach Chen Qilin.


"The test event copies the very procedure of the Olympic Games, which means the competitors can not warm up on spot. So it's probably a little bit hard for them to get used to the net," said Chen on Friday.


"I think there are also other reasons for a string of mistakes and accidents that happened to the athletes on Friday's qualifications," said Dave.


"I think it's the podium. It's not stable and as men are more powerful than women. When men are landing, it moves and causes the problems.


"The time for this tournament is not right. It is not long after the world championships in Quebec City, so the athletes seemed to be relaxed and were not well prepared for the qualifying round."


The test event attracted a pack of top gymnasts. Among the entrants are seven top-eight finishers in the women's and men's finals at the world championships less than a month ago.


Following a 10th-place finish at the recent world championships, defending Olympic champion Yuri Nikitin is poised to regain his top position as the Beijing Games is approaching, but he fell out of the net in his second voluntary routine.


The world silver medallist Dong Dong's second routine was also tarnished with two actions unfulfilled.


Two women trampolinists, Irina Karavaeva of Russia and Tatsiana Piatrenia from Belarus, bowed out in preliminaries.


The 32-year-old Karavaeva, the Olympic and world champion, came to Beijing as the most decorated female competitor, but she ended in a mess in her voluntary routine with a poor 7.40.


Karavaeva, who has won five world individual titles, is the first female trampoline champion in the Olympic history when she placed first at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.


(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2007)

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