Liukin approves of gymnastics' new tie-break rules
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Another Olympic gold medal would have been nice.
Family bragging rights would have been even better.
International gymnastics officials released new, simplified tiebreak rules that, had they been in place four years ago, would have given Olympic champion Nastia Liukin a gold medal on uneven bars. Liukin and China's He Kexin tied in the bars final at the Beijing Games, finishing with identical start values (7.7) and execution marks (9.025). But Liukin wound up with silver because of a convoluted formula based on deductions from the execution mark.
"I told my dad, `I would have tied you with the medal count!" Liukin said.
Liukin won five medals in Beijing, giving her one more than her father, Valeri. But as Valeri likes to remind his daughter, two of his were gold. In addition to her all-around gold, Nastia Liukin won silvers in the team competition, uneven bars and balance beam, and a bronze on floor exercise.
"That's the one thing that came to mind, I would have tied him," the younger Liukin said.
While it's too late to do her any good, Liukin said she is glad the rules have been changed. If there's a tie in event finals in London, the execution mark will serve as the first tie-break, followed by the difficulty score. If the gymnasts are still tied, that result will stand - even if it means shared medals.
"It's fair," Liukin said. "If you both tie, I think you definitely both deserve gold medals. It's so hard to break a gold medal."
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