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Ties dominate finals

Anaheim: Jordan Jovtchev blocked out the pain from a severe shoulder injury to grab two gold medals at the world gymnastics championship that was marked by a series of bizarre ties which produced six gold medallists in three men’s events.

Bulgaria’s Jovtchev was not supposed to compete in the apparatus finals on Saturday after a nasty fall during the allaround competition on Thursday.

“I still have pain,” said Jovtchev, who was diagnosed with having severely torn muscle fibres in his right shoulder after a awkward fall on the parallel bars. “The pain is not that important. I had a one minute routine to do and I had to do my best.” Jovtchev and Dimosthenis Tampakos, of Greece, each scored 9.787 to share gold for the rings. He shared gold for the floor exercise with American Paul Hamm after judges gave each a 9.762 score.

The string of ties produced six gold medallists from three men’s events and three gold from two ladies’ events. There were a total of 16 medals for five events and no silver medals were awarded in the men’s competition on Saturday.

The crowd of 11,000 showed their displeasure with some of the judges’ decisions, booing Tampakos’ score for being too high. The crowd also booed a perceived too-low score for North Korea’s Pyon Kwang-sun in the uneven bars. Pyon finished fourth just 0.012 of a point behind Britain’s Elizabeth Tweddle who grabbed the bronze with a score of 9.500.

The US won the most medals as a country, picking up three, including double gold in the women’s uneven bars.

Hollie Vise and Chellsie Memmel tied for top spot and picked up their second golds with scores of 9.612. Vise and Memmel had previous golds from the women’s team finals where United States finished ahead of Romania and Australia. Vise was a last-minute replacement for her country on Saturday after Courtney Kupets was knocked out of the competition with an injury. (AFP)

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