By B.J. Schecter
First we had Age Gate with reports that several Chinese gymnasts were younger than the 16-year-old minimum, and now we have a baffling scoring controversy. Who understands this new scoring system anyway? In the team competition, the U.S. stumbled away its chance to win the gold, but in Monday's individual uneven bars comeptition American Nastia Liukin was robbed.
Here's what happened according to SI's E.M. Swift, who was there:
"China's diminutive He Kexin started the bars competition with a risk-filled, six-release routine that was scored 16.725. She had a small step upon landing, and the difficulty of her routine was judged to be 7.7. Her execution score was 9.025.
"Next up was Liukin. She, too, had a 7.7 start value, and executed five release moves, having a little trouble in one, her pac salto, in which she goes from the high to the low bar executing a flip. Her landing, though, was perfect -- the first time this entire season she's stuck it. Her score: 16.725. Her execution score: 9.025. Same as He's numbers.
"Yet, when the tally was flashed on the scoreboard, He was placed first, Liukin second. So why was He listed first?Very few people in the gymnastics community knew, including ex-Olympians providing expert commentary to listeners and viewers around the world. But as it turned out, the computers had to go to a third tiebreak before determining the winner.
"First tiebreak is the start value. Identical.
"Second tiebreak is the deductions taken by the middle four judges. That was also the same.
"The third tiebreak -- hang onto your hats, for your brains are about to explode -- was the average of the three lowest of the four counting judges' deductions. This is where Liukin lost."
Are you kidding me? What in the name of Mary Lou Retton is going on here? What's your take on the latest scoring fiasco and what does the IOC have to do to fix it?