Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tie Break Terror

It seemed as though London was the Olympics of ties.

The first time we saw the first of third tie breaks was in the AA final.  After "simplifying" the tie breakers, the FIG made it so if two gymnasts tied, they could share the medal.  It didn't happen in London.  After the competition, Aliya Mustafina of Russia and Aly Raisman of the USA were tied with a score of 59.566.  After a, in my honest opinion, STUPID tie breaker, Aliya was awarded the bronze.  What they did in this situation, was they dropped the lowest score, counting 3 events instead of four.  It's an All Around, not a "Best Three Events" competition, isn't it?

The next one was in the beam finals, after a very eventful finals.  Once again, Aly Raisman received fourth place, after the difficulty judges incorrectly gave her a start value a tenth too low.  After a inquiry was filed, and Aly was awarded the tenth, Aly was tied with Romanian gymnast Catalina Ponor, the 2004 Olympic Beam Champion.  Once again, after simplifying the tie breakers, the FIG wouldn't let them share the bronze medal.  The first thing they looked at to determine the bronze medalist was the E-score, and that was there Aly won.  If they shared the same execution, then the judges would have looked at the difficulty, and finally if they were still tied (See below), the two would've shared the medal.

The last one in the Olympics of ties was in the last event, the floor finals.  After Aliya Mustafina and Vanesa Ferrari from Italy tied with a score of 14.9, Aliya was awarded the bronze based on her E-score of 9.0, compared to Vanesa Ferrari's E-Score of 8.7.

Another lesson to learn from London, don't tie with Aliya Mustafina, she WILL win, especially if it is for bronze.

The first instance of an unfair tie break in recent gym history (2008 and beyond) was the 2008 Beijing Olympic Uneven Bars Final.  As many know, Nastia Liukin, the 2008 AA Champion, was fighting for a second gold medal with Chinese hometown favorite, He Kexin.  Both had a crazy high start value, 7.7, and they ended with the exact same E score, leaving them tied.  The FIG had set up a a crazy tie break situation should this happened.  They dropped the highest and lowest scores from the judges, and used the new E score, leaving He Kexin on top by .033 of a point.

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