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UPDATED: 18:25, August 24, 2004
Romanian Ponor wins Olympic beam gold
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Romanian charming Catalina Ponor, the 2004 European champion on beam and floor, won the Olympic beam gold in Athens on August 23.

Ponor, 17, who led her compatriots to clinch the team title here on August 17, gifted the third gymnastics gold for Romania with 9.787 points.

Ponor, in shinning black, made several intricate movements and beautiful poses in her routine, winning huge applause from the spectators.

American top female gymnast, Carly Patterson, who was just crowned as all-around champion at the Olympics, got the silver with 9.775 points.

Patterson, 16, who also finished second on beam in the qualification, could hardly beat the lovely Romanian champion even though her routine was almost as wonderful as Ponor.

Another Romanian gymnast Alexandra Georgiana Eremia, who won silver on beam at the 2004 European Championships, finished third with 9.700 points.

Zhang Nan and Li Ya, both from China, all fell from the beam to finish sixth and seventh respectively.

Zhang Nan, 16, was the bronze medalist in the individual all- around in Athens. Li Ya, also 16, finished fourth on beam at the 2003 Worlds.

Following are the results of the gymnastics beam final at the Athens Olympic Games here Monday evening:

1. Catalina Ponor, Romania, 9.787 points

2. Carly Patterson, United States, 9.775

3. Alexandra Georgiana Eremia, Romania, 9.700

4. Anna Pavlova, Russia, 9.587

5. Courtney Kupets, United States, 9.375

6. Zhang Nan, China, 9.237

7. Li Ya, China, 9.050

8. Allana Slater, Australia, 8.750

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