Valeri Goncharov, the only Ukrainian male gymnast to qualify for an event final at the Athens Olympics, stunned the spectators to take the parallel bars gold medal in a star-studded field on Monday.
|Ukrainian Goncharov (C) picks up the gold on parallel bars at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games individual gymnastics competition August 23, 2004.|
Goncharov, 26, who placed second on parallel bars at the 2004 European Championships, scored 9.787 points for the title.
Goncharov was also a member of the silver medal-winning Ukrainian team at the Sydney Olympics.
Hiroyuki Tomita from Japan, 23, who has qualified for three event finals in his first Olympic Games in Athens, got the silver with 9.775 points.
Tomita, 23, was the backbone of the Japanese men's gym team who clinched the Olympic team gold on Aug. 16.
Li Xiaopeng from China, the defending Olympic champion on parallel bars, won the bronze with 9.762 points.
Li, 23, who placed first on vault and parallel bars at the 2002 and 2003 world championships, was the top favorite for the apparatus final.
Li finished only seventh in the vault final one hour ago. Maybe it is not the day for the Chinese gymnast who had injury on his left foot.
Li said after the duel, "I did not expect such results."
Answering a question, Li said, "So far, I am not sure if I will take part in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games."
Results of parallel bars final at Athens Olympics
Following are the results of the men's parallel bars final at the Athens Olympic Games here on Monday evening:
1. Valeri Goncharov, Ukraine, 9.787 points
2. Hiroyuki Tomita, Japan, 9.775
3. Li Xiaopeng, China, 9.762
4. Ivan Ivankov, Belarus, 9.762
5. Daisuke Nakano, Japan, 9.762
6. Yann Cucherat, France, 9.762
7. Paul Hamm, United States, 9.737
8. Yernar Yerimbetov, Kazakhstan, 9.737