Italian gymnast Igor Cassina, who won the silver medal on the high bar at the 2003 worlds, clinched the Olympic gold in the event in Athens Monday night.
|Italy's Igor Cassina (C) wins the gold medal of the men's gymnastic horizontal bar event at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, August 23, 2004.|
Cassina, who turned 27 on August 15, made four releases in his beautiful routine but landed with a bit hop which earned him 9.812 points.
Cassina said,"I did not expect to win the title here. I have dreamed for such a victory since my childhood. I feel so great to make it today."
"It was a really tough game. All the athletes are very strong. I just told myself to do the best," he added.
Paul Hamm, new Olympic individual all-around champion, made three releases with a stuck landing and also scored 9.812 points, but he ranked second for the average of the counting deductions.
Hamm is the only gymnast to have qualified for four apparatus finals. Prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics, Hamm did not qualify for the parallel bars final in Olympic or world championships.
Hamm said that he did what he could to compete and concentrated on the competition.
"I won't give up at any time, and I hope I can do better in the future," he added.
Isao Yoneda from Japan, 27, who placed second in floor exercise at the 2003 worlds, got the bronze on high bar with 9.787 points.
Following are the results of the horizontal bar final, the last gymnastics event, at the Athens Olympic Games here Monday evening:
1. Igor Cassina, Italy, 9.812 points
2. Paul Hamm, United States, 9.812
3. Isao Yoneda, Japan, 9.787
4. Morgan Hamm, United States, 9.787
5. Alexei Nemov, Russia, 9.762
6. Xiao Qin, China, 9.737
7. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 9.700
8. Valeri Goncharov, Ukraine, 8.887
9. Daisuke Nakano, Japan, 8.750
10. Yang Tae Young, South Korea, 8.675