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Chinese duo atop Olympic trampoline qualifications
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16:06, August 16, 2008

Lu Chunlong led a Chinese one-two in the Olympic men's trampoline qualifying while his compatriot He Wenna topped the women's event on Saturday.


Huang Shanshan of China poses to the audience after she finishes her first routine at the women's qualification during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games trampoline event, in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. She ranked 14th in the qualification and was eliminated from the final. (Xinhua)


Lu collected an overall of 72.40 points to join He on top, who was ahead of Russia's world champion Irina Karavaeva by 0.8. Dong Dong placed second, 0.7 behind Lu, with Dmitry Ushakov of Russia a close third in 71.50.

Reigning Olympic champion Nikitin Yuriy of Ukraine also advanced into the final, placing fourth in 70.70.

"I was so happy to hear the crowd cheering for me. I had thought I would be nervous but I was not," said Lu, still excited by his own performance.

He led the first routine with 31.20 points and, coming out last to perform though, he earned a joint highest score of 41.20 for his second, which put him firm on top of the field.

"Quite a few athletes before me did well but that didn't give me extra pressure. I didn't watch. They compete for themselves and I compete for myself. I wouldn't be affected by them," Lu said.

Dong said that he was encouraged by the home crowd's support and the victory of Chinese gymnasts, who have collected three titles out of four so far.

"I'm happy to be in the final. It's my first time competing at home and the atmosphere was simply fantastic," Dong said.

"I had a good morale. This might be related to watching artistic gymnastics a few days ago. I need to learn from them, especially the men's team, and fight for good results.

"The final will be tough and the most important thing is to calm down and focus on your own game," he added.

In contrast to the women's event marred by blunders, the majority of the men trampolinists gave their bests, finishing all their 10 elements in wows and oups from the spectators.

He, 19, accumulated the highest 67.20 points in qualifying but will have to compete alone in the final as Huang Shanshan, one of the pre-game favorites, crashed out suffering a "sudden death" in the second routine.

"I'm sorry for Huang. It's such a pity and I might feel a bit lonely in the final," He said of Huang's mistake, "but I won't be affected by the incident and will try my best."

Huang, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, performed dazzling maneuvers with quality before suddenly losing her rhythm in her ninth flip and landing on her side.

"I still don't know what happened. I trained well and such things never happened in pre-competition training. My legs suddenly failed me," she said.

"But I won't give up. I'll re-start from zero," she added.

She was not the only one to be trapped by sudden death. Ana Rente of Portugal was also unable to finish the 10 movements, landing on the blue rim mid-routine and losing her momentum.

The tricky qualification featured a bunch of mistakes from top competitors including Lenka Popkin of the Czech Republic, who completely missed her landing after her 10 flips of the first routine.

Karavaeva stepped on the blue rim on conclusion but still managed an overall high score of 66.40 points to finish second after He. Rosannagh Maclennan of Canada was third in 66.00.

He, wearing a bandage around her left knee, led a Chinese one-two after the first routine. She scored 30.10 points thanks to her flawless execution, 0.1 ahead of Huang.

He was fourth at last year's world championships and is performing in her first Olympics.


He Wenna of China competes at the women's qualification during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games trampoline event, in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. She ranked 1st in the qualification and was qualified for the final. (Xinhua)



He Wenna of China competes at the women's qualification during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games trampoline event, in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. She ranked 1st in the qualification and was qualified for the final. (Xinhua)


Source: Xinhua

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