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Bulgaria appeals rings final result

By Alastair Macdonald
August 23, 2004 15:18 IST
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Bulgaria have appealed the result of the Olympic gymnastics men's rings final, saying their silver medallist Jordan Jovtchev should have the gold given to Greece's Dimosthenis Tampakos, a team spokeswoman said on Monday.

"We gave this note to the international federation last night and we are waiting for an answer today," Zdravka Jordanova told Reuters, 12 hours after the extremely tight final.

"The judge's result was not correct," she said, adding that Tampakos, whose narrow victory sparked widespread rejoicing in the Games' host nation, had been credited with too high a degree of difficulty for his routine.

"What the Greek did was much easier," Jordanova said.

Tampakos's win gave Greece an Olympic rings champion for the first time since the first modern Games in Athens in 1896 after he edged out Jovtchev, the world champion, by just 0.012 of a point, scoring 9.862 to Jovtchev's 9.850.

Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov was in the Indoor Hall for the competition and congratulated Jovtchev on his performance.

Immediately after the contest, Jovtchev sounded resigned: "I did my job, at least I think both of us could have been first. It's over who cares?"

It is the second judging controversy in the gymnastics at Athens. American Paul Hamm was incorrectly awarded the all-round gold medal after an error in the scoring for the routine of bronze medallist Yang Tae-young of South Korea.

The ruling FIG has said they will not alter the result as the South Koreans made their appeal too late.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said they had not received any official objection to the result

"We have received nothing," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies told reporters. "In all sporting competitions the results are confirmed by the federations. When the results change then the international federations inform the IOC."

(Additional reporting by Michael Winfrey in Sofia)

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Alastair Macdonald
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