A second chance at an Olympic berth

In gymnastics, the 2007 World Championships served as the only way to qualify for the 2008 Olympics short of receiving a wild card. That was unfair to injured athletes.

Then there was the idea that to qualify as an inidvidual you had to win a gold medal on your speciality (or any event, whether it was your specialty or not) in event finals.

Numerous athletes who well deserved a trip to Beijing got shorted because of these rules. Among them: Aljaz Pagan, Jeffrey Wammes, Krisztian Berki, Philippe Rizzo, Yuri van Gelder and Vlasios Maras. And those are just a few.

At least the FIG is thinking about trying to correct its errors.

STUTTGART, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — For the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the gymnastics governing body (FIG) will adopt a second qualifying event in additional to the current world championships to qualify gymnasts, FIG said here on Monday.

The second qualification for Olympics is required by the International Olympic Committee in order to provide a second opportunity for athletes who, for reasons such as injury, were unable to participate in the only qualifying competition — the world championships.

This second opportunity is one of the issues up for debate by the FIG executives, who will deliver its conclusions to the Council, the entity with the authority to approve changes to the technical regulations.

Hey FIG — while you’re at it, you should get rid of the age limit that partially tainted the women’s competition in Beijing. Or move it back to 14.

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4 Responses to “A second chance at an Olympic berth”

  1. bishop Says:

    Partially tained gymnastics? This was the best gymnastic competition in Olympic history. It seems like we are intent of tearing down the sport until 2012. But for those who can appreciate the sport without the whining and complaining, the Beijing gymnastics will live in our hearts forever. Hooray to the Olympic gymnastics in Beijing, and the millions of new fans that it created. And boo to those who wish to diminish the girls who sacrificed, blood, sweat, and tears, no matter what nation’s flag they where.

  2. Ian Says:

    Just a correction: Vlassis Maras did make the Olympic team but failed to qualify for the HB final (he fell in the prelims) and was only an alternate on VT.

  3. shergymrag Says:

    “Partially tained gymnastics? ” Yeah, partially tainted. Every day of the Olympics we heard about the age scandal which wouldn’t have been a scandal if there were no age limit.

    As for letting the age limit be 14. No, because they will be sneaking in 12 year olds. There needs to be no age limit so long as they can’t enforce it.

  4. shergymrag Says:

    I don’t find it unfair if athletes were injured and couldn’t qualify. Them’s the breaks. There will still be athletes who won’t be able to qualify at the new second qualifier and people will still be whining that they didn’t qualify.

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