Gymnastics: Hambuechen blames scoring system for Rio injuries

Sat Aug 6, 2016 6:43pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Germany's Fabian Hambuechen demanded an overhaul in the gymnastics scoring system on Saturday after team mate Andreas Toba and Frenchman Samir Ait Said provided painful reminders of just how dangerous the sport can be.

Ait Said ended up in hospital with a broken leg that was left dangling from below his knee following a crash landing from the vault.

He was wheeled out of the arena on a stretcher shortly after Toba cried out in agony following a fall from a tumbling run on the floor exercise which is suspected to have ruptured his ACL.

Toba went on to perform on the pommel horse but as he limped off that apparatus with his arms around his team mates, it was clear that his Games were over.

As far as 2007 horizontal bar world champion Hambuechen was concerned, the accumulative scoring system that replaced the old 10.0 format following a judging scandal at the 2004 Athens Olympics is to blame for the injuries.

"It's a pity that gymnastics has developed the way it has. Everyone is chasing more and more difficulty, more risk. Everyone wants new records so it's getting dangerous," said Hambuechen, one of the few gymnasts in Rio who also competed under the old system.

"That's really annoying. I don't like this system in gymnastics. I hope they will change it after Rio."

The system is made up of two different scores. The D (difficulty) score involves adding up the hardest and specific requirements in a routine, while all gymnasts begin with a 10.0 E (execution) score from which points are deducted for flaws such as bent legs, botched landings and falls. The two scores are then added together for a final score.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Preliminary - Men's Qualification - Subdivisions - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 06/08/2016  Fabian Hambuechen (GER) of Germany competes during the men's qualifications on the horizontal bar. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha