Jason Burnett takes home silver on the trampoline

Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:05am EDT
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By Lindsay Beck

BEIJING (Reuters) - Canada's Jason Burnett, known for his fearlessness and the high difficulty of his routines, took silver on Tuesday in the men's trampolining final. China's Lu Chunlong lived up to his top billing, winning gold. Lu's team mate Dong Dong won the bronze.

"That rocked. That was awesome," Burnett told reporters.

His routine had a difficulty value of 16.8, outstripping the next highest value of 16.2 -- that of both Lu and Dong -- by a wide margin.

Lu, part of the team that led China to a world championship, had been the top qualifier.

"Actually, the pressure wasn't from my Canadian competitor, but rather from Dong Dong. In the past he's been very strong," Lu said, adding that he had overcome his nerves by the second of the compulsory 10 flips.

"I want to share this medal and my joy with Dong Dong," he said. "In competition we're rivals, but in the training field we're friends."

The two 19-year-old Chinese, who were born just a week apart, played to the home town crowd, jumping on the trampoline after the results were announced and giving each other a big hug on the podium before tossing their bouquets into the stands.

The strong showing for China underlines its dominance in the sport that made its Olympic debut in 2000 at the Sydney Games, after He Wenna took the women's gold on Monday.

Athens gold medallist, Ukrainian Yuriy Nikitin, a 30-year-old father of one, performed a clean routine but he could not match the height or precision of his younger rivals.