Mon, Oct 16, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Canada challenges judges three times


The Canadians put the new gymnastics replay system to the test three times on Saturday and paid for the privilege.

Canada's team filed three protests at the end of its qualifying round at the World Championships, actions that led to long huddles around the replay screen with technical committee president Adrian Stoica holding court.

One of the inquiries was upheld and the other two were rejected. Because the International Gymnastics Federation charges for inquiries in an attempt to prevent frivolous challenges, Canada will owe US$800 -- US$300 for the first and US$500 for the second.

"That check will be in the mail. For a little while," Canadian coach Tony Smith said.

The Canadians were able to smile about the results. They stood in fifth place after the first day of qualifying, in good position to make team finals and finish higher than ninth for the first time at the championships.

Smith said he was satisfied with the results of the challenges. The system was introduced last year in response to a number of judging problems during the Athens Olympics, one of which involved a vault by Canada's Kyle Shewfelt.

Two of Canada's inquiries centered on questions about start scores on the pommel horse, one for David Kikuchi and the other for Adam Wong.

Canada's third inquiry stemmed from a 0.1-point deduction when Shewfelt stepped out of bounds on the floor exercise. Shewfelt is the defending Olympic champion in that event.

"Maybe the sliver of his toenail was out. It was hard to tell," Smith said. "But they said they didn't have conclusive evidence to overturn it."

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