While the U.S. men's gymnastics team was finishing their final rotation during Monday's team final, the British crowd at the North Greenwich Arena erupted. After Japanese star Kohei Uchimura fell during his pommel horse dismount, the British team moved into second place, and Ukraine took third. Japan, who had been in second all day, was shockingly out of the medals.
It didn't seem right, and that's because it wasn't. The judges made an error on Uchimura's score. As the British crowd danced and cheered for their country's first gymnastics team medal in 100 years, the Japanese delegation filed an inquiry.
Their party was short-lived. The gymnastics federation found they made a mistake in Uchimura's start value by not crediting him for his dismount. The half-point awarded to Uchimura made the difference. Japan moved into second, Great Britain into third, and Ukraine was left out of the medals.
[ Photos: U.S. men's gymnastics team falters ]
The situation was very similar to the controversy around American gymnast Paul Hamm and South Korean gymnast Yang Tae Young. In 2004, Tae Young was given an incorrect start value. Hamm won the gold, but wouldn't have if Tae Young had been given the correct start value.
The big difference in these situations is that Japan immediately filed their inquiry, while South Korea did not and was refused on those grounds. Japan was smart to file right away, or they may have ended their day without a medal instead of the silver they earned.
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