Obscure Tiebreaker Gives China's He Gold Over Liukin

0.033 margin on deductions puts American in second place in uneven bars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2008 12:21 PM CDT
China's He Kexin poses with her gold medal during the uneven bars apparatus finals today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Chinese gymnast He Kexin won a gold medal on the women’s uneven bars today, despite exactly same score as American Nastia Liukin, the New York Times reports. Liukin and He each scored 16.725, but since gymnastics no longer gives out dual medals, He was awarded the gold, thanks to a lower average deduction total—a margin of just 0.033.

“I still don’t know how they broke the tie,” says Liukin. “I guess one judge liked her better.” He is one of the Chinese gymnasts whose age and eligibility has been called into question, but Liukin took nothing away from her competitor. “She’s done her hard work, and she deserved that gold,” she said. China’s Yang Yilin won bronze.