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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
Rumpus hits gymnastic final
Alexei Nemov
Alexei Nemov's score sparked uproar in the crowd
The horizontal bar final had to be dramatically halted after protests by spectators following the scoring for defending champion Alexei Nemov.

Nemov was given a 9.725, putting him in third place, despite a superb display and the crowd showed their anger.

Nemov's mark was eventually upped to 9.762 but failed to lift him up the standings and he had to return to the floor to ask the crowd to calm down.

Igor Cassina eventually won the gold ahead of Paul Hamm and Isao Yoneda.

Hamm was unable to begin his routine while the fans vented their anger and waited over six minutes before going into action.

The crowd had been thrilled by Nemov's routine which included an incredible six release and catch manoeuvres but were stunned when his mark left him third out of three competitors with seven more still to go.

He eventually finished in fifth place.

"I thought I deserved a bronze," he said.

"I had maybe a small mistake at the end but that was an opportunity for them to put me down."

American Morgan Hamm, twin brother of Paul, said: "I've never seen anything like that in my career.

"It was amazing, being out there on the floor and hearing the crowd react like that.

"Nemov did a great set and some amazing gymnastics that the crowd really loved and it's just those little things that cost him the medal."

Paul Hamm, who was delayed by the protests, added: "I did actually wave Alexei to come up on the podium and calm the crowd down.

"He's a very respectful person and understands that other gymnasts want to compete without the crowd booing."

The judges in the event were new after the previous three-person horizontal bar judging panel was suspended in the wake of a scoring error which cost Yang Tae-Young the all-round crown which Hamm won last week.





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