Gymnastics: Olympic Vault Set Too Low

ByABC News
September 21, 2000, 6:33 PM

S Y D N E Y, Australia, Sept. 21 -- It was a scene nobody can rememberseeing before a vault set 2 inches too low. And at the Olympicsno less.

The womens all-around gymnastics finals were thrown into anovertime of sorts Thursday when five gymnasts from the first tworotations took the option of re-performing their vaults because ofthe botched setting.

Its as strange as the day is long, said Bob Colarossi,president of USA Gymnastics.

And it will serve as fodder for years to come as to how itchanged the outlook of American national champion Elise Ray. Rayopened the night with a pair of awful vaults and scored a 7.618,then spent the rest of the night knowing she had no chance for amedal.

Its definitely a hard thing to bounce back from, she said. It affects your frame of mind.

Ray Re-performs Vaults

Ray took the option of performing their vaults over. Ray scoreda 9.487 and finished 14th instead of 35th.

Instead of the misarranged vault, she had a fall off the beam in the thirdrotation to blame for her low finish. She scored an 8.887 there but who knows how things might have been had she been in the huntat that point. Ray scored 9.537 on floor and 9.75 on uneven bars.

Annika Reeder of Great Britain looked to be in pain afterfalling on her first vault. She had to be wheeled off the floorafter the second one and dropped out of the competition.

The mixup didnt affect the final standings.

Romanian Andreea Raducan went into the final floor rotation ofthe night needing a 9.574 to win the gold medal and scored a 9.825.She had the option of another vault, but declined for obviousreasons.

Raducan led a Romanian sweep of the medals. Simona Amanar tooksilver and Maria Olaru took the bronze.

Gymnasts Point Out Problem

It appeared something was amiss when Ray completely missedgetting her hands on the vault during her warmups in the firstrotation. She barely cleared the apparatus and fell with a thud,flat on her back.