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.1896Gymnastics features

  • 24 Apr
    THE 14 EVENTSMen (8 events) : individual all-around, team competition, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar, floorWomen (6 events) : individual all-around, team competition, vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floorTHE FORMATMen and women: a preliminary round qualifies 8 teams for the team competition finals, 24 gymnasts for the individual all-around finals, and 8 gymnasts for the apparatus finals.Team competition (5 gymnasts): 8 teams in the final. 3 of 5 team members compete in each discipline. All scores count.Individual all-around: 24 gymnasts in the final, a maximum of 2 per country.Apparatus finals: 8 gymnasts in the final, a maximum of 2 per country.MILESTONESAntiquityGymnastics is practised in ancient Greece, India, Persia and China.Early 19th centuryGymnastics is part of military training in Prussia, to prepare revenge after defeat to the French at the Battle of Jena.1896Gymnastics features at the first modern Olympic Games, associated with athletics events.1932The floor event is the final discipline added to the mens Olympic programme.1972The irrepressible charm of Olga Korbut popularises the sport and she is the star of the Munich Games, winning gold in the balance beam, floor and team events.1976Romanian Nadia Comaneci scores the first ever perfect 10.1984Li Ning is the first Chinese gymnast to win an individual Olympic title.STARSLarisa Latynina (USSR)The most successful female Olympian of all time, with 18 medals at the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Games. She held a joint record of 9 gold medals with Paavo Nurmi, Carl Lewis and Mark Spitz before the emergence of Michael Phelps (18). She also won 9 world championship titles, including two individual all-around golds in 1958 and 1962.Nadia Comaneci (Romania)The undisputed star of the Montreal Games in 1976. She was awarded the first ever perfect 10, picking up 7 such scores in total. Her exploits won her 3 gold medals in Canada, including the individual all-around. She added two more Olympic titles at Moscow 1980. She also won world championship golds in the balance beam (1978) and team event (1979), and was crowned European champion 9 times.Vitaly Scherbo (CIS/Belarus)Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus enjoyed unprecedented success at the Barcelona Games in 1992, winning 6 gold medals out of a possible 8 for the Unified Team (CIS). He won 10 Olympic medals overall, claiming 4 bronze for Belarus in 1996. He also won 12 world championship titles, including the individual all-around gold in 1993. 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South Koreas Duckhee Lee was born deaf, but that did not stop him from realising his dream of becoming a professional tennis player.Day in and day out, he slugs it out on the professional circuit and has an immediate goal to break into the top-100. He aspires to be the No.1 player in Asia.Coached by Woo Chunghyo, who is also his cousin brother, 18-year-old Lee is ranked 152 at present and has reached the singles semifinals of the Pune ATP Challenger event.The only problem is that when umpires call the ball out, I cant listen. So I keep on playing. This is just one problem, everything else is fine, Lee said.Since Lee cant listen how hard the ball has been struck from the sound of racquet, he just keeps an eye on the ball. Of course it becomes very difficult (to judge) but it is much better for the eyes to look at the ball when the opponent hits it. I focus on the ball.Chunghyo says Lee actually can focus better than others. He is very good with his focus during the matches. Since he cant hear any noise, hes better focused than others, he said.But how does he communicate when he is training and wants to express himself? He can read my lip motion. When we are in Korea, there is no problem. I tell him things slowly, so he can understand. He also speaks slowly. But since he does not speak English, he cant communicate much with others, he said..ddddddddddddIs it really difficult to coach him? There is no challenge, no problem. At the moment, he is with me and his father but sometimes other coaches have also come to teach him. He has trained with a lot of coaches in Korea and other countries, he said.Chunghyo says his younger brother is desperate to win a Challenger title before the end of this season. He likes power tennis. He has a good forehand, really good footwork. That is what is attractive about him.Lee says he has the confidence to end the title drought as he is playing his best now. Every tournament, I want to win the title. I am feeling good this season and hope to pick up a trophy this week, Lee, winner of 10 ITF Futures singles titles, said.It is only the third time this season that he has managed to reach the semifinals, where he is up against Indias Prajnesh Gunneswaran. He had lost in the final of the Kaohsiung Challenger to his good friend Hyeon Chung in September.After Pune, Lee will go back to Korea and then play two Challengers in Japan and close the season in Kazakhstan. ?He has practiced with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Kei Nishikori but likes Roger Federer the most since he is the most handsome of all players. ' ' '