Olympics Summer

Shewfelt, men's team fail to qualify

Less than a year after breaking both his legs in a training mishap, Canadian Olympian Kyle Shewfelt failed to qualify for the gymnastics floor final Saturday in China.

Less than a year after breaking both his legs in a training mishap, Canadian Olympian Kyle Shewfelt failed to qualify for the gymnastics floor final Saturday in China.

Shewfelt looked strong during the qualification competition with a solid vault performance and strong floor routine, but was left out of the top eight in both events and will not advance to defend his gold medal in the floor exercise.

He finished 12th in the vault and 11th in the floor routine, where he scored 15.525 out of a possible 17 points.

"It’s been the biggest challenge of my life," the Calgary gymnast said.

"I’ve had to search for small victories every single day. I feel my experiences over the last 11 months have been so rich and taught me so much about myself, about the strength that I have.

"It was phenomenal to be out there competing today because I know I worked my tail off to earn my spot on the team."

Scoring is disputed

Shewfelt called the scoring "a little bit low."

Canadian head coach Edouard Iarov was less charitable.

"Kyle's floor … should have been a 15.8 at least," said Iarov. "And he gets, what, 15.5? This is crazy. It must be some kind of game. I am very unhappy."

Shewfelt's teammate, Brandon O'Neill, was equally unlucky. Hampered by an ankle injury he suffered a few days ago, O'Neill foundered on the vault and the parallel bars, and didn't complete his floor routine.

"It's gross," a disappointed O'Neill told CBC afterwards.

"I don't want to say too much at the moment, but I'm just proud of [my teammates]. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to come out and do what I wanted but these guys pulled together, and they were awesome."

The qualification process included three competitions, each of which included a handful of teams. The results of all three competitions are combined.

The Canadian men’s team finished in ninth place overall and will not advance to the team final.

There was some good news for the Canadian men, as Nathan Gafuik and Adam Wong qualified for Thursday’s all-around final. Gafuik was 20th, four spots ahead of Wong.

"I haven't had a chance to digest it yet," said Gafuik. "We were so focused on doing the team competition that we didn't really have time to think about what could happen after with the qualification in different things as individuals."

China leads individual and team events

China’s Yang Wei topped the individual all-around competition with 93.875 points, followed by Fabian Hambuechen of Germany with 92.425 and Korea’s Daeeun Kim at 92.400.

China also topped the team qualification, ahead of second place Japan and third place Russia.

The U.S. team competed without brothers Paul and Morgan Hamm, who sat out the competition with injuries.

American Alexander Artemev dazzled on the pommel horse, executing a series of spindles in which his legs appeared to fly in every direction. Artemev led the Americans into sixth place.          

Leaders in the individual apparatus were: Hambuechen of Germany (horizontal bars),  Diego Hypolito of Brazil (floor exercise), Marian Dragulescu of Romania (vault), and China's Yibing Chen (rings), Qin Xiaio (pommel horse), and Xiaopeng Li (parallel bars).

Saturday's qualification determined:

  • The eight teams that will compete in the team final Aug. 11.
  • The 24 individuals who will compete for the all-round title Aug. 14.
  • The individuals who will compete for the various apparatus titles Aug. 17-19. Each apparatus final includes eight athletes.

With files from Associated Press