Road To The Olympic Games

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Burnett wins silver in men's trampoline for Canada

Canada's Jason Burnett has won silver in men's trampoline at the Beijing Games.

Canada's Jason Burnett won silver Tuesday in men's trampoline at the Beijing Games.

Burnett, 21, was the second finalist on the trampoline and earned a score of 40.70 for his routine, which featured a degree of difficulty of 16.8 —  the highest in the final.

The three-time Canadian champion from Toronto told the CBC that playing it safe with an easier routine wasn't even a consideration.

"No, definitely not," Burnett said. "This is the Olympics. This is it. Why play it safe?

"You might as well put it all on the line and go for broke, and it paid off today with a silver medal."

Burnett then had to watch as China's Lu Chunlong — the final competitor in the eight-man field — edged him out for gold with a score of 41 points. Lu's routine featured a degree of difficulty of 16.2.

"I didn't even care what he [Lu] scored," Burnett said. "Whether it was ahead of me or not, I was just happy that I was in the medals already and that was plenty for me.

"Being the Olympic champion would have been nice, but winning a silver medal was just as good."

Lu's countryman, Dong Dong, captured the bronze medal with a score of 40.6 for a routine that featured a degree of difficulty of 16.2.

Burnett's silver in his first appearance at the Olympic Games is the second trampoline medal in as many days for Canada.

Karen Cockburn of Stouffville, Ont., who trains with Burnett at Skyriders Trampoline Place in Richmond Hill, Ont., also earned silver in the women's event on Monday.

Cockburn was in the stands at the National Indoor Stadium on Tuesday and said Burnett handled the pressure of his first Olympic final like a pro.

"He did an amazing performance tonight," said Cockburn. "He set the bar so high, we know it would be really difficult to beat. We're just so proud of him."

His performance in Tuesday's final was a remarkable improvement after he tied for seventh place out of eight in the qualifying round.

But with the slate wiped clean for the final, he remained confident in his ability to reach the podium, and the result was Canada's fifth medal in the event since its debut at the 2000 Sydney Games.

"Trampoline competitions go any way all the time," said Burnett. "Maybe my compulsory wasn't the greatest, but, if I can pull out optionals the way I have shown at this competition, then I definitely think I deserve to be here."

With files from the Canadian Press