Australian judge defends her scoring of Nastia Liukin
BY FILIP BONDY
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Tuesday, August 19th 2008, 1:00 PM
Valeri and Nastia Liukin
BEIJING - The Australian judge and her gymnastics federation have fired back at Valeri Liukin, insisting that his daughter, Nastia, was given fair scores Monday during competition on uneven bars.
“I feel very comfortable knowing that what I have done is correct, and that’s what is important to me,” Helen Colaguiri told The Age of Melbourne.
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Colaguiri marked Liukin lower than winner He Kexin of China by .3 points, a margin greater than any other judge. Liukin lost the gold medal to He on a second tiebreaker, and then Valeri Liukin complained that the Australians have been under-scoring his daughter for three years in major competitions.
Colaguiri is her country’s senior judge, and has been involved at this level for 20 years. Gymnastics Australia chief executive Jane Allen said she retained full confidence in its technical director.
“She judged what she saw and she believes that the gymnasts were ranked correctly,” Allen said. “This is not the first time that Valeri Liukin has targeted Australian judges, and he obviously looks at the judge who has not given the result he wants for his daughter.
“If she\'d got the gold medal, he wouldn\'t be noticing Helen\'s judging, but the result is not what he likes so he then goes looking for a scapegoat.”