Verhofstad On Faulty Floor: 'Everybody Got Distracted By It'
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Although Dutch gymnast Bram Verhofstad's floor exercise performance in Tuesday’s qualifications at the world championships in Montreal was enough to earn him a berth in the apparatus final, he said a defect under the mat hindered him and the other gymnasts in his rotation.

Verhofstad said he believes Irish gymnast Andrew Smith inadvertently created "a hole or something in the floor, or something bounced up, at least” during his routine, and the result affected the remaining gymnasts.

"When I was in my routine I noticed it and I got distracted by it," Verhofstad said. "I don't know if that impacted my performance, but after everybody was done, everybody got distracted by it, and it was just not a good competition floor for us because it just kind of broke."

Verhofstad said that, after the last gymnast competed in the rotation, coaches from the Netherlands and Ireland approached officials and informed them that "it just wasn’t right, that we all felt something, we saw something." An inspection of the podium confirmed the defect.

“So they lifted up the mat and indeed there was something that stuck up that shouldn’t be there," Verhofstad said.

Verhofstad was one of the gymnasts in the subdivision who benefited from the opportunity to repeat their performances. He scored 14.433 points to qualify seventh to the eight-gymnast floor exercise final on Saturday.

"We all got a second chance, and in some miraculous way I managed to pull something off," Verhofstad said. “It was crazy. Everything was going through my mind (like) Should I actually go another time? because I was so tired. So much energy is lost and all your focus is gone, so you try to make the best of it, basically. I love competing, so I just wanted to have a second chance and try again and see. To just have fun again."

On Wedneday, the FIG announced it had accepted the appeal of Chilean gymnast Tomás González, who was bumped from the floor exercise final after gymnasts were allowed to compete their routines again. This means there will be nine gymnasts in the men's floor exercise final this weekend.

 

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