UPDATE 3-Olympics-Athletics-Measurement farce mars women's hammer

Mitch Phillips

(Writes through adding details)

* Officials re-measure bronze medal throw post-competition

* Heidler promoted from fourth to third

* China appeal rejected

* Former doper Lysenko takes gold

LONDON (Reuters) - Former doper Tatyana Lysenko of Russia

won the women's hammer gold with an Olympic record throw of

78.18 metres on Friday but officials were left red-faced after a

measuring mistake that caused confusion over the bronze-medal


Lysenko, who won the world championship title last year,

beat the old Olympic record of 76.34 set by Askana Miankova in

Beijing with her first throw of the night, 77.56m, then improved

it with her fifth.

Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland took silver with 77.60 and

China's Zhang Wenxiu was initially awarded her second successive

bronze before Germany's Betty Heidler was promoted to third

following a mix-up over the measurement of her fifth throw.

Officials said that although world record holder Heidler's

fifth effort was electronically measured it had not been entered

into the data system. She was allowed to re-throw, fouling, and

was unable to get past Zhang with her sixth attempt.

Zhang, in third place at that point, went into the final

round thinking she had the bronze medal. She failed to improve

but draped herself in a Chinese flag and did a lap of honour.

However, when officials found Heidler's mark in the grass

from her fifth throw it was manually remeasured at 77.13,

beating Zhang's 76.34, so the German was awarded the bronze.

Chinese officials immediately appealed against the decision,

causing the medal ceremony to be postponed until Saturday.

After more than three hours of deliberation the IAAF

atheltics ruling body, decided the result would stand, noting

that the electronic measurement of Heidler's throw had been

discovered and adjusting her third-place distance to 77.12.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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