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UPDATED: 09:03, August 12, 2004
Hamm: US men's gym team ready to avenge on China
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Paul Hamm is ready to spearhead the American men's gymnastics team to beat China in Athens in retaliation.

The U.S. team finished a close second to China at home in last year's Anaheim world championships and Hamm thought they had chance to win back in the upcoming Games.

"The Chinese men definitely are the favorites for the team title here. I'm not going to say we could win for sure, but we have a chance," the world all-around champion told Xinhua

Wednesday after the training at the competition venue.

The United States is in the midst of a historic run in which it has won more medals (15) in world championships in the past three years than in any three-year stretch in the sport's history.

Hamm thought the U.S. team had made real rapid progress in recent years instead of being only home-miracle makers.

"We are much stronger now," he said.

In each of the three world championships held in the United States, the host produced record-breaking performances. In Anaheim, they won a historic first - the U.S. first-ever men's world all-around title by Hamm.

Despite the team title, Hamm also aims at the all-around gold. He will compete against China's Yang Wei, who lost to the American in the championships.

"All-around title is my goal, and I hope I would have great day here," he said.

The gymnastics competition will kick off on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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