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Gymnastics Preview: China's Yang favored for men's all-around title
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08:46, August 14, 2008

China's star gymnast Yang Wei is the top favorite for a men's all-around title as other powers also seek their chance at the all-around final at the Beijing Games on Thursday.

Yang, a three-time Olympian who has the most decorated record in Asian Games gymnastic history, is now looking to deliver the home crowd an Olympic all-around gold medal, which is also his first.

The 28-year-old veteran has eight world championship golds under his belt and was part of the men's team that won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 but an Olympic individual all-around gold is his nearest goal after he spearheaded the Chinese men's team to a team gold medal two days ago.

Now all eyes are on him, the best men's all-around gymnast in the last two world championships. He already made an impressive start, finishing all-around first in the qualifications, with next-to-perfect movements.

If Yang plays normally, no one can beat him in the final, his competitors said. The only question now is whether playing on home turf is an advantage or a disadvantage.

"To compete on home turf, you surely have great pressure, and I think I can turn the pressure into the motivation. Whatever happens, I'm going for the gold in Beijing," said Yang.

Other finals including Fabian Hambuchem of Germany, Koki Sakamoto and Kohei Uchimura of Japan, and Kim Daeeun of South Korea are also strong contenders for medals.

Hambuchen, a world champion who ranked second after Yang in the qualifications, said earlier that Yang is hard to beat because he is just too strong. But if Yang mistakes, he may be one nearest to the gold.

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 17 5 5 27
2 USA 10 8 11 29
3 South Korea 6 6 1 13
5 Germany 6 1 2 9
4 Italy 4 4 3 11
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