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China extends dominance at gymnastics men's team

(Xinhua)

08:32, July 31, 2012

Chinese gymnasts celebrate after winning in Gymnastics Artistic men's team final contest, at London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, on July 30, 2012. The Chinese team won gold medal. (Xinhua/Qi Heng)

LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese gymnasts cleared doubts that followed their sixth-place finish in the preliminary, winning the Olympic men's team gold in a dominant fashion on Monday.

The Chinese pulled off a nearly perfect performance to garner 275.997 points, beating Japan's by 4.045 points.

Japan, initially placed in fourth place, picked the silver medal after winning an appeal against the pommel horse score on Kohei Uchimura.

Host gymnasts dropped from second to third for bronze, Britain's first team gymnastics medal for a century.

China made a series of mistakes in the qualifying, but did nothing wrong in the final, which drew media suspicions that the defending champions had hidden their strength.

"There is no hiding at all in the qualification," said Zou Kai, the triple gold medalist in the Beijing Olympics. "Who would like to stay back in the Olympic qualifying? If we do so, we lose chance in individual finals."

Chinese Olympic debutant Zhang Chenglong said he had learned how to deal with stress.

"I did not feel a lot of pressure in the final in spite of our mistakes in the qualifying," he said. "We had beaten Japan before. We are just fighting the old opponents."

China ranked sixth in the qualifying and Japan fifth, making the two arch rivals in the same rotation in the final.

Japan, silver medalists in Beijing, started their challenge from rings, which earned 0.8 points ahead of China.

In the second rotation of vault, China gained their lead once for all as all three gymnasts completed the discipline before Japan.



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