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American gymnasts win, China out of podium at women's team

(Xinhua)

09:20, August 01, 2012

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- US won the women's team title of gymnastics in style Tuesday while the defending champions China were out of the top three.

Team USA collected 183.596 points, 5.066 ahead of the silver medalists Russia.

The US women's gymnastics team of Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross became just the second American squad to win Olympic gold.

It's the first time an American team has achieved that since 1996.

The Americans took control of the team competition with a sterling performance on the vault, taking a commanding lead and never looking back.

China was overtaken by Romania after the third rotation of floor and further to falter in the wrapping up apparatus of vault, nearly two points trailing the former gymnastics powerhouse led by veteran Catalina Ponor, the 2004 Olympics champion.

China was not in match of USA and out of the competition just after the second apparatus, where China was already over in a three-point-plus deficit and lost the podium place with more than nine points adrift of the winner.

Russia grabbed the second place after the second apparatus of uneven bars and was just slightly after USA with around 0.4 points less. After the beam, where USA gave a sound and steady performance, Russia was 1.299 points behind the leader and a couple of faults on floor cost their chance to challenge the gold medal.

USA completed their routines strong in floor and won the title that they won at last year's world championships with a margin of over five points.

Team USA witnessed a steady progress over the last few years. As the silver medalist from Beijing Olympics, US won team silver at the 2010 world championships behind Russia and then followed up with a team gold one year later, well paving the way to London's victory.

Americans started strong from the qualifications with Douglas qualified third to all-around final and Maroney first to vault final, who won the apparatus gold at 2011 worlds.

Another gymnast from the US team Raisman qualified second to all-around final, even surprisingly squeezed her teammate Wieber, the reigning world all-around champion, for the final spot.

Russia was second in the qualification and poised to compete for the title, what's the same scenario in the team's final here until Anastasia Grishina and Kseniia Afanaseva, the defending world champion on floor, blundered in the final rotation, which pulled the team out of the top place in spite of no routines done for US yet.

"It's important not to make mistakes in the team's competition, but we made the mistakes here and we're out of the podium competition," said Huang Qiushuang.

"Romania did a good work on the last two disciplines, floor and vault, so they deserve the bronze medal today," added she.

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