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China wins men's team title in gymnastics worlds

(Xinhua)

08:21, October 13, 2011

Players of China (C), Japan (L) and the United States pose at the podium after the men's team final at the 43rd Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 12, 2011. Team China won the title of the men's team event with 275.161 points. Japan and the United States ranked the 2nd and 3rd respectively.(Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

TOKYO, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- China won the men's team gold medal of the gymnastics world championships for the fifth time in a row Wednesday, holding off host Japan and the United States, which took the second and third place.

China, the 2008 Beijing Olympic champions, scored 275.161 points, outperforming Japan's 273.093 and 273.083 of the United States.

Ranking third in the qualification round, China and Japan were neck-to-neck until the last rotation, when Japan's Yusuke Tanaka and Kohei Uchimura both fell from the horizontal bar, while China's Zhang Chenglong and Zou Kai put on a flawless performance on the floor.

"We come here for the gold medal, but we are also prepared for a tough fight with Japan on their turf," Zou said, "...if the second-last Japanese had not fell from the bar, I would have huge pressure as the last one to perform on the floor."

Chinese specialists also scored highest in five of the six events. The team's leader Chen Haibin topped the rings with 15.466, Teng Haibin led in the pommel with 15.233, and Zhang Chenglong, contributing a highest 65.533 to the total, also scored a highest 16.200 in the horizontal bar.

"We are lagging behind Japan after the first four rotations, but we are prepared for an adverse situation, so I and Zou Kai chose to perform a more difficult horizontal bar," said Zhang.

China have won the past four world men's titles since 2006. Last year they won half of the six men's individual event golds.

"The 2012 London Olympics will begin to apply the new 5-3-3 format in the final round, which will be a new challenge for every team," said Chinese team coach Huang Yubin.

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