China ooze style to retain men's team gold at worlds 2011-08-03 09:01 汉源承教育网
Team China display their gold medals following the all-around competition at the 40th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart September 6, 2007. [Reuters]

STUTTGART, Germany - China outclassed their rivals easily to retain their men's team title at the world gymnastics championships on Thursday.

Earning top scores on four of the six apparatus, next year's Olympic hosts underlined their dominance with a final total of 281.900, a convincing 4.875 points ahead of silver medallists Japan.

Hosts Germany gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, including Fabian Hambuechen's breathtaking horizontal bar routine, to capture the bronze.

Last year's silver medallists Russia were seventh in the eight-team final, further misery for the former powerhouse after their women's team finished last in their final on Wednesday.

The United States finished fourth in a final that many critics had thought they would not even qualify for and proved that last year's abysmal 13th place had been a blip.

In the same rotation group as Japan, China outshone their fellow Asians on the pommel horse after a solid but unspectacular start on the floor exercise.

Xiao Qin spun his legs fast and high in a stylish routine that earned 16.225 and suggested he was on course to hold on to his pommel horse title in the weekend's apparatus finals.

Last year's rings champion Chen Yibing showed he too was at his best, effortlessly switching from controlled handstands to dynamic swings on the rings to pick up 16.450, half a point more than anyone else managed.

The holders surged further ahead after the vault where defending all-round champion Yang Wei's explosive twisting effort notched 16.525, the day's highest score on that apparatus.

The Chinese did not even falter on their weakest apparatus, the horizontal bar, scene of some shaky performances in their qualifying session.

Japan went one better than last year in getting the silver medal but the gulf between them and the winners was evident on the rings where they repeatedly seemed unable to hold their handstands.


Russia had been relieved to reach the final after a dreadful qualifying session where they had to compete with two hobbling gymnasts.

Lacklustre displays on the floor, pommel horse and vault left them below less established teams such as fifth-placed South Korea and sixth-placed Spain. Romania finished last.

Men's gold keeps China's Olympic ambitions on track

STUTTGART, Germany - China's male gymnasts annihilated the opposition in the team final at the world championships on Thursday to keep their dreams of Olympic dominance on home soil next year firmly on track.