China outshone by Japan, US in gymnastics worlds qualifier

Updated: 2011-10-11 17:12


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TOKYO - China, winner at four gymnastics world championships in a row, was outperformed by hosts Japan and the United States in this year's men's qualifiers, which concluded on Monday in Tokyo.

China took a surprising third place with a score of 359.126, 5.165 points away from Japan. Chinese gymnasts started with floor, but only two of them scored over 15. In the following event, pommel horse, only specialist Teng Haibin scored an outstanding 15.300. Guo Weiyang even fell from the apparatus.

The Chinese rose to score impressively in the fourth routine, vault, without making any notable mistakes. Most of them also performed impressively on parallel bars and horizontal bar despite a few mistakes.

But the efforts could hardly offset the impact of a "lousy" start and the team of specialists found themselves in the third position after the qualifications.

The "king" of ring Chen Yibing said the team would learn lesson from Monday's competition and step up efforts in the finals.

"Today's competition will not affect us negatively," Chen, captain of the team said. "We made mistakes because we were not excited."

Zou Kai, a senior gymnast and a floor champion in Beijing Olympics, said the only thing worth mentioning was that we all did a good job in our specializations. Zou was the highest scorer on floor in the qualifiers.

The home favorite Kohei Uchimura lifted a flawed Japanese gymnastics team to the pole position on Sunday despite suffering a foot injury halfway in the six-routine competition.

Uchimura, also known as the all-around "King", 22, also striving for a record three all-around champions in a row, led the individual rankings with 92.256 points, 1.724 ahead of John Orozco from the United States, a new-comer to the world championships.