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China Wins Coveted Men's All-Around Gymnastics Title


The Chinese medal total continues to swell, with the the host nation's athletes performing well, in front of partisan crowds. One of the latest victories for China came in men's gymnastics. VOA's Jim Stevenson was at National Indoor Stadium, where the men's All-Around Final was held.

Yang Wei successfully completed the six-apparatus rotation, Thursday, to claim the coveted All-Around Olympic title. His total score of 94.575 easily separated him from Kohei Uchimura of Japan (91.975). Benoit Caranobe took bronze (91.925), claiming the first French medal in the event in nearly a century (1912).

Speaking through an interpreter, China's two-time world champion says he drew from his past experience of Olympic disappointments in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004).

"Anyone who knows me will know that, in All-Around competition, I once had a failure in the very first apparatus. But, then I did well to catch up. And, I also had the experience in the first five. I did very well but failed in the last one," he said. "In today's competition, I prepared for any difficulties. And, I will never give up."

Yang overcame some minor miscues, early in the competition. Although he enjoyed the cheers from thousands of Chinese spectators, Yang says he still felt pressure.

"This year has not been very good for China. We have seen a lot of disasters," he said. "These Olympic Games give us a lot of pressure. It is impossible for us to not be nervous. But how to cope with nerves is our job. And, I feel very excited right now."

Jonathan Horton was the best American in the field, with a ninth-place finish (91.575).

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