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China makes history by winning its first Team gold in Women's Gymnastics

Updated: 2008-08-13 12:53:33
China makes history by winning its first Team gold in Women's Gymnastics
China team gains the highest place on the podium. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

(BEIJING, August 13) -- China made history today by winning its first Olympic gold medal in the Team event of Women's Gymnastics. China won the gold medal with a total of 188.900 points.

The United States won the silver medal with a total of 186.525 points and Romania won the bronze with a total of 181.525 points.

China entered the Team final as favorites, but it was pushed all the way by a determined United States. The two sides' first rotation was the Vault, with the United States taking a slender lead.

The second rotation for China and the United States was the Uneven Bars, which is regarded as China's specialty. China did not disappoint, gaining the lead with a dominant display on the apparatus.

He Kexin and Yang Yilin were outstanding in the Uneven Bars, scoring 16.850 and 16.800 respectively. Despite the best efforts of the United States' Nastia Liukin, who scored 16.900, the United States could not overcome China's dominance of the apparatus.

The United States gained slightly more points than China in the Balance Beam, a rotation that was marked by the mistakes of the United States' Alicia Sacramone and China's Cheng Fei. Sacramone was clearly affected by her mistake and also performed poorly in the next rotation, the Floor Exercise.

China makes history by winning its first Team gold in Women's Gymnastics
US team on the podium. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

The United States could not afford to make any mistakes against a disciplined Chinese side. China's Li Shanshan improved her country's chances of winning the gold medal by scoring 16.050 in the Balance Beam. This was an individual score that even the elegant Liukin could not match.

China's most experienced campaigner Cheng Fei sealed the victory with a solid performance in the Floor exercise.

Romania surprised Russia by winning the bronze medal. Romania performed well in the Floor Exercise, with only China receiving a higher score. Russia scored poorly in the Balance Beam and finished with a total score of 180.625.

The fifth to eighth places in the Team final were taken by Japan, Australia, France and Brazil.

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