U.S. men take a tumble

Americans literally fall right out of gymnastics contention; China rules; GB surprises

Published July 30, 2012 7:00PM (EDT)

LONDON (AP) — When there's gold to be had, don't ever doubt the Chinese.

When it comes to silver and bronze, it can get tricky. It did at men's gymnastics on Monday.

The Chinese won their second straight Olympic title and third in four games, making anyone who wrote them off after a dismal performance in qualifying look silly. Their score of 275.997 points was more than four points better than Japan, which needed help from a DVR to finish second.

Britain was initially announced as the silver medalist, setting off raucous celebrations at the O2 Arena. The British don't have a proud history in gymnastics — they barely have any history — and this was their first men's team medal in a century. But Japan questioned the score of three-time world champion Kohei Uchimura on pommel horse, the team's very last routine.

While judges huddled around a video screen, Uchimura and his teammates sat stone-faced while the British partied. About five minutes later, Uchimura's score was revised and Japan was awarded the silver while Britain was bumped down to bronze.

It was of little consolation to the Japanese, who were bested by the Chinese yet again.

Just like everybody else.

China also won the last five world titles, and now has gone eight years without losing at a major competition.

The Americans, hoping for their first Olympic title since 1984 after finishing No. 1 in qualifying, lost all hopes for any medal with a dismal showing on pommel horse, their second event. They rallied to finish fifth.

By Nancy Armour

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