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Olympic Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 2
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Full teams from France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States compete in the second of three subdivisions of men's qualification on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. Pictured: Three-time Olympic medalist Louis Smith (Great Britain)

Full teams from France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States compete in the second of three subdivisions of men's qualification on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. In the first subdivision, world champion Japan opened the door with several mistakes, and Kohei Uchimura's all-around total may be surpassed.

Floor Exercise: Great Britain

After a fantastic performance at the 2012 Olympics in London, Great Britain has proved its gymnastics success was no fluke. The team has continued to rack up medals, and the British men had their greatest results yet last year at the world championships in Glasgow, where the team took second to Japan and Max Whitlock and Louis Smith went 1-2 on pommel horse. Three of the team's 2012 Olympians are back (Whitlock, Smith and Kristian Thomas), along with newcomers Brinn Bevan and Nile Wilson. The British should push for spots in finals on every event but still rings, their weak event. Whitlock is a favorite for an all-around medal, and hit routines will put him in finals on floor exercise and pommel horse. Smith, meanwhile, hopes to finally take gold on pommel horse after winning bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012 (the later the result of a cruel tiebreak that pushed him out of first).

Pommel Horse: France

France finished eighth at the 2012 Olympics and justed 10th in Glasgow. The team will be hard pressed to make the final in Rio, but individual finals are still a possibility. Cyril Tommasone (pommel horse), Samir Aït Saïd (still rings), Danny Pinheiro-Rodrigues (still rings) and Axel Augis (parallel bars) are the team's best chances.

Still Rings: Mixed Group 5

The standout gymnast in Mixed Group 5 is two-time world vault champion Ri Se Gwang, who has pushed the limits of vault with his two original skills - the full-twisting Tsukahara double back and piked handspring double front-half. Ri was unable to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London after North Korea was suspended from competition from 2010 to 2012 for falsifying birth dates of their female gymnasts. Vietna's Pham Phuoc Hung (parallel bars) and Hungary's Vid Hivegi (pommel horse) are also aiming for finals.


American Sam Mikulak is back for his second Olympic appearance.


Vault: United States

The United States placed first in qualification at the 2012 Olympic Games, but fell to fifth in the team final. Pommel horse remains a weakness, but the U.S. has an experienced team with returning Olympians Jake Dalton, Danell Leyva, Sam Mikulak, and world team members Chris Brooks and Alex Naddour. The U.S. has shots in event finals on every event but rings. Brooks and Mikulak will do the all-around.

Parallel Bars: Mixed Group 4

Mixed Group's best shot for finals include Azerbaijan's Oleg Stepko (all-around and parallel bars), Taiwan's Lee Chih Kai (pommel horse) and Armenia's Harutyun Merdinyan (pommel horse).

High Bar: Germany

Germany finished seventh in 2012 and ninth in 2015. The team starts on its strongest event, high bar, where Fabian Hambüchen and Andreas Bretschneider are potential finalists. Hambüchen made his fourth Olympic team after returning from a shoulder injury, and is aiming for his elusive Olympic gold medal. Bretschneider already has the most difficult release move in the world (double-twisting Kovacs) and submitted a layout version, which he may risk in the finals. Marcel Nguyen, the defending silver medalist in the all-around and on parallel bars, will challenge for a spot in parallel bars finals.

Up Next: Reigning Olympic champions China and European champion Russia take the floor as men's qualification concludes!

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