Olympic Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 2
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The men's qualification competition continues with three-time world champion Kohei Uchumira taking center stage in subdivision two of three. Following a somewhat shaky performance by China, teams from Japan and the United States will aim to wrestle the top spot away from Great Britain.


Kohei Uchimura (Japan)

Italy: Floor Exercise

The Italian men lack the difficulty to reach the team final, but specialist Matteo Morandi is looking for a spot in the rings final. Also notable is Alberto Busnari, 33, making his fourth consecutive Olympic appearance for Italy.

United States: Pommel Horse

The pommel horse is no longer the U.S. men's nemesis, but nonetheless is a difficult event to start on. Olympic veteran Jonathan Horton's leadoff score should be dropped, but the U.S. is capable of solid numbers from Danell Leyva, John Orozco and newcomer Sam Mikulak. The U.S. men took bronze in Beijing at the 2011 Worlds, but are looking for a shinier team medal in London. Leyva and Orozco are doing the all-around, with Horton skipping floor and vault, and Mikulak sitting out still rings. The powerful Jake Dalton has a medal shot on floor exercise, but will need to be near perfect to qualify.

Mixed Group 6: Still Rings

The very diverse Mixed Group 6 includes gymnasts representing four continents. Pan American Games gold medalist Daniel Corral, the first male gymnast to represent Mexico at the Olympics since 1992, has the goods to qualify for finals on pommel horse and parallel bars. Corral won parallel bars at the London Test Event in January, and could make history for Mexico with an appearance in finals.

Canada's Nathan Gafuik also has a shot at a final on high bar, as does Poland's Roman Kulesza. Kulesza, also strong on parallel bars, is competing in London alongside his wife, Marta Pihan-Kulesza.

American-born Syque Caesar, Mikulak's teammate at the University of Michigan, is representing his parents' native country of Bangladesh. Caesar was granted a Wild Card berth for Bangladesh, which has never won an Olympic medal.

Mixed Group 5: Vault

Mixed Group 5 includes South American rivals Diego Hypolito (Brazil) and Tomas Gonzalez (Chile), both of whom are aiming for finals on floor exercise and vault. Brazil's Arthur Zanetti, second on still rings at the 2011 Worlds, is also a contender for a spot in finals. No South American gymnast has won an Olympic medal to date, and the best shot lies in this mixed group.

Wai Hung Shek, an outstanding vaulter, could make similar history for Hong Kong.

Mixed Group 1: Parallel Bars

Mixed Group 1 includes candidates for finals in Israel's Alexander Shatilov (floor exercise), Hungary's Kristizan Berki and Vid Hidvegi (pommel horse) and Greece's Vlasios Maras (high bar) and Vasileios Tsolakidis (parallel bars). Also in this group is Australia's Josh Jefferis, hoping for a spot in the all-around final.

Japan: High Bar

Arguably the greatest male gymnast of all time, Kohei Uchimura begins his hunt for the only title he doesn't yet own — an Olympic gold. The three-time world champion has the goods to win eight medals in London if would risk a second vault in qualification. But the team title is the one Uchimura wants most, and Japan is ready to take the gold back from China. The Japanese begin on high bar, where the team takes plenty of risk. The Tanaka brothers - Yusuke and Kazuhito - are candidates for the final, but Uchimura should steal the show.

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Up Next: The men's qualification ends with Germany, Russia and Ukraine taking the floor.

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