China Defends in Wacky Men's Team Final
(5 votes, average 4.20 out of 5)

China defended its Olympic title from 2008, and runner-up Japan continued to underachieve in London during a Jeckyll-and-Hyde men's team final Monday. Great Britain won the bronze, its first team medal in a century, even though the initial results had the host squad with silver and Ukraine with bronze.

In the final rotation, China and Japan — both of which had been downright awful in prelims — were 1-2 in the standings and figured to remain that way. China nailed pommel horse to seal the win while Japan tumbled down the rankings. After showing his true ability on the first five events, Kohei Uchimura spun off the pommel horse on his dismount in the final rotation and Japan dropped to fourth. But after an inquiry was filed with the judges, who apparently had not credited Uchimura with a complete dismount, his score increase lifted Japan to second, and Ukraine was bumped out of the medals.

So, too, were the Americans, but by their own doing. After enjoying the elation of being the best in the world for two days — and they were the best by far in qualifications — the U.S. dropped to fifth in the final. The team committed four costly errors in the first four events and could never recover. It's not that the Americans couldn't have won; they just didn't. China's winning score was 275.997; the U.S. had won qualifications with 275.342.

"I’m just really proud of the guys," Jonathan Horton said. "We struggled, but we continued to show what this team is about. We have this never-stop-fighting attitude and that’s exactly what we did. We never stopped fighting in this competition. Deep down in my heart I believe we are a great team.”

Embarrassed last October by not even qualifying to the Olympics at the 2011 worlds, Britain proved it was a great team today. After qualifying in third place, the Brits won floor exercise and pommel horse and was second on vault. Pommel horse specialist Louis Smith pitched in a clutch 15.966 as his only routine, and his mates did the rest. Daniel Purvis posted a 90.265 for six routines, and Kristian Thomas earned a massive 16.550 on vault.

"I tried not to look at the scores all the way round as it was so close but couldn’t resist after high bar," Thomas said. "And then I wish I hadn’t! It didn’t matter though; the crowd were incredible and really helped us through, especially as I ended up last on floor, so there was a lot of pressure. We initially thought we had the silver but it doesn’t matter to me what color. I’m standing here with an Olympic medal and I can’t stop looking at it.”

Said Smith: "That was just unbelievable. I mean, when Kristian smashed his vault it was amazing. The support we have had is remarkable and I think that’s the Olympic fever. It adds extra pressure and expectation but you can use that to your advantage. The crowd really get behind you and you can feel it, we were buzzing all the way round.”

Russia, Germany and France completed the eight-team field, in order.

Check out our Facebook page for further coverage of the action, and read complete Olympic coverage in the September issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

Comments (4)add comment

brian bias said:

0
...
nbc showed the uchimura "dismount" in replay and that was not a competitive dismount. it was a fall that happened en route to a dismount. had it been any other skill, it would have been considered a fall. very upsetting that to see such a great gymnastics country play the sore loser. no one saw geddert inquiring about wiber's low balled scores on floor and beam. and don't even get me started on ponors 2 event final appearances that really shouldn't be happening. judging has sucked right off the bat here in london. usually they at least wait till the individual finals to screw things up.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +1

Carlee said:

0
Question
"Embarrassed last October by not even qualifying to the Olympics at the 2011 worlds"
If they didn't qualify at last years worlds, how were they able to have a full team compete?
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +0

Carlee said:

0
Question
"Embarrassed last October by not even qualifying to the Olympics at the 2011 worlds"
If the British men did not qualify at worlds, how did they have a full team competing?
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +0

pjadedd said:

0
Poor Sportsmanship?
Carlee, Great Britain didn't qualify at Worlds, but they did at another event, so they could compete as a team.

How exactly is filing an inquiry a sign of poor sportsmanship? I would think it's the exact opposite. Isn't it worse if someone complains after the fact? From what I understand, they filed an inquiry, and the score was changed. If Jordyn's coach (or anyone else, for that matter) want to file an inquiry within the allotted time, they are more than allowed to do so.

I do feel bad for Ukraine, but it's not the Japanese team's fault that they questioned a score and it was changed.
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +9

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