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Chinese Men Surprise Japan in Stuttgart
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Second to Japan in qualification, the Chinese men improved by nearly 3 1/2 points to snatch victory Saturday at the 31st DTB Cup Team Challenge. Pictured: China Lin Chaopan, the 2013 co-world champion on parallel bars, scored the highest score of the day with 15.700 on p-bars.

Second to Japan in qualification, the Chinese men improved by nearly 3 1/2 points to snatch victory Saturday at the 31st DTB Cup Team Challenge.

The competition used as a 4-3-2 format, with four gymnasts per squad, up to three competing on any event and the top two scores counting toward the team total.

China's squad included rising star Lin Chaopan, who tied Kohei Uchimura for the world title on parallel bars at October's world championships. Veterans like Liu Rongbing and Deng Shudi also competed well, giving the Chinese the top totals on vault, parallel bars and high bar.

The Japanese men also improved their team total by 1 1/2 points but were forced to settle for silver once again behind their top rivals. The defending champions from 2012 had the best total on pommel horse, but weren't able to combat China's strength.

Great Britain, which had grabbed the fourth and final spot to the final, passed host Germany to take third place. The team included Olympians Dan Keatings — who earned the top mark of the day on pommel horse with 14.650 and tied Lin for the high score on parallel bars with 15.700 — and Sam Oldham, who hit highs of 15.100 on floor exercise and 14.900 on high bar.

The British men also had the top team total on floor exercise and were second behind China on parallel bars and high bar.

Of all the teams in the final, only Germany fared worse than in qualification, scoring 147.550 to Friday's 174.700. Marcel Nguyen, who did only still rings and parallel bars in qualification, competed well on five events Saturday. His younger teammates were less successful with multiple mistakes, including two falls on vault. Head coach Andreas Kirsch, however, said he wasn't too upset with the overall results, which included the top team total on still rings.

"It was important that young gymnasts like Daniel Weinert have the chance here to compete twice against teams like China or Japan," Hirsch said. "We were successful, so I'm not unhappy."

Competition continues Saturday evening with the women's all-around World Cup. The women's Team Challenge final is Sunday, followed by the men's World Cup.

External Link: Official Website

31st DTB Cup Team Challenge
Nov. 30, 2013, Stuttgart, Germany

Men's Team FinalFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1. China29.55028.90029.15030.15031.20030.250179.200
Cheng Ran14.15015.150
Deng Shudi15.15014.40013.55014.85015.50014.750
Lin Chaopan13.50014.60015.00015.70014.850
Liu Rongbing14.40014.50014.55015.45015.400
2. Japan29.80029.05029.85029.85030.05029.350177.950
Jumpei Oka15.05014.60015.25014.850
Ryuzo Sejima14.55015.00015.20014.500
Masayoshi Yamamoto13.55014.85014.00013.200
Toshiya Ikejiri14.75014.45014.55014.60014.850
3. Great Britain30.00028.60028.15028.95030.60029.950176.250
Dominick Cunningham14.90014.600
Daniel Keatings14.65014.00015.70014.750
Sam Oldham15.10013.60014.15014.35014.40014.900
Ashley Watson13.95013.75014.90015.050
4. Germany28.80028.80030.05028.05029.25029.600174.550
Helge Liebrich14.45013.15013.50014.150
Marcel Nguyen14.35015.15014.35015.10014.750
Andreas Toba14.55014.90013.70014.850
Daniel Weinert13.70014.25014.05013.80013.950
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