The Chinese men captured their ninth world team title Thursday evening in the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Japan won silver and Germany bronze, USA just out of the medals in 4th place - actually the same standings as the 2007 Stuttgart World Championships. It wasn't the same kind of lead the Chinese men had before, Japan was close. The Japanese team was led by 2009 world champion Kohei Uchimura. They scored the highest on pommel horse an vault, but had to count Kazuhito Tanaka's falls on the rings and high bar because of the 3 up 3 count rule in Worlds - fairly new scoring system, as John Roethlisburger points out during his commentary that he didn't have to compete with that scoring system. Next year's Worlds is at Tokyo, Japan - they will put on a great competition for the home crowd. High flying bar routines and awesome vaults with the stick. Not the conservative style.
Germany, the current European champion, was thrilled to win the bronze - they finished the qualifications round in fifth, and also had to compete without their national champion Marcel Nguyen because of a broken leg only weeks ago, and Fabian Hambuechen only could compete 4 events because of an Achilles injury - no vault and no floor. The Germans were actualy in the lead after 4 events, but its weakest event was last - pommel horse like the USA, who started there first. Germany's high flying bar routines were awesome, release after release, one arm giants, and pirouetting moves. Their celebration huddle after winning the bronze was awesome too.
China used to do more of that type of high bar but made the move to the more conservative approach, doing only release moves they could be sure to catch and working the scoring system with their pirouetting moves - not an audience thriller. They actualy watered down a bit the last bars routine, to make sure they would clinch the gold, no problem. And they got it.
The U.S. men finished last on pommel horse, first on high bar. They weren't able to make up for the pommel horse low scores - it is still their achilles heel. They need a Sasha Artemev or the Hamm twins to pump up their pommel horse. Jonathan Horton started the climb up of the scores with a stick on the p-bars.
2010 World Gymnastics Championships
Oct. 21, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Men's Team Final FX PH SR VT PB HB Score
1. China 44.333 43.099 46.800 47.999 46.733 46.033 274.997
2. Japan 44.198 44.633 44.532 48.183 46.624 45.599 273.769
3. Germany 44.032 43.132 44.857 47.799 45.333 46.099 271.252
4. United States 43.566 40.032 44.833 47.566 45.016 46.999 268.012
5. France 42.132 43.598 43.399 46.357 44.483 43.499 263.468
6. Russia 42.466 43.599 44.374 46.899 44.566 41.266 263.170
7. Great Britain 41.775 43.899 41.932 47.899 42.932 42.666 261.103
8. Korea 42.433 41.099 42.649 48.132 42.999 42.640 259.952
The Chinese men win team gold Thursday evening at the 2010 World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam. Left to right: Lu Bo, Teng Haibin, Feng Zhe, Yan Mingyong, Chen Yibing and Zhang Chenglong
Germany's Fabian Hambuchuen celebrated his high bar routine:
"High bar was kind of turning point because we knew about our strength there and we got big points," he said. "Then we just tried to come through our routines and stay focused. That worked out and we took the chance."