- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BEIJING | How old they are is up for debate, but there’s no question the talent of China’s womens gymnastics team, all of which were on full display today at National Indoor Stadium.

Entering the team final with a .875-point lead over the United States, the Chinese used a huge uneven bar rotation and a consistent floor exercise to win the gold medal by 2.375 points.

The U.S., which won last year’s world championship, finished second, well ahead of Romania.

The Americans had an opening during balance beam. Fei Cheng fell and Linlin Deng almost fell. But the U.S. couldnt capitalize Alicia Sacramone fell on first maneuver and scored a 15.100. Although Nastia Liukin (15.975) and Shawn Johnson (16.175) performed well, the U.S. faced a one-point deficit going into the final rotation.

The U.S. went first on floor. And it went not so great. On her second tumbling pass, Sacramone fell on her back and later stepped out of bounds. Liukin and Johnson also stepped out of bounds.

China needed more than 43.425 points to win and it scored 45.800 meaning Sacramones stumble did not make a difference.

The U.S. started well, outscoring China by .535 on the vault, led by Johnsons 16.000 and Sacramones 15.675.

The difference in the competition was uneven bars. China scored 49.625 points to 47.975 for the United States.

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