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Medal harvest! China reap two gold, one silver in gymnastics

Wednesday, August 08, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AP) — China dominated gymnastics yesteray as Deng Linlin won gold on the balance beam, upstaging teammate and reigning World champion Sui Lu shortly after Feng Zhe took gold on the parallel bars.

Epke Zonderland won gold on the high bar, the first medal for a Dutch man and only the second Olympic medal overall for the Netherlands.

American Aly Raisman took the gold for the floor exercise, about an hour after getting a bronze on the balance beam. It was the first Olympic gold for the floor by an American woman.

"It was definitely the best floor routine that I've ever done," Raisman said.

She won the balance beam bronze after questioning her score when she initially finished fourth. Judges added an extra tenth to her routine's difficulty after reviewing it. That gave her and Romania's Catalina Ponor identical scores of 15.066, but Raisman got the bronze and Ponor got bumped because the American's execution score was higher.

Gabby Douglas, meanwhile, failed to add to her medal haul, finishing seventh on balance beam after a fall. Still, she'll leaves the London Olympics with two gold medals, including the all-around title, gymnastics' biggest prize.

Energised by her surprise bronze on beam, Raisman's floor routine had an extra spark. Her tumbling passes were some of the most difficult, and she got such great height on them you could have parked a double-decker bus beneath her. Her landings were not only secure, one was so powerful it practically shook the floor.

Coach Mihai Brestyan was hopping up and down and pumping his fist as she finished, and even Raisman was impressed with herself, mouthing "wow" after she saluted the judges. When her score, a 15.6, was posted, teammate McKayla Maroney yelled "whoa!" so loudly from the stands it could be heard across the arena.

On parallel bars, Feng gave the Chinese men their third gymnastics gold medal, following the team competition and Zou Kai's win on floor exercise. And they may not be finished, with Zou still to come on high bar, where he is the reigning world and Olympic champion.

Feng flashed a thumbs-up as he walked out for the medals ceremony, and planted a big kiss on the gold after he got it.

Germany's Marcel Nguyen was second, adding another silver to his one from the men's all-around. Hamilton Sabot of France won the bronze.

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