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Chinese win men's gymnastics gold

The Chinese men's gymnastics team join hands and run to the stage to receive their gold medals after winning the men's team final, at the National Indoor Stadium, August 12, 2008, at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. (L-R) Chen Yibing, Huang Xu, Li Xiaopeng, Xiao Qin, Yang Wei and Zou Kai. The Japanese won the silver and the U.S. won the bronze. (UPI Photo/Mike Theiler)
The Chinese men's gymnastics team join hands and run to the stage to receive their gold medals after winning the men's team final, at the National Indoor Stadium, August 12, 2008, at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. (L-R) Chen Yibing, Huang Xu, Li Xiaopeng, Xiao Qin, Yang Wei and Zou Kai. The Japanese won the silver and the U.S. won the bronze. (UPI Photo/Mike Theiler) | License Photo

BEIJING, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The Chinese gymnastics team righted itself after early miscues Tuesday and moved to the top with relentless efficiency to win the Olympic gold medal.

China finished more than seven points in front of silver medalist South Korea and the United States came through with a surprising bronze despite the rash of injuries that beset the team prior to the Games.

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It was the second men's team gymnastics gold for China, the other one coming in Sydney eight years ago.

The Chinese began their night with their floor exercise, and some uncharacteristic missteps eventually led to their recording only the sixth-best score in that portion of the event.

From then on, however, they were as close to perfect as a group of athletes can be in the always dangerous sport.

China put together the best score in its other five routines for a total of 286.125 points. Japan had 278.875 and the United States 275.850.

The American team of Joey Hagerty, Jonathan Horton, Justin Spring, Alexander Artemev, Kai Wen Tan and Raj Bhavsar did not return a single member from the squad that won a silver medal in Athens in 2004.

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Brothers Paul and Morgan Hamm could not participate this year because of injuries. Paul Hamm was the individual champion at the 2004 Olympics.

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