London – (GBR), July 30, 2012: Top qualifiers USA have a strong chance of their first Olympic team Gold since 1984 in the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Team Final at the North Greenwich Arena on Monday.
USA, the defending Bronze medallists, outscored their nearest rival, Russia, by almost three points in Qualifications on July 28. They enter the final as favourites for Gold. Led by Danell LEYVA (USA), they were the top team on Floor Exercise and Horizontal Bar in Qualifications.
With no Olympic Games veterans on their team, Russia emerged as a medal contender in Qualifications, where they rose to second place through aggressive performances on Vault and Parallel Bars. Russia will need to consolidate their routines on Floor Exercise and Horizontal Bar, where they were unsteady in Qualifications, to earn a medal on Monday.
Great Britain outscored defending champions China and defending Silver medallists Japan. All-around gymnasts Kristian THOMAS (GBR) and Daniel PURVIS (GBR) are leading the British quest to win a team medal for the first time since the 1912 Games.
Germany, who qualified fourth, must avoid their landing problems on vault in Qualifications to push the top three qualifiers in the Final. Fabian HAMBUCHEN (GER) and Marcel NGUYEN (GER) were the team’s most reliable gymnasts in Qualifications.
Uncharacteristic falls by three-time World All-around Champion Kohei UCHIMURA (JPN), and errors from other team members, dropped Japan to fifth place in Qualifications. Japan, the 2008 Silver medallists, have the potential to challenge for Gold if they perform optimally in the Final.
China, the 2008 Gold medallists, competed erratically in Qualifications and qualified below expectations in sixth place. Although China lack depth among All-around gymnasts, they count two defending apparatus champions on their London Games team: ZOU Kai (CHN), the 2008 Gold medallist on Floor Exercise and Horizontal Bar, and CHEN Yibing (CHN), the 2008 Gold medallist on Still Rings. —- FIG