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U.S. Men's Gymnastics Takes A Fall During Finals; Britain Breaks 100-Year Drought

The U.S. men's gymnastics team had an excellent day of qualifying this weekend, putting it in first place entering today's team finals. But the Americans struggled in the final, which does not carry points over from the earlier rounds.

Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT: The U.S. team has taken fifth place in the competition, despite early struggles that put them in last place. Great Britain surged to win the silver medal behind China — but Japan is reportedly now disputing the score one of its gymnasts received on the pommel horse.

Update at 2:18 p.m. EDT: Japan's appeal was successful, and the team has been awarded the silver. Britain is pushed down to the bronze. Japan had been in fourth position, behind Ukraine.

As NPR's Mike Pesca reports via Twitter, "Not 8 seconds after scoring change bumps GB from 2 to 3," an announcement was made over the public address system to tell the crowd, "Please show your appreciation for the officials."

Final scores:

  • China 275.997
  • Japan 271.952
  • Great Britain 271.711
  • Ukraine 271.526
  • United States 269.952
  • Russia 269.603
  • Germany 268.019
  • France 265.441

Update at 2:50 p.m. EDT: The bronze might seem like a steep disappointment, but it's Britain's first team medal in gymnastics in 100 years. Still, they did believe they had won silver for 10 minutes — a time during which Ukraine's gymnasts saw their medal hopes extinguished.

ESPN has more about Japan's successful appeal: "Japan's Kohei Uchimura buckled on his pommel horse dismount and GB were elevated to silver, with Ukraine taking the bronze and Japan fourth.

"However, after an appeal was upheld, Japanese went back into the silver position, with Britain taking bronze. Uchimura was battling against raucous noise in the North Greenwich Arena at the time of his error, as the home crowd cheered the final British performances."

Our original post continues:

After five rounds of the final, China leads the competition, with Japan in second. The U.S. team sits behind Ukraine, Britain and Russia.

Only the horizontal bar remains, as the last round of the final. At this point, China seems likely to win the gold, and Japan the silver. The big question is: Who will take bronze?

Only 2.274 points separates Ukraine and the U.S., with Great Britain and Russia standing between them.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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