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Chinese women team make history to 1st champions
Latest Updated by 2006-10-19 08:47:06
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Gymnasts from China celebrate their gold medal win in the women's team final at the 39th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, October 18, 2006. (Photo:



Chinese women's team followed men's step to pull off their first ever world championships title in Aarhus of Denmark on Wednesday.

Chinese gymnasts went through a flawless night with a superb and consistent performance in the finals to earn 182.200 points in total to triumph, while defending champions United States failed to sustain their glory after two blunders in vault and uneven bars respectively to take the silver with 181.350 points.

Russia was third with 177.325; Romania fourth with 175.450; Ukraine fifth with 174.250; Australia, sixth with 173.225; Brazil seventh with 172.975 and Spain eighth with 170.475.

United States fielded all four experienced athletes Jana Bieger, Chellsie Memmel, Alicia Sacramone, Anastasia Liukin from last year's Melbourne worlds.

Whereas China put their eyes on drawing experience for young athletes and sent a contingent of four debutants out of six (Zhou Zhuoru, Zhang Nan, Cheng Fei, Pang Panpan, He Ning, Li Ya) in their preparation for the Beijing Olympics.

The best two teams started from the vault to usher in the red-hot race. United States got 44.600 points against China's 44.250 after the first apparatus in spite of a disappointing 13.950 points by Jana Bieger.

The Americans maintained their leading position after the second apparatus of uneven bars with a slim advantage of 0.325 points. Anastasia Liukin marked 15.700 points to make up for the gap left by the fall of Chellsie Memmel to gear up the title combat.

After the third apparatus of beam, China came up to lead by 0.875 and never looked back with all six gymnasts marking past 15.000 in the event, but Chinese gymnasts demonstrated a more precise and consistent routines in the discipline to score more in collective.

China established a lead of total 46.750 points after finishing the floor exercise, which meant United States needed to get at least more than 15.580 points in average to win the gold in the same apparatus, but they failed to make the miracle and settled with a silver with 181.350 points.

All Chinese athletes were satisfied with their performances.

"This was my first time at the World Championships and I think my performance was very good," said Pang Panpan.

"We all did well and stuck together till the very end. We made some mistakes but this is gymnastics and mistakes happen, and I think we can be happy with our performance," Anastasia Luikin.

"We made history today. We achieve the first women's team title after 53 years' efforts, and to win a gold in team is a dream of afew generations. Today we put our dream into reality, but now everything has to start from the beginning."

"We next will be focused on our vault if we want to keep the rivalry with mighty U.S.. We have the best vault performer like Chen Fei, but as a whole we are not as good as the U.S., so we have to do more to bridge the gap and catch U.S. on this part. If we can do that, I think we actually can challenge U.S.," said Lu Shanzhen, the head coach of women's team.

"We are a very good team and we deserve the team gold, but it does not mean we are stronger than U.S. I think U.S. is just as strong or even stronger and a victory cannot prove too much. Let's go and see what will happen in the future," added Lu.

"The team is so good today. They finished routines well out of six presentations, which is really astonishing. I congratulate them and the gold is not only a gold, but it's also a breakthrough for Chinese team and for the young players. You can expect a better performance out of the debutants," said Zhang Peiwen, head of Chinese delegation.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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