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U.S. men gymnasts get unexpected bronze

August 11, 2008 | 10:48 pm

onathan Horton, left, and Justin Spring hug while their teammate Raj Bhavsar, right, looks on after performing on the horizontal bar during the men's team final.

BEIJING -- Without Paul Hamm, who won the all-around gold medal four years ago in Athens, and his brother, Morgan, both out of this Olympics with injuries, the United States men weren't given much of a chance to win a medal in the team competition.

So give them credit for their third-place finish Tuesday.

They were in second after five rotations, not in contention to overtake dominating China for first place but holding a slight lead over third-place Japan.

Unfortunately, the sixth apparatus for the U.S. men, the pommel horse, was one of their weakest. They were overtaken by the Japanese for the silver medal. They did, however, edge Germany by 1.25 points for the bronze.

China finished first in five of the six apparatuses to finish with a score of 286.125. Japan scored 278.875. The United States scored 275.850.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: Jonathan Horton, left, and Justin Spring hug while their teammate Raj Bhavsar, right, looks on after performing on the horizontal bar during the men's team final. Credit: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

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