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US gymnastic star Paul Hamm quits Olympic team
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Reigning Olympic gold medalist Paul Hamm withdrew from the 2008 US men's gymnastics Olympic Team Monday due to injury.

Paul Hamm

Hamm told reporters that his broken right hand is not sufficiently healthy enough for him to compete.

He also injured his rotator cuff while nursing the hand injury.

"I have put my heart and soul into my comeback and done everything I could to get ready in time to compete in Beijing," said Hamm.

"I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to make a comeback. At this point in time, the success of the team and fairness to the team, and the alternates, is most important. While I am very disappointed, I feel I can wait no longer to make this decision," he added.

Hamm began his return to competitive gymnastics in August last year after a nearly three-year layoff to complete his education.

In 2008, he won the all-around title at the Winter Cup Challenge, Tyson American Cup and Pacific Rim Championships.

However, Hamm broke his fourth metacarpal on May 22 during the Visa Championships.

"We admire Paul for making this difficult decision," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2008)

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