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China leads first qualification round of women's gymnastics
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Chen Fei performs at the balance beam.

China's female gymnasts dominated the first qualification round with a total of 248.275 points at the Beijing Olympics on Sunday.

Defending Olympic champion Romania finished second in 238.425 points in Sunday morning's qualification subdivision which was also participated in by two mix groups.

The Chinese girls got a good start on their first apparatus of balance beam and maintained first place throughout all the four apparatus.

Earlier, China had feared the draw which places them in the first qualification round with balance beam being the first apparatus may be an adverse element because beam is prone to errors.

Cheng Fei of the Chinese team, a world champion for vault and floor exercise, contributed to her team with stable performance, in particular, in floor exercise and vault.

But He Kexin, an uneven bars specialist crowned on the bars event in two World Cups, failed to grip the low bar after a fly from the high. The blunder cost her points and she, with a start value of 7.5 points, the highest among her peers, scored only 15.725 points, a result can hardly guarantee her a berth in the final.

Jiang Yuyuan, another upstart on the Chinese team, sat on the mat after a failed landing during vaulting.

"I  am happy with my work today," said Cheng Fei, the only member in the Chinese team with Olympic experience who is seen as the core of the Chinese team.

The 20-year-old admitted she felt the nerves when she took the floor after Jiang's flawed vaults. "I know I have to cheer me up as I know I must set a model for my teammates after me. I am happy I managed it well." she said.

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