ROC claims Olympic men's gymnastics team title

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The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team rallied to take the men's team gold medal in gymnastics at Tokyo 2020 on Monday.

The ROC squad scored a total of 262.500 points from six apparatus. Reigning champions Japan finished with 262.397 points to place second, with China coming third with 261.894 points.

The ROC team led the competition after two rotations, extending their advantage with an outstanding performance on the rings with a high of 44.399 points.

After the subdivision of vault in rotation three, the ROC gymnasts surpassed Japan by 2.605 points and remained top for the rest of the contest.

The ROC's Nikita Nagornyy competed last, making an unparalleled 14.666 in the floor exercise despite two previous mistakes by his teammates stepping out of bounds. Nagornyy's final score ensured the gold medal for the ROC team as he needed to better 14.563 to beat Japan.

"I think our team deserved the score today. Maybe other teams got slightly higher scores in horizontal bar, but the overall score for our team was very satisfying," said Nagornyy after the competition.

The Japanese team topped the competition in the floor exercise with 43.700 points in the first rotation, but came behind the ROC squad after mistakes in the vault.

19-year-old Daiki Hashimoto, who topped the all-around qualification on Saturday, competed last for the Japanese team in the horizontal bar. His performance and score of 15.100 received much applause but was not enough for Japan to overtake the ROC team.

"We haven't been able to pull off the best performance that Japan would be able to present. But we have been able to achieve a result that speaks for itself despite its color. We have been able to put on a performance to the best of our ability," said Hashimoto.

The Chinese gymnasts managed to overtake Japan with outstanding performances in rings, vault and parallel bars, but a disparity of 1.568 in the floor exercise in the first rotation made it difficult for them to maintain their edge.

In the horizontal bar, the Chinese team lost its advantage and had to settle for bronze with a margin of 0.503 points to Japan.

"I feel slightly regretful but it's okay," said Chinese gymnast Xiao Ruoteng. "Competing on all six apparatus can be a little bit tiring. My energy was divided. Today we tried to compete in a stable state because, after all, it is a team competition, and in fact, I think the strength of the top three teams was very close, and it's up to who can do their best during competition."

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