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Yang claims all-around gold PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 August 2008

BEIJING, Aug 14 ( - Gymnast Yang Wei wiped away eight years of frustration to become only the second Chinese man to capture the all-around title at the Olympics on Thursday.

After claiming a silver medal in 2000 and drawing a blank in Athens four years later, Yang finally lived up to his reputation of being the greatest gymnast of his generation when he scooped the gold medal with a total of 94.575.

His edged Japan's Kohei Uchimura by 2.6 points. France's Benoit Caranobe sneaked through to claim an unexpected bronze.

"We have been waiting for this all around gold for eight years. It is really hard," China head coach Huang Yubin told state CCTV while Yang was seen thumping his chest.

"Yang Wei's absolute strength has no other rivals but himself…I hope he is able to go on for another Olympics."

Yang's victory ensured China maintained their 100 percent success rate in Beijing after their gold medal run in the men's and women's team competition.

The 28-year-old went into the final rotation, the horizontal bar, with a 2.5-point cushion.

Despite the apparatus being his nemesis over the years, he knew all he had to do was to make sure he did not fall off and the gold would be his.

He attempted only one modest release-and-catch manoeuvre, and the moment he launched and landed his dismount, he knew he was number one.

As the National Indoor Stadium sparked into wild celebrations, he blew a kiss up to the heavens before acknowledging the cheers with outstretched arms.

He did not bother for his final score to flash up before he started going on a victory parade with the Chinese flag draped around his muscular shoulders.

He follows Li Xiaoshuang who won gold in the event in Atlanta in 1996.

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