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Yang claims all-around gold

Yang Wei wiped away eight years of frustration to become only the second Chinese man to capture the all-around gymnastics title at the Olympics on Thursday.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2008 00:04 IST
Pritha Sarkar

Yang Wei wiped away eight years of frustration to become only the second Chinese man to capture the all-around gymnastics title at the Olympics on Thursday.

After bagging 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.

He edged Japan's Kohei Uchimura by 2.6 points. Benoit Caranobe sneaked through almost unnoticed to claim France's first medal in the all-around event for 88 years.

"Today was perfect," Yang said signalling with a thumbs up.

He follows Li Xiaoshuang, who won gold in Atlanta in 1996. Yang's victory ensured China maintained their 100 per cent success rate in Beijing after gold medal runs in the team competitions.

Yang had the all-around gold within his grasp in 2004 but a fall from the horizontal bar deprived him of a medal of any kind.

Four years on and the 28-year-old's gold medal hopes again hinged on his bogey apparatus. But this time Yang went into the final rotation with 2.5-point cushion. Once Uchimura had completed his flamboyant display on the bar, twice world all-around champion Yang knew all he had to do was to ensure he did not fall off and the gold would be his.

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