China defended its gold medal in the men’s team gymnastics final, but the real story today was who finished second and third. With one apparatus left to go for each country, China and Japan seemed to be locked into first and second place, respectively, with Great Britain and Ukraine battling for third.
After one member of team Japan fell off the pommel horse midway through his routine, however, the scores tightened. Japan’s last athlete to go in the competition, world champion Kohei Uchimura, made it through the majority of a low-risk routine but botched his dismount, leaving the judges with a very difficult decision.
Meanwhile, Team Great Britain had aced all of its floor routines and Ukraine was solid on the rings. With just Uchimura’s score left to be calculated, Japan was in second place, Great Britain was assured of at least a bronze, and Ukraine was in fourth.
Uchimura received a shockingly low score of 13.466, dropping Japan off the podium altogether. Team Great Britain and Ukraine celebrated, but the Japanese submitted a score inquiry about Uchimura’s low mark.
The judges accepted the inquiry, and raised Uchimura’s score up to a 14.166 — enough to vault Japan back into second, and stripping Ukraine of a bronze.
We’ll have video of the fiasco up soon.
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