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October 20, 2009

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Home » Sports » Gymnastics

Zou adds to China's big haul

BRITAIN'S Beth Tweddle raised the domed roof at the O2 Arena on Sunday after she tumbled to glory on the floor exercise, while Olympic champion Zou Kai and his teammates showed China had lost none of the sparkle that helped them dominate the 2008 Beijing Games.

Tweddle handed promoters of the 2012 London Olympics with their dream marketing tool when she outshone her rivals to win her first world floor title with a rousing routine which earned her 14.650.

"The crowd gave me such a buzz and they just cheered me on to the medal," Tweddle, who is considered an asymmetric bars specialist, said.

"I just wanted to go out there and show that I had something to prove. Roll on 2012."

While Tweddle is guaranteed to become one of the faces of the next Olympics, when the gymnastics will be staged at the same venue, fans visiting this week will have already worked out there will be one anthem that will be played over and over again.

At 24, the Briton was between five to nine years older than all of her rivals on Sunday but Tweddle proved she still had the ability to land the big titles in a sport usually dominated by teenagers.

Over the weekend, Chinese anthem "March of the Volunteers" was aired six times, with Zou (16.150 on horizontal bars), Wang Guanyin (15.975 on parallel bars) and Deng Linlin (15.000 on balance beam) striking gold on Sunday to ensure the world's most populous nation won half of the 12 titles up for grabs.

The risks faced by young gymnasts in the pursuit of gold medals was again highlighted when Jessica Gil Ortiz's bid to win the floor title ended with a trip to the hospital.

The 19-year-old Colombian was attempting to finish off a high-flying tumbling sequence with a double front somersault when she banged her head at an uncomfortable angle, hushing almost 12,000 fans into silence.

The competition was held up for almost 15 minutes but luckily her injury did not appear to be too serious, organizers said later.


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