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China's Deng Linlin beats compatriot Sui Lu to take balance beam gold

Updated: Tuesday, 07 Aug 2012 16:50 | Comments

It's real! Deng Linlin celebrates after winning gold
It's real! Deng Linlin celebrates after winning gold

China's Deng Linlin beat her compatriot Sui Lu, the world champion, to the Olympic balance beam title on the final day of artistic gymnastics at the London Games.

Deng, herself world champion on the apparatus in 2009, gave China their fourth gymnastics gold medal of the Games, an hour after Feng Zhe had won the parallel bars title.

Sui, competing first, pulled off a difficult routine but cried on her coach's shoulder after Deng surpassed her by 0.1 points with a score of 15.600 at the North Greenwich Arena.

Aly Raisman snatched the bronze medal from 2004 champion Catalina Ponor of Romania on a tiebreak after the judges increased the difficulty element of her score following a review requested by the United States team, upping her final mark.

While Ponor, who came out of retirement last year, left the arena stony-faced after being demoted to fourth, the American was all smiles having just missed out on all-around bronze because of the same tiebreak rule last Thursday.

Introduced at the behest of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to rule out double medals, the system takes into account execution scores to separate two gymnasts who accumulate the same total. The rule gave the edge to Raisman by 0.3.

Gabby Douglas, who dazzled to win the all-around title here, finished seventh after missing her footing on a half-turn and swinging underneath the 10-centimetre wide beam before falling off.

All-around silver medallist Victoria Komova also came off, remounted and then sat down on landing. She finished last of the eight finalists, with 13.166.

Larisa Iordache, who helped Romania to win team bronze, came into the final as a replacement for injured compatriot Diana Bulimar but she also fell, toppling off the end of the apparatus as she finished sixth.

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Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
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