Hambuchen, China lead in Beijing

To the surprise of few, Germany’s Fabian Hambuchen is head and shoulders above the competition after the preliminary round of the Good Luck Beijing International Invitational.

German giant Fabian Hambuchen.

Hambuchen posted the highest all-around score in an all-around that isn’t being contested at the meet, and led event finals qualifications on floor exercise and high bar.

There are few of the sport’s top competitors there to challenge him. Japanese star Hiroyuki Tomita may still be recovering from exhaustion after the Stuttgart all-around, and Tomita’s teammate Hisashi Mizutori is absent as well. Also missing is the Chinese men’s A team, including two-time World champ Yang Wei.

The absence of China’s best male gymnasts didn’t stop the host country from dominating the first day of the team competition (363.625) over second place Japan (361.550) by more than two points. The Korean team (316.350) is right on their tails.

The U.S. men, competing with 2007 World team members David Durante, Sean Golden, and 2005 U.S. Champion Todd Thornton, along with Clay Strother, David Sender and Stanford standout Sho Nakamori, will likely want to better the 349.125 that left them in eighth after the first day.

(via International Gymnast Online)

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