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Chinese women's gymnastics team turns to focus on Olympics

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-09 09:19
Team China pose for photos prior to the Women's Team Final of the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Oct 8, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

STUTTGART, Germany - Despite finishing fourth at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, the Chinese women's team is focusing on the Tokyo Olympics.

The Simone Biles-led US team won its fifth-straight world team title with 172.330 points, followed by Russia with 166.529. Italy took the bronze medal with 164.796, which was its first world team medal since 1950.

Qiao Liang, the coach of the Chinese women's team, sees a bright future ahead for his young squad, though captain Liu Tingting had made costly drop-offs three times, twice from uneven bars and once from balance beam.

"Liu fell off from bars and beam and it is definitely not her normal performance. I'll talk to her to see what happened to her and find out solutions to help her get back."

For the most part, Qiao feels great about the competition. "I think the team did a great job, especially for three young athletes (Li Shijia Tang Xijing and Qi Qi), it's their first time competing at this big stage. They have upgraded so much over a year, and they performed really well today.

"The main goal is to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics," he added. "We will make some adjustments."

Second in qualifying, the Chinese team appeared confident in training and qualification round. But there were full of disappointment for China in the end.

The United States became the first team since Romania (1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001) to claim five global team titles in a row.

The gold medal is Simon Biles' 21st overall medal at the worlds and moves her into sole possession of the record for most medals by a female gymnast. Previously, the Rio Olympics four-gold medalist tied with Russia's Svetlana Khorkina at 20.

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