Gymnastics: 'Perfect' day for Yang banishes eight years of Games heartache

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The Independent Online

Yang Wei wiped away eight years of frustration to become only the second Chinese man to capture the all-around gymnastics title at the Olympics yesterday.

After bagging a silver medal in 2000 and drawing a blank in Athens four years later, Yang finally lived up to his reputation of being the greatest gymnast of his generation when he scooped the gold medal with a total of 94.575. He edged Japan's Kohei Uchimura by 2.6 points. Benoit Caranobe sneaked through almost unnoticed to claim France's first medal in the all-around event for 88 years. "Today was perfect," Yang said, signalling with a thumbs up. He follows Li Xiaoshuang, who won gold in Atlanta in 1996. Yang's victory ensured China maintained their 100 per cent success rate in Beijing after gold medal runs in the team events. "He's been working hard for years and had many failures, but finally he's not in second place," said coach Gao Jian.