US gymnasts shine but Wieber fails

The United States set the early pace in the women's gymnastics team event at the Oly-mpics on Sunday but their top name, world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber, failed to make the individual final in a shock result.

Wieber, one of the biggest medal favourites coming into the Games, finished behind team-mates Ally Raisman and Gabby Douglas in the all-around standings, meaning she has no hope of getting one of the nation's two places in Thursday's fight for the individual title.

Wieber, 17, paid the price for a series of wobbles on the bar and a slight overstep on the floor as Raisman and Douglas, with whom she won the world team title last year, nailed slicker routines.

The 16-year-old Douglas, who beat Wieber in the US trials had a big overstep on the floor herself, incurring a 0.3-point penalty, but did well enough on the other apparatus for the mistake not to matter.

"Today (Jordyn) wasn't quite as sharp," US team co-ordinator Marta Karolyi told reporters. "Ally's success today just proves that hard work pays off."

Wieber might not even make any of the four apparatus finals, depending on rival teams' scores later on Sunday.

The US dominated the third of Sunday's five qualifying sessions to make sure of reaching Tuesday's team final but, with defending champions China as well as Russia, Romania and Japan, competing later, were waiting to see where they would finish in the standings.

The top eight teams, the best eight on each apparatus and the leading 24 individuals in the standings at the end of Sunday get to compete for medals.

Britain's Beth Tweddle ensured she should have a chance to add an Olympic gold to her two world titles on the asymmetric bars with a stunning routine, and a mark of 16.333, on the apparatus. Tweddle, 27, had been unhappy with her floor mark of 14.433, but was all smiles after the bars, her final event.  "I am really pleased with the routine, I couldn't have asked for any more than that," Tweddle, who had surgery on her knee three months ago, told reporters.

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