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London 2012: Artistic gymnastics men's rings individual event is up for grabs

London 2012 - Artistic gymnastics men's rings: The Russians had the top team score in men's rings Monday, but in individual competition China's Chen Yibing is favored to win.

By Contributor / July 31, 2012

London 2012: Artistic gymnastics men's rings– Chinese gymnast Chen Yibing performs on the rings during the artistic gymnastic men's team final at the Summer Olympics, July 30.

Matt Dunham/AP

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The finals for the individual rings event in men's artistic gymnastics will be held on August 6, but if Monday's team competition was any indication, it could be anyone's game.

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The Russians came in first in rings Monday, followed by the Japanese, and then the Ukrainians. The US took fourth place, and China was in fifth.  

China's Chen Yibing is now heavily favored to win the individual finals. He took the gold on the rings in Beijing, and won his fourth career world title on the rings at the world championships in Tokyo, in 2011.

Chen had one of the best scores on rings in Monday's team event, with a 15.8. Averaged with his teammates' relatively low scores it was not enough to win the event for China, though in the end the Chinese did take the team gold for men's artistic gymnastics rings.

Chen is originally from the Tianjin Province in China. According to the London 2012 web site, he enjoys music, playing computer games, football, and eating. 

Based on Monday's scores, Chen's main competition in the individual event may be the Russians. Aleksandr Balandin scored slightly higher than Chen with a 15.816, and his teammate Denis Ablyazin was just behind with a 15.6.

The highest scorer on the rings from the US was Jonathan Horton, from Houston, Texas, who got a 15.26. Horton is an Olympic veteran, but the rings are not his strongest event. In Beijing he won the silver medal on the high bar.

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