Never, ever count China out.
Looking vulnerable after an ordinary performance in qualifying, the Chinese came roaring back to win their fifth straight title at the world gymnastics championships on Wednesday night. They finished with 275.161 points, more than 2 ahead of Japan and the United States, and walked off the floor with their index fingers held aloft — as if there's a doubt who is No. 1.
For the Americans, it was their first medal at worlds since taking the silver in 2003. They finished a mere tenth of a point behind Japan, something that will surely serve as motivation for next summer's London Olympics.
China has dominated men's gymnastics since 2006, running away with the team gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and all but one of the seven individual titles. They added a fourth straight title at last year's worlds, as well as the golds on still rings, parallel bars and high bar.
A similar gold rush was expected here. China returned five gymnasts from last year's title squad, and the six team members have a jewelry-store's worth of gold medals among them.
But after finishing third behind Japan and the Americans in qualifying, many wondered if China's reign was ending.
The US Congress moved closer to punishing China for allegedly manipulating its currency, as a key committee of the House of Representatives voted to advance legislation that could