Japan leads early qualifying at worlds, US 2nd



TOKYO (AP) — Japan delighted the home crowd Sunday, taking the early lead in qualifying at the world gymnastics championships.

The Japanese finished with 364.291 points, 2.7 points ahead of the United States. But this was only the first session of men’s qualifying, with Germany, last year’s bronze medalist, competing later Sunday and China, Olympic champion and winner of the last four world titles, going Monday. The top eight teams earn trips to next summer’s London Olympics as well as spots in Wednesday’s team finals.

Kohei Uchimura, who’s been untouchable since the Beijing Games, is on track for a third straight all-around title, topping the individual standings. John Orozco was next, followed by U.S. champ Danell Leyva.