US leads qualifying, defending champ Russia in 2nd

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TOKYO (AP) — Defending champion Russia has to settle for second, at least in qualifying at the world gymnastics championships.

The Russians finished with 231.062 points Saturday, trailing the United States by almost three points. The Americans responded to the loss of Beijing Olympic captain Alicia Sacramone with a commanding display, scoring 234.253 points earlier Saturday. The top eight squads secure spots in next summer’s London Olympics, and also will compete in Tuesday’s team finals.

Viktoria Komova, the gold medalist at the Youth Olympic Games, topped the all-around standings despite going out of bounds on floor exercise and doing a less difficult vault than Jordyn Wieber. Komova finished with 60.157 points, just .125 ahead of the American.