France knocks Britain back a spot in qualifying

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TOKYO (AP) -- France has knocked Britain back a spot in the preliminaries at the world gymnastics championships, putting the Olympic hosts on the verge of being knocked out of qualifying here for next summer's London Games.

France scored 349.818 points Monday to finish sixth, more than a point ahead of Britain. The top eight teams earn trips to London, and Olympic champion China and Russia are still to come.

Britain will have another chance to qualify at a January test event at the O2 Arena, the Olympic venue. But no team wanted to avoid that more than the British, who haven't qualified to send a full team to an Olympics since 1992.