Romania wins European gymnatics title, tops Russia



BRUSSELS (AP) — Romania won the team competition at the European gymnastics championships, defeating defending champion Russia and Aliya Mustafina, who returned after a long injury layoff.

Romania, the 2008 champion, finished with 176.288 points. Russia was second at 175.536 and Italy took the bronze.

Romania was led by Catalina Ponar, a triple gold medalist at the 2004 Olympics, and 15-year-old Larisa Iordache, the rookie who nailed her international coming-out tournament.

Mustafina had hoped to re-establish herself as the favorite to beat at the London Olympics after coming back from a left knee injury. However, she left Brussels without a single gold.

She had too many errors during the week, but finished with a solid uneven bar performance.