Gymnastics team earns Olympic bid


Japan’s rhythmic gymnastics team punched its ticket for next year’s London Olympics after placing fifth in the all-around event Saturday at the world championships in France.

Yuka Endo, Airi Hatakeyama, Rie Matsubara, Nina Saeed Yokota and Kotono Tanaka performed without making any major errors at Park & Suits Arena in Montpellier to score 52.725 points. The top six teams qualified for the Olympics.

Japan, which finished sixth at the last world championships, qualified for the Olympics for the second time in a row and third overall.

Italy won the gold medal for the third time in succession with 55.150. Russia took second and Bulgaria was third.