• Kyodo

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Japan’s five top female gymnasts advanced to the team final with a seventh-place finish in the qualification round at the Rio Olympics on Sunday, while Mai Murakami and Asuka Teramoto secured spots in the individual all-around final.

The defending Olympic champion United States secured a place in the team final with the top score of 185.238, nearly 10 points more than 2008 Beijing Games gold medalist China. Russia followed in third.

Japan, aiming to win its first medal in the women’s team competition since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when it got bronze, earned a total of 172.564 points to qualify for the final for a third consecutive Olympics.

Murakami and Teramoto will join three-time world individual all-around champion Simone Biles of the United States in the 24-woman all-around final Thursday. Biles, making her Olympic debut, was the top qualifier with 62.366 points.

As for individual apparatus, Murakami was the only Japanese qualifier, clinching a spot in the floor exercise final.

The scores in the qualification round, which determined the finalists for both the team and individual events, are not carried over to the finals.

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