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Lynch's silver is first men's medal

Jair Lynch was happy to leave with any kind of medal.

Vitaly Scherbo earned three more medals, none the color he wanted.

Lynch won the silver on the parallel bars, where he finished sixth four years ago. He considered quitting gymnastics after graduating from Stanford in 1994, but stuck with it in hopes of winning a medal in front of the home crowd.

He's the only member of the U.S. men's team to win a medal in these Games.

Lynch was the last competitor and knew he was in the running for a medal as soon as he finished. It took a few minutes for his score to be posted, and he was already walking off the floor with the other competitors.

But when the medal winners were announced, a huge roar went up and Lynch had to stop walking to compose himself.

Rustam Sharipov of Ukraine won the gold and Scherbo of Belarus finished with his third bronze.

Scherbo looked as if he might get his record-tying seventh gold after his parallel bars routine. As he finished, he threw his arms into the air and screamed, "Yeah!"

But Sharipov topped Scherbo on the very next routine. Scherbo congratulated Sharipov, then walked off, clasping his hands behind his head.

Scherbo already had won a bronze in the men's vault final. Alexei Nemov of Russia won the gold. Yeo Hong-Chul of South Korea won the silver.

In competition late Sunday night, gold medals were won by Switzerland's Donghua Li on pommel horse and Italy's Yuri Chechi on still rings.

Li, born in China before emigrating to Switzerland in 1989, scored 9.875 on the horse and defeated Romania's Marius Urzica, 9.825, and Russia's Nemov, 9.787. Nemov also won the bronze in the floor exercise with a score of 9.8.

Chechi, unbeaten since 1992 in rings finals, kept that streak intact with a 9.887 performance, beating Hungary's Szilveszter Csollany and Romania's Dan Burinca, who tied for the silver medal with identical marks of 9.812.

Blaine Wilson, the lone American entered in Sunday's three finals, finished in a seventh-place tie in rings with Germany's Marius Toba with a score of 9.737.

Li, 29, was the oldest gymnast competing in Atlanta. Born in Chengdu, China, he was the Chinese pommel horse champion in 1987. In 1988, he married a Swiss tourist, Esperanza Friedli, and moved to Switzerland a year later, receiving his Swiss citizenship in March 1994.

"I am 29 years old and I've had many injuries, so this wasn't easy for me," he said.

"But, I never gave up, despite all my injuries. This is an incredible accomplishment for me. My wife is expecting a child, so this medal is for my wife and my child."

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