Paul Hamm Not Going to Beijing

Morgan Hamm (AP)

UNDATED (AP) - Paul Hamm won't be going to China, after all.

The reigning Olympic gold medalist says he's withdrawing from the U.S. gymnastics team because his broken right hand is not healthy enough for him to compete in Beijing.

Hamm broke his hand May 22nd at the national championships, just 11 weeks before the start of the games. He had surgery five days later and pushed his recovery in hopes he'd be healthy enough to help the Americans get back on the podium and defend his gold medal. The accelerated comeback resulted in an injury to his rotator cuff.

Hamm's announcement comes just two days before the U.S. men are scheduled to leave for China, where the competition gets under way
August 9th. One of three alternates will take his place: Sasha Artemev, David Durante or Raj Bhavsar.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)