Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti became the first Brazilian gymnast to win gold with his victory Monday in the men's rings final at the London Olympic Games.

The 22-year-old Zanetti won the event with 15,900 points, ahead of Chinese defending champion Chen Yibing with 15,800 and Italy's Matteo Morandi with 15,733.

The runner-up at the Pan American Games in 2011, Zanetti had already been to the podium after scoring highest in the classification round - 9,116 points.

Chen, four-time world champion in the rings and the Olympic title defender, opened his routine making it clear to his rivals that he considered himself to be top dog. He carried out an impeccable routine and racked up 15,800 points - a score that seemed unbeatable to the others - and he shouted with celebration and kissed the equipment as the judges delivered their assessments.

After Chen, his rivals performed their routines one by one, with Morandi - the European runner-up - and Bulgaria's Iordan Iovtchev, a six-time Olympian, carrying out their duties, and unexpected finalists such as Argentina's Federico Molinari, whose bad dismount ruined a great show of strength, and Puerto Rico's Tommy Ramos, who garnered 15,600 points with a great performance.

It was Molinari, as well as the two Russians in the event - Aleksander Balandin and Denis Ablyazin - who most worried Chen, but he needn't have concerned himself as they were battling for the last spots on the podium.

Just when everyone was considering it a foregone conclusion that Chen's score would not be bested, Zanetti - the last finalist - stepped up to do his routine.

He presented a routine that was just as difficult as that of the Chinese star, but his execution was outstanding. He controlled the rings with certainty and dismounted well, convincing the judges to award him 9,116 points, which gave him an overall tally of 15,900, beating out Chen.

The stadium, with hundreds of Brazilians in the stands, erupted with cheers and applause. Zanetti jumped for joy and his coaches began to weep with jubilation, and the party continued until the gymnast finally mounted the podium and received the gold medal. EFE