Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Indoor Hall, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Maroussi
Date Started: August 15, 2004
Date Finished: August 17, 2004
The format was very different for this event in 2004. There was a qualifying round, with only the top eight teams advancing to the final round. In the qualifying round each team was allowed six competitors, with five to compete on each apparatus, and the best four of five scores counting for each apparatus. Qualifying scores did not carry over to the final round. In the final, each team had six gymnasts, with three allowed to compete on each apparatus, all three scores counting, which was termed the 6/3/3 rule, and was first used at the 2001 World Championships. The United States had won the 2003 World Championships, which were held in Anaheim, California, while Romania, the 2000 Olympic gold medalists, had won the 2001 Worlds. The final was a close competition between these two favorites. Romania took the lead on the first rotation, but then fell behind with a poor performance on uneven bars. However they moved ahead after their balance beam routines, and maintained the lead on the floor exercises to win the gold medal, with the United States narrowly edging Russia for the silver medal.