Categorized | Elite, Featured, Men's Gymnastics

China and Japan Dominate World Championships All-Around Podium

Posted on 05 October 2017 by admin

China and Japan were up to their old tricks, dominating the final standings at the 2017 World Men’s Gymnastics Championships.  China’s Xiao Ruoteng (86.933) improved on his 2nd place finish in the qualifying round to earn his first World All-Around title.  His teammate Lin Chaopan (86.448) was right behind him to take silver.  Japan’s Kenzo Shirai (86.431), competing in his first Worlds AA, earned bronze.  Shirai, the heir apparent to Kohei Uchimura, had a shot at gold, thanks to his sky-high scores on FX (15.733) and VT (15.00).  Ruoteng relied on his meet-high execution scores (51.633) to get the victory.  He was especially strong on PH (14.80), VT (14.90) and HB (14.40), earning top-3 scores on all three events.  Chaopan also notched top-3 scores on FX (14.516), PH (14.266) and VT (14.80).

Russia’s David Belyavskiy (86.315) was leading the pack by over a point going into the final rotation (HB).  Needing just to come close to his qualifying round score (14.208), Belyavskiy suffered a heart-breaking fall late in his routine (13.20), otherwise he had the gold medal securely in his pocket.  He had the top scores on PH (14.90) and PB (15.266) to help pad his lead, but his luck ran out.  Top qualifier Manrique Larduet (Cuba-86.031) couldn’t quite recover from a slow start despite a strong finish.  Larduet ended with top-4 finishes on VT (14.966), PB (14.933) and HB (14.333).

Only 0.902 separated 1st place and 5th place, in a meet that could have been won by anybody in the top 5.  It was a clean, exciting, high-level contest all throughout.  Like many men’s competitions, it came down right to the final rotation.

Team USA’s Yul Moldauer placed 7th (84.998) in a brilliant debut that saw him finish six-for-six in the finals.  Moldauer had the second-best score on FX (14.566) and the fourth-highest on PH (14.00).  He also compiled top-10 scores on SR (14.066) and VT (14.50).  His start value was the lowest in the field of top contenders (33.40), and he had the 2nd highest execution score (51.598), just behind Ruoteng.  Moldauer’s upside remains spectacular, with three years left until Tokyo 2020.  NCAA gym fans get to enjoy watching him for two of those years at Oklahoma.  He’ll get one more shot to earn a Worlds medal in Saturday’s FX final, along with teammate Donnell Whittenburg.  Alex Naddour will compete the same day in the PH final.

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