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Montreal (Canada): Japan’s Kenzo Shirai was the toast of Asian success where he picked up his second gold and one bronze medal at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here on Saturday.
Following their dismal show at the 2015 edition, where they had finished fourth, China showed they are back in action and promises to do better with a new generation of gymnasts.
China topped the overall medals tally with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals followed by Japan (three gold and one bronze).
Thanks to China and Japan’s resurgence, Asia regained their lost glory, and ended the competition on a high with six gold, one silver and four bronze medals to pip other continental challengers including USA.
But China’s 19-year-old Zhou Jingyuan created the biggest upset on the final day when he overshadowed reigning Ukraine’s Olympic champion Oleg Verniaiev in the men’s parallel bars final.
Zhou, who won his maiden world title, topped with 15.900 points followed by Verniaiev (15.833) and Russia’s David Belyavskiy (15.266).
Another Chinese competitor Lin Chaopan finished fourth (15.133).
South Korea picked up their first medal when Kim Han Sol finished third in the men’s vault final, which was won by Shirai with 14.900 while Ukraine’s Igor Radilov missed the gold by just .001 points.
The women had their share of glory on the final day, with Japan’s Mai Murakami winning her first gold in the event in the floor exercise.
She collected 14.233 points for her effort pipping USA’s Jade Carrey (14.200) and Great Britain’s Claudia Fragapane (13.933).
Murakami, who would have given Japan first all-around medal since Koko Tsurumi, came fourth in the balance beam while compatriot Asuka Teramoto finished sixth.
China’s Liu Tingting, who competed in her maiden Worlds, finished seventh.
“As a top qualifier in the all-around, I was nervous. I could’ve gone for gold if I hadn’t messed up on the beam. But I’m happy with the floor exercise title,” said Murakami.
Montreal (Canada): Japan’s Kenzo Shirai grabbed the spotlight in the absence of compatriot and the most decorated gymnast of this generation Kohei Uchimura, who had pulled out due to injury a day after the FIG 47th Artistic World Championships started here last Monday.
Shirai, who became the first Japanese to win the floor gold medal three times, bagged two gold medals and a bronze to lead Asia’s revival in the sport after China’s disappointing performance at the Rio Games last year.

I used a lot of spirit in the all-around final and didn’t have much left for the floor. I’m happy I could put on the kind of display that would force the other competitors to give up,” Samurai told Japan Times.
The 21-year-old produced a “Shirai 3,” a double-backward somersault triple-twisting layout named after him to defend his title with 15.633 points.
“He was solid in the all-around and regained confidence for the apparatus finals,” said Japan men’s coach Yoshiaki Hatakeda.
One of the brightest medal prospect for Japan, when they host the Tokyo Games in 2020, Shirai was his country’s youngest gymnast to be crowned a world champion when he won the floor exercise at the 2013 worlds in Antwerp, Belgium and then defended it in the 2015 edition in Glasgow, Scotland.
Montreal (Canada): After the dust had settled down following the two most high-profile events – all-around finals, the talented Asian gymnasts won two gold and one bronze medals out of the five events at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here on Saturday.
Men’s all-round champion Xiao Ruoteng led the medal hunt, picking up a bronze in the pommel horse with 15.066 points behind Great Britain’s Olympic champion Max Whitlock (15.441) and Russia’s David Belyavskiy (15.100).
China’s Weng Hao finished sixth in the day’s third event.
But the greatest applause was reserved for Japan’s Kenzo Shirai in the floor exercise at the iconic venue.
He was a picture of perfection and confidence as he performed a smooth landing following a couple of double twists in the air.
Shirai’s impressive effort, which earned him 15.633 points, was way ahead of the Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat (14.533) and Yul Moldauer of the US (14.500).
Shirai won a bronze in the all-around event on Thursday, and his performance will helped his country overcome the disappointment of Kohei Uchimura’s early exit from the tournament following an injury.
Liu Yang, who won a bronze in the men’s rings in the 2015 edition, once again finished third (15.266) behind Greece’s reigning champion Eleftherios Petrounias (15.433), who successfully defended the crown, and Russia’s Denis Abliazin (15.333).
China’s Fan Yi Lin was the pick of the lot in the women’s uneven bars. She defended her tittle in style with 15.166 points, but not before staving off a stiff challenge from Russia’s Elena Eremina (15.100) while Belgium’s Moma Derwael claimed bronze (15.033).
Montreal (Canada): After a successful first day of the men’s individual apparatus finals, Asian gymnasts will be back in action on the final day at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here on Sunday.
Japan’s Kenzo Shirai will hope to pick his third medal in the vault while compatriot Keisuke Asato and South Korean duo Hak Seon Yang and Han Sol Kim are the other Asian challengers.
Shirai had beaten another title contender Marian Dragulescu at the Rio Games last year after the Olympic tiebreak rules were applied as both the gymnasts had identical scores.
China’s Zou Jingyuan and Lin Chaopan will battle it out with Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev, who won the silver in 2015 edition, in parallel bar.
Japan’s Hidetaka Miyachi is one of the eight contestants in the horizontal bar, which is going to have a new world champion as Kohei Uchimura, who won the title in last edition, had pulled out of the event.
In the women’s balance beam, Japan’s Mai Murakami and Asuka Teramoto will be watched out for while China’s young sensation Liu Tingting will also hope to win his maiden world title.
Murakami will be back on the floor in the afternoon’s fourth event.
Montreal (Canada): Japan’s Mai Murakami failed to live up to her expectations as she finished fourth in the women’s all-around final at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here at the Olympic Stadium on Friday evening.
She totalled 54.699 which was way behind Morgan Hurd of the US (55.232), who emerged as the new world champion in the absence of reigning Olympic champion Simone Biles.
The 21-year-old from Kanagewa had topped the qualification chart with 55.933 points, but surprisingly couldn’t match her performance in the final.
In fact, Asia’s challenge wasn’t that strong compared to their men’s counterpart, who dominated the all-around finals with a gusto on Thursday and won all the three medals.
Aiko Sugihara, also of Japan, finished sixth with 53.965 points while China’s Yan Wang and South Korean Ju Lee Eun came 19th and 22nd respectively among the 24 qualifiers.
Canada’s Elsabeth Black came second with 55.132 points followed by Russia’s Elena Eremina (54.799).
Biles hasn’t competed since the Rio Games, where she won four gold and a bronze medal. That capped off an unprecedented four-year run in which she swept every US and world all-around title, a streak beginning in 2013.
Interestingly, the Americans have won the all-around title after every Olympics since 2004 from Chellsie Memmel, Bridget Sloan, Simone Biles to Hurd.
Montreal (Canada): None of her competitor, who had lined up with Oksana Chusovitina before the women’s vault event at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships on Saturday, were born when she won an Olympic medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
The 42-year-old performed with the same agility and fitness in her 16th Worlds at the iconic Olympic Stadium as she did some 25 years ago.
Though the Uzbek finished fifth in the event, her amazing confidence in a field of eight young girls, who are half of her age, was simply mind blowing.
Chusovitina knew she was competing with a new generation of gymnasts, and it was nothing new as she had been contesting in the World Cups as well.
She looked very much motivated and focussed, but it was her amazing control and finish that will always be etched in our memory.
After the event got over, Chusovitina settled into a dark empty space behind the media box as she intently watched the men’s apparatus finals.
Just like there will never be another Mohammad Ali, gymnastics will also never have another Chusovitina because not every sportsperson possess a strong determination like her.
And when Chusovitina said that she is going to be there at the 2020 Tokyo Games, you got to salute her steely resolve.
Her passion even at this age is something that will encourage the young girls.
Not surprisingly then the FIG Athletes Commission selected her as the representative for women's artistic gymnastics.
Montreal (Canada): Japan’s Kenzo Shirai was awarded with Longines Prize for Elegance by the Swiss watchmaker Longines at the 47th FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships here on Friday.
Canada’s Brooklyn Moors earned this year’s award in the female category from Longines, a long-time partner of the international gymnastics federation.
Besides the watch, each was also presented with a cheque and a trophy representing a gymnast in motion created especially for Longines by Swiss artist Jean-Pierre Gerber.
Both the gymnasts were selected by a special jury comprised of FIG President Morinari Watanabe, Olympic legend Nadia Comaneci and Longines Canada Brand Manager Ian Charbonneau.
The winners’ performances conveyed emotional appeal extending beyond technical considerations, sparkling with beauty, grace, harmony of movement, and above all, elegance.
In addition to their excellent expression on the floor, the duo also demonstrated impeccable sportsmanship off of it as well.
Shirai, the men’s all-around bronze medal winner, and Moors, who finished 15th all-around at her first Worlds, follow two-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock of Great Britain and Swiss standout Giulia Steingruber, the 2015 recipients.


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