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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): 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): China’s Xiao Ruoteng ensured the men’s all-around crown stayed with Asia after he emerged as the new world champion at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here on Thursday.
In fact, Asia kept the world title for the 13th consecutive year, going back to Hiroyuki Tomita in 2005, Yang Wei’s streak from 2006 to 2008, and then Uchimura's dominance from 2009 to 2016.
With Japan’s six-time defending champion Kohei Uchimura forced to withdraw from the competition with an ankle injury on Monday, the field became wide open for a new set of youngsters to claim the crown.
But it was a perfect tribute to ‘King Kohei’ by his fellow Asians as they wrapped up all the medals.
Ruoteng, who finished second in qualification, won the title with 86.933 points, and in the process became the first world champion since Uchimura won in 2009.
Team-mate Lin Chaopan, who came sixth in qualification, also had his share of glory by picking up the silver (86.448).
Japan’s Kenzo Shirai (86.431), team gold medallist at the Rio Games last year, came third.
Manrique Larduet was tipped to be the successor to Uchimura, but the Cuban disappointed and finished fifth behind Russia’s David Belyavskiy.
The other Asian competitor in the fray, South Korean Garam Bae, finished 14th in a field of 24 gymnasts.
 
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.
 

Montreal (Canada): Japan’s Mai Murakami leads the women's all-around qualifications at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here on Wednesday.
Murakami, with an overall score of 55.933, is among seven others hoping to succeed current world champion Simone Biles, who is not taking part at the Worlds.
Ragan Smith of the United States finished second with 55.932 points followed by Canada's Ellie Black scored 55.766 in the all-around standings.
Murakami, who finished fourth on the floor exercise at the 2013 edition, had a flawless performance on any of the four apparatus.
The 21-year-old’s best performances came on balance beam and floor, the events where she will get another chance to medal during apparatus finals.
Smith had a difficult outing and lost her rhythm on uneven bars and beam, but consolidated her position behind Murakami with the best score on floor.
Meanwhile, China’s Fan Yilin is favourite to defend her crown in uneven bars.
A leader among the great Chinese specialists of uneven bars, the 17-year-old is known for her complex combinations and breath-taking precision, and she will be hoping to defend her title in style.

Montreal (Canada): It was a proud moment for Asian gymnastics after Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina was elected to the FIG Athletes Commission as representative for women's artistic gymnastics at the athletes' assembly here on Thursday.
The 42-year-old, who succeeded Great Britain’s Elizabeth Tweddle, will serve a four-year term.

“I’d like to thank everyone. I’ll try to my best to give you the best,” said Chusovitina, who progressed to the vault final with the eighth best result.
She has participated at seven Olympic Games, and is competing in her 16th World Championships.
Her amazing confidence level and steely resolve even at her age is something that can encourage many sportspersons.
“It’s important to improve the comfort and well-being of the athletes,” she added.
Chusovitina began her career with the erstwhile USSR before being a part of the Unified Team which won team gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
She competed for Uzbekistan followed by Germany before returning to her native country, and has two Olympic and 11 world medals in her kitty, including three golds.
But Chusovitina doesn’t intend to retire any time soon. She even plans to qualify for her eighth Olympics in Tokyo in three years’ time.
 
Montreal (Canada): After the early exit of Kohei Uchimura following an ankle injury on Monday at the qualifications, the world awaits to see a new individual All-around champion at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships here on Thursday.
Fondly called as ‘King Kohei’, the Japanese was forced to abandon his quest for a seventh consecutive title, and now all eyes will be on a young generation of gymnasts during the finals.
The 28-year-old, who began his competition on rings, hurt himself landing his vault. He performed on parallel bars, but didn’t take part in the horizontal bar.
Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev, fifth in qualification, will be one of the strongest contenders.  But he will face a stiff challenge from Cuba's Manrique Larduet, who finished behind Uchimura at the Glasgow edition two years back.
Russia's David Belyavskiy, who finished fourth in Rio, will also be in the fray with the new guard, led by China's Xiao Ruoteng and Japan's Kenzo Shirai, who, however, is a floor and vault specialist.
Verniaiev may have a bright chance as he is quite strong on parallel bars, which earned him gold in Rio.
 

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