Asians dominate as Ruoteng emerges new men’s all-around world champion

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.