China on top of the world as Asia regain glory
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.