China retain overall title, but MAG gymnasts disappoint

JAKARTA, Indonesia: China ended the 15th Artistic Asian Junior Championships at Istora Senayan on a high note, bagging 18 medals to retain title in the continental competition here on Saturday evening.

But it were the Chinese girls led by Qi Qi, who overshadowed their boys in terms of number of gold medals won in the competition, which was organised by Asian Gymnastics Union and hosted by the Indonesian Gymnastics Federation (Persani).

The four-day championships saw the emergence of several talented gymnasts including Iran, who were a revelation at the Asian Games test event.

A total 14 events were contested with China winning a combined 18 medals, including six golds and three silver medals by their women’s team while the boys picked up only three gold and as many silver and bronze medals as they came across a stiff challenge from Japan, South Korea and Iran.

Qi, who won the floor title on the last day on Saturday, was simply outstanding after she won four gold medals including the vault, All-Around and team title.

As China prepare strongly for the 2020 Tokyo Games, we will get to see her winning more medals in the future competitions, and maybe she will drafted into the senior squad.

In stark contrast, the Japanese boys were in full throttle after they finished ahead of China in the competition with four gold and as many silver and two bronze medals.

Oka Shinnosuke, with a small frame, but a bundle of energy, was the toast of Japan’s success here. The youngster belied his boyish look to picked one gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

Despite China and Japan’s domination, South Koreans also had a fair share of thrills and frills.

Jonghyeok Son won both their gold medals in men’s ring and vault while their women added one gold and five bronze medals to herald the arrival of a third force in Asia.

Iran surprised the heavyweights when they added their second medal, a bronze, when Omid Ayenehband finished behind Jonghyeok and Iwakawa Shuma in vault. Reza Bohloulzade had picked up a bronze in on pommel on the penultimate day.

Kazakhstan boys and girls claimed a bronze each to get into the medals tally while other nations had few talented gymnasts, who performed well, but fell short of class and technique.

Final standings: 1. China 2. Japan 3. South Korea 4. Iran 5. Kazakhstan