MEN’S ALL AROUND
Kohei Uchimura (JPN)
KOHEI UCHIMURA, THE ENDURING LEGEND
Since being crowned World champion for the first time in 2009, no one has been able to impede the royal march of Kohei Uchimura. In Glasgow, the Japanese gymnast many call the greatest of all time won his sixth consecutive World All-around title, pushing his record for consecutive wins even higher.
The normally reserved Uchimura seemed to take real pleasure in rising above the competition. While his challengers made nervous mistakes, the Japanese maestro approached perfection, the thing he seeks above all else. Fluid and elegant to the tips of his toes, he completed a “How to do gymnastics” clinic with a blowout performance on Horizontal Bar, landing his dismount like a cat.
Behind Uchimura, Cuba’s Manrique Larduet assumed one of the major roles by winning the silver. Powerful and athletic, the 19-year-old demonstrated not only talent but a cold-bloodedness worthy of the greatest, in spite of limited experience on the international stage.
Boosted by an excellent exercise on Parallel Bars, Deng Shudi took bronze, bringing China its first medal in the Men’s All-around since 2007.
Simone Biles (USA)
SIMONE BILES: A TRIPLE SHOT OF GOLD
In taking the World All-around title in Glasgow, Simone Biles joins Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina as the only woman to own three World All-around golds. As the only woman to have won her titles consecutively, Biles stands alone.
The winner of the All-around competition the year before the Olympic Games also wins the unofficial title of Olympic favorite. Unflappable on and off the competition floor, Biles seems well cast for the role.
Her biggest challenge in Glasgow came from Olympic champion Gabrielle Douglas (USA), who returned from a two-year hiatus to win a surprise silver. Impressive as she was, Douglas knows she has work to do if she wants to defend her Olympic title. The 19-year-old called herself “80 percent” and vowed to up her difficulty for 2016.
Larisa Iordache (ROU) was on point to earn bronze, salvaging something from Worlds after a meltdown torpedoed Romania’s chances at making the team final. Bronze is not the country’s standard, but after their 13th place finish in the team competition, Iordache’s medal was cause for much rejoicing in the Romanian camp.
WOMEN’S ALL AROUND
MEN’S TEAM FINAL
Team podium: Great Britain, Japan and China
UCHIMURA LEADS JAPAN ON ITS DAY OF GLORY
With two World golds already in her pocket by the time the Clubs final got underway, Kudryavtseva appeared just to have reached cruising altitude. She flew through her Clubs routine to secure a third gold, with Mamun as usual just behind.
In the hunt for gold from the second rotation forward, the Japanese team seemed in their own universe for a large part of the competition. But their grand finale on Horizontal Bar brought them brutally back down to earth, where falls allowed Great Britain to soar into contention. Phenomenal on Floor, Max Whitlock earned a mark that temporarily put Great Britain atop of the scoreboard. The crowd exploded with joy at seeing Britain in front, just as Uchimura let go of the bar for his first release. But when Uchimura failed to recatch the bar and fell onto his back, so great was the surprise that silence was quickly reimposed.
The fall was without consequence, as Japan, with Kohei Uchimura, Ryohei Kato, Kazuma Kaya, Kenzo Shirai, Yusuke Tanaka and Naoto Hayasaka, got their day of glory after nearly four decades of waiting. The British finished on the podium for the first time at a World Championships, passing China, who were unbolted from their pedestal after 12 years of World domination.
WOMEN’S TEAM FINAL
Team podium: China, USA and Great Britain
THE AMERICAN DREAM
Led by World champion Simone Biles and 2012 Olympic All-around champion Gabrielle Douglas, the American women reigned over the Glasgow Worlds, underscoring the strength of the training system set in place by Martha and Bela Karolyi at the turn of the century.
For the U.S. (Biles, Douglas, Aly Raisman, Brenna Dowell, Madison Kocian and Maggie Nichols), Glasgow was a dress rehearsal for next summer’s Olympics, the culmination of what has been the American quadrennium in women’s gymnastics.
With the Americans so largely in charge, it was up to the rest of the world to provide the suspense in the battle for silver and bronze. China, the world’s top team on Uneven Bars, survived Balance Beam and improved on Vault to take silver for the second straight year. Great Britain, meanwhile, overcame a rough start on Uneven Bars, with Worlds debutant Ellie Downie nailing her Vault in the final minutes to secure bronze, the country’s first-ever World team medal.
Perennial medal contender Russia came apart on Balance Beam and dropped to fourth, finishing out of the medals for the first time since 2007.
FULL VIDEO REPLAYS
WOMEN'S TEAM FINAL
WOMEN'S ALL-AROUND FINAL
MEN'S TEAM FINAL
MEN'S ALL-AROUND FINAL
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World of Gymnastics is an official publication of the International Gymnastics Federation – FIG.
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