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10 Things To Know About Kenzo Shirai
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To describe Kenzo Shiral's 2013 world title on floor exercise, you will need plenty of superlatives. At 17, he was the youngest men's champion in Antwerp. His 0.4 margin of victory was the largest of all the apparatus finals, men and women. And his 0.60 margin of D-score superiority over the next highest floor finalist (Steven Legendre, 6.8) was the greatest on any event, as well. His floor gold also included the most twists (22.25) and fewest double somersaults (zero).

The January/February issue of International Gymnast includes a candid interview, "Twist of Fate," with Shirai, but following are some interesting tidbits about Japan's talented young star.

1) Was he nervous in the Antwerp world final? Heck no. He said the last time he got nervous in a meet was in elementary school. Once he got to junior high, and competed in more meets, he was never nervous again.

2) How old was he when he learned his now famous quad twist? 14. "I am small and light, so my twisting skill is better than multiple salto skill."

3) How long did it take to learn? Two months. "At first, I didn't imagine a quad twist because my role model … never did one."

4) Who is his role model? Kohei Uchimura.

5) His D-score in Antwerp was 7.4. What is he working on to improve his floor? He says he's focusing on his E-score right now.

6) How did he get involved in gymnastics? He had no choice. His parents are gymnastics coaches and his two older brothers are gymnasts. "It is a gymnastics family," he said.

7) What's his favorite social media platform? Twitter (today, he has 4,450 followers).

8) What is his musical preference? "Turn Me On by David Guetta is my favorite."

9) How does he chill out? By eating chips. "They are cheap so I can eat many … I think the time I use to eat them is relaxing."

10) Can Japan win the team title at the 2014 Nanning World Championships? "I can't think about the result before I become a team member."

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