Xiao Leads Asian Sweep of Medals at Worlds
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)



China's Xiao Ruoteng rallied to take the men's all-around title Thursday at the world gymnastics championships in Montreal, winning the gold medal over teammate Lin Chaopan and Japan's Kenzo Shirai.

China's Xiao Ruoteng rallied to take the men's all-around title Thursday at the world gymnastics championships in Montreal, winning the gold medal over teammate Lin Chaopan and Japan's Kenzo Shirai.

Xiao, 21, succeeds Japan's Kohei Uchimura, who suffered an ankle injury in qualification and was forced to withdraw. Since 2009, Uchimura had won a record six consecutive world all-around titles and both Olympic all-around titles.

Second all-around in qualification, Xiao tallied 86.933, sealing victory with 14.400 on high bar in the last rotation. His lowest score was 13.800 on still rings. Xiao finished ninth at the 2015 World Championships, but missed making the China's Olympic team in Rio, where its team bronze was its only medal.

Lin, 22, took silver with 86.448, giving China its first-ever 1-2 sweep in the all-around. The Chinese were consistent if not spectacular; Xiao's top scores were second on pommel horse, and third on vault and high bar, while Lin had the third-best scores on floor exercise, pommel horse and vault (tied with Xiao).

Competing in his first major all-around final, Shirai earned the best scores of the day on floor exercise (15.733) and vault (15.000). Shirai was a member of Japan's gold-medal winning team at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2015 Worlds, and is a two-time world champion on floor exercise.

Xiao is the fourth Chinese gymnast to capture the world all-around title — following Li Xiaoshuang (2005), Feng Jing (2001) and Yang Wei (2006 and 2007) — and extends Asia's streak of men's all-around titles to a 13th consecutive year. Since Japan's Hiroyuki Tomita won the 2005 World Championships, Japanese and Chinese have won every world and Olympic all-around title.

Xiao, Lin and Shirai make up the first all-Asia podium since the 1972 Olympics, when Sawao Kato, Eizo Kenmotsu and Akinori Nakayama swept the medals for Japan. (Kenmotsu, Mitsuo Tsukahara and Nakayama also swept the 1970 Worlds.)

The performance of Russia's David Belyavsky was the biggest shock of the night. The two-time Olympian competed cleanly and confidentally all night, and led Xiao by more than half a point after his 15.266 on parallel bars in the fifth rotation. Needing just to stay on the apparatus, Belyavsky dropped off on his simplest release, a Yamawaki, which he arguably does better than any other gymnast in the world. He scored 13.200 to finish fourth (86.315), while a 13.819 would have given him the gold and 13.334 the silver.

Belyavsky and his coach were shocked by his mistake, and afterwards were at a loss for words. Teammate Nikita Nagornyy (10th), who was in the medal hunt after fourth rotations, scored a disastrous 11.066 on high bar in the fifth rotation after he and his coach failed to properly set the tension on the high bar. When asked if the high bar settings also affected him, Belyavsky assured that the fall was purely a mental error.

"The problems were with the settings in my head," Belyavsky said.

In contrast, British Olympian Nile Wilson finished sixth and was thrilled with his result, eight months after ankle surgery to repair torn ligaments.

"I couldn't be happier," Wilson told BBC Sport. "The plan was to go for it and that's exactly what I did. I know I'm capable of more and I believe I can stand on top of the podium one day."

Favorites Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) and Manrique Larduet (Cuba) had a disappointing competition. Larduet, the defending all-around silver medalist, avoided major mistakes but seemed to be harshly penalized all night. He finished fifth (86.031), and expressed his frustration with the scoring later. Vernyayev, the all-around silver medalist in Rio, fell off pommel horse in the second rotation, and again on high bar in the sixth rotation, when it was apparent a medal was out of reach.

U.S. champion Yul Moldauer, competing in his first world championships, finished seventh, with the second-best score on floor exercise and fourth-best on pommel horse.

Turkey's Ahmet Önder, ninth, continued to make history for Turkish gymnastics with his top-10 performance.

The competition continues in Montreal on Friday with the women's all-around final at 7 p.m. Head to IG's Facebook page for live commentary from the Olympic Stadium!

Read complete coverage of the 2017 World Championships in the November issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe at the special world championships rate, click here.

2017 World Gymnastics Championships
October 5, Montreal, Canada

Men's All-Around FinalTotal
1. Xiao Ruoteng 5.9 14.433 6.1 14.800 5.7 13.800 5.6 14.900 6.0 14.600 6.0 14.400 86.933
2. Lin Chaopan 6.2 14.516 5.8 14.266 5.6 13.666 5.6 14.900 6.4 14.800 6.2 14.300 86.448
3. Kenzo Shirai 7.2 15.733 5.3 13.433 5.7 13.666 5.6 15.000 6.0 14.633 5.9 13.966 86.431
4. David Belyavsky 5.9 14.066 6.3 14.900 5.5 14.100 5.6 14.783 6.4 15.266 5.6 13.200 86.315
5. Manrique Larduet 6.0 13.933 5.7 13.733 6.1 14.133 5.6 14.966 6.4 14.933 6.1 14.333 86.031
6. Nile Wilson 5.6 14.333 5.8 13.666 5.7 14.300 5.2 14.100 6.3 14.500 6.2 14.433 85.332
7. Yul Moldauer 5.8 14.566 5.4 14.000 5.7 14.066 5.2 14.500 6.0 14.533 5.3 13.333 84.998
8. Oleg Vernyayev 6.2 13.766 6.4 13.333 6.1 14.566 5.6 14.833 6.7 14.966 5.7 12.533 83.997
9. Ahmet Önder 6.0 14.133 4.9 12.933 5.2 13.833 5.2 14.533 6.2 14.933 5.3 13.466 83.831
10. Nikita Nagornyy 6.5 14.500 5.6 13.866 6.0 14.466 5.6 14.800 5.9 14.541 4.9 11.066 83.239
11. Jossimar Calvo 5.8 13.866 6.3 13.800 5.5 13.333 5.2 13.866 6.5 14.600 6.1 13.566 83.031
12. Pablo Brägger 5.7 14.233 5.4 13.266 4.6 13.600 5.2 14.433 6.2 12.700 6.8 14.500 82.732
13. Artur Davtyan 4.7 13.333 5.5 13.400 5.7 14.200 5.6 14.900 4.5 13.766 4.3 12.733 82.332
14. Bae Garam 5.5 13.000 5.4 13.533 4.9 12.866 4.8 14.133 5.6 13.600 5.8 13.400 80.532
15. Caio Souza 5.5 13.900 5.5 11.566 6.0 14.166 5.2 14.500 6.1 14.266 5.5 12.133 80.531
16. Marios Georgiou 5.1 12.500 5.6 12.300 4.9 13.500 4.8 14.000 5.6 14.100 5.5 13.833 80.233
17. Robert Tvorogal 5.1 12.900 4.9 12.866 4.2 13.133 4.8 13.900 5.5 14.100 5.4 13.333 80.232
18. Philipp Herder 5.8 14.133 5.3 12.833 5.5 13.500 5.2 13.000 6.0 14.100 5.3 12.600 80.166
19. Eddy Yusof 5.5 13.566 5.1 11.633 5.6 13.766 5.6 13.433 6.0 14.366 5.4 13.400 80.164
20. Ferhat Arıcan 5.1 11.733 5.7 13.525 4.7 12.900 5.2 14.266 6.3 14.683 5.1 12.933 80.040
21. Zachary Clay 5.2 13.133 5.8 13.566 5.4 13.100 4.8 14.100 5.5 13.100 4.9 12.900 79.899
22. Tomas Kuzmickas 5.7 14.266 4.7 12.866 3.7 11.700 4.8 13.866 5.5 13.633 5.1 13.333 79.664
23. Kevin Cerda 5.3 13.333 4.9 12.266 5.3 12.400 4.8 13.733 4.5 12.366 5.5 12.833 76.931
24. Joel Plata 5.7 13.666 4.1 10.633 5.1 13.500 4.8 13.633 5.4 13.400 5.5 11.866 76.698
 

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