Japan Wins Twice as 2017 Worlds End in Montreal
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Nine nations won medals Sunday as the 2017 World Gymnastics Championships concluded at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, where 2020 Olympic hosts Japan grabbed two golds. Pictured: Kenzo Shirai (Japan) was the most successful gymnast in Montreal with three medals.

Nine nations won medals Sunday as the 2017 World Gymnastics Championships concluded at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, where 2020 Olympic hosts Japan grabbed two golds.

Unlike the first day of events finals on Saturday — when all five events were won by defending champions from the 2015 Worlds — five new champions were crowned.

Japanese star Kenzo Shirai won his first world title on vault, his third medal of the competition, the most of any gymnast this week. Shirai won the all-around bronze medal on Thursday and won his third world title on floor exercise on Saturday.


Mai Murakami ended a 63-year gold medal drought for the Japanese women by winning the floor exercise title.

Shirai just barely edged out Olympic medalist Igor Radivilov of Ukraine, averaging 14.900 to Radivilov's 14.899 (which was actually 14.8995, but truncated to three digits by FIG scoring). Both gymnasts, who performed four different vaults between them, were worthy of the gold as they played to their strengths. Shirai, nicknamed the "Twist Prince," earned the top Execution score of the finals (9.600) for his "easy" first vault of triple-twisting Yurchenko (he also pioneered the Yurchenko 3 1/2) and Lopez (double-twisting Kasamatsu or Tsukahara 2 1/2). Radivilov — whose handspring triple front has been dismissed by the FIG Men's Technical Committee as pure insanity — drilled his Dragulescu into the mat and stood up his Tsukahara double pike (large step back).

Korea's Kim Hansol, in his fifth world championships final, won his first world medal with the bronze, performing the same vaults as Shirai. His teammate, 2012 Olympic champion Yang Hakseon, withdrew after reaggravating a hamstring injury during warmups for the vault final, and was replaced by Russia's Arthur Dalaloyan. Yang, who was sidelined by injuries in 2015 and 2016, averaged 15.283 in qualification and was the favorite to regain the world title he won in 2011 and 2013.

On balance beam, Pauline Schäfer made German history as became the first female gymnast to win a world title for unified Germany. The bronze medalist in 2015, Schäfer hit her unique skill (side somi with a half twist), and her 8.033 in Execution was onlt the second one above 8.0 in Montreal (the first was her 8.133 in qualification). The last German female world champion was East Germany's Dörte Thümmler, who tied Romania's Daniela Silivaş for the uneven bars gold 30 years ago in Rotterdam. New all-around champion Morgan Hurd (United States) won the silver with the most difficulty (standing full and full-in dismount). Schäfer's teammate Tabea Alt matched Schäfer's result from 2015 in another milestone for the German women, who last had two women on the same world podium was 32 years ago in Montreal, when Gabriele Fähnrich and Dagmar Kersten finished 1-2 on uneven bars.

China's Zou Jingyuan, 19, won parallel bars with a dazzling display of technical and aesthetic perfection. Zou's score of 15.900 (6.8D) was the highest score of the competition in Montreal. Reigning Olympic champion Oleg Vernyayev delivered his finest routine of these worlds, but even he couldn't defeat Zou, and the Ukrainian ending up second with 15.833 (6.7D). Russia's David Belyavsky, the silver medalist on pommel horse, added another medal with the bronze (15.266/6.4).

After a fall in the all-around final cost her the overall gold medal, Japanese Olympian Mai Murakami rebounded Sunday to win the gold medal on women's floor exercise with 14.233 . Murakami ended a 63-year gold drought for the Japanese women, whose only other world championship title was won by Keiko Tanaka Ikeda on balance beam in 1954.

First-year senior Jade Carey (United States), who was second on vault Saturday, finished close behind Murakami (14.200) to take her second silver. British Olympian Claudia Fragapane won the bronze (13.933), her first individual world medal. Fragapane was a member of the British women's team which won bronze at the 2015 Worlds.

Three-time Italian Olympian Vanessa Ferrari, the final performer of the women's competition, ruptured her Achilles' tendon on her second pass. Ferrari underwent double Achilles' tendon repair after last summer's Olympic Games, but had made a complete comeback, competing two events in Montreal. Ferrari was one of several medal contenders who were forced out of the competition by injury, a shocking list that included three all-around favorites in Kohei Uchimura of Japan and Ragan Smith of the United States (sprained ankles on vault), and Larisa Iordache of Romania, who also tore her Achilles' tendon on floor exercise.

The men's high bar final included plenty of falls but fortunately no injuries. In his world championships debut, Tin Srbić made history as Croatia's first world champion, defeating former world and Olympic champion Epke Zonderland (Netherlands), 14.433-14.233. Zonderland made an astounding save when, after a Cassina-Kovacs combo, he missed his hand on his second release and ended up swinging a one-arm giant out of it before continuing his routine.

Bart Deurloo won the bronze to bring the Netherlands a second medal. Japan's Hidetaka Miyachi had the most thrilling routine — he caught a layout Bretschneider (layout Kovacs with two twists, now the Miyachi) but then dropped off on his subsequent Bretschneider. He repeated the Bretschneider and caught it, but it wasn't enough to make it onto the medals.

China topped the medal count with six medals (three golds, one silver and two bronze), rebounding from a disappointing performance in Rio, where the Chinese won bronze in both team finals but no individual medals. Russia also won six medals (one gold, three silvers and two bronzes) while the United States won five (1 gold, three silvers, 1 bronze). China won the most medals of the men's competition with five while the United States topped the women's standings with four medals. (Click here for the full medal breakdown.)

The next world championships take place October 22 to November 3, 2018 in Doha, Qatar, and will be the first qualification toward the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 2018 Worlds will be the first to take place in the Middle East.

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 8, Montreal, Canada

Balance Beam FinalDENDScoreQual.
1. Pauline Schäfer 5.5 8.033 13.533 3
2. Morgan Hurd 5.7 7.800 -0.1 13.400 2
3. Tabea Alt 5.7 7.600 13.300 1
4. Mai Murakami 5.4 7.666 13.066 8
5. Yelena Yeryomina 5.4 7.566 12.966 6
6. Asuka Teramoto 5.6 7.366 12.966 5
7. Liu Tingting 5.5 7.366 -0.1 12.766 7
8. Ellie Black 5.7 6.700 12.400 4

Women's Floor ExerciseDENDScoreQual.
1. Mai Murakami 5.9 8.333 14.233 2
2. Jade Carey 5.7 8.500 14.200 3
3. Claudia Fragapane 5.6 8.333 13.933 4
4. Thaís Fidelis 5.5 8.166 13.666 6
5. Brooklyn Moors 5.2 8.450 13.650 5
6. Lara Mori 5.4 7.866 13.266 8
7. Ellie Black 5.3 7.900 -0.3 12.900 9
8. Vanessa Ferrari 2.0 8.233 -6.3 3.933 7

Men's Vault FinalDENDScoreAverageQual.
1. Kenzo Shirai 5.6 9.600 15.200 14.900 2
5.2 9.400 14.600
2. Igor Radivilov 5.6 9.433 15.033 14.899 6
5.6 9.166 14.766
3. Kim Hansol 5.6 9.366 14.966 14.766 7
5.2 9.366 14.566
4. Marian Drăgulescu 5.6 9.100 14.700 14.716 3
5.4 9.333 14.733
5. Jorge Vega 5.6 9.200 -0.1 14.700 14.704 8
5.2 9.508 14.708
6. Keisuke Asato 6.0 8.866 -0.1 14.766 14.349 4
5.6 8.333 13.933
7. Zachari Hrimèche 5.6 8.166 -0.2 13.566 14.083 5
5.6 9.000 14.600
8. Artur Dalaloyan 5.6 8.900 -0.3 14.200 13.966 9
5.6 8.133 13.733

Parallel Bars FinalDENDScoreQual.
1. Zou Jingyuan 6.8 9.100 15.900 2
2. Oleg Vernyayev 6.7 9.133 15.833 1
3. David Belyavsky 6.4 8.866 15.266 4
4. Manrique Larduet 6.4 8.766 15.166 3
5. Lin Chaopan 6.4 8.733 15.133 5
6. Pablo Brägger 6.4 8.333 14.733 9
7. Marcel Nguyen 6.2 8.500 14.700 7
8. Ferhat Arıcan 6.3 7.800 14.100 6

High BarDENDScoreQual.
1. Tin Srbić 6.4 8.033 14.433 3
2. Epke Zonderland 6.5 7.733 14.233 1
3. Bart Deurloo 6.2 8.000 14.200 6
4. Pablo Brägger 6.5 7.233 13.733 2
5. Hidetaka Miyachi 6.7 7.033 13.733 8
6. David Belyavsky 5.4 8.133 13.533 5
7. Randy Lerú 6.0 7.100 13.100 7
8. Oliver Hegi 5.8 6.933 12.733 4
 

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