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Russian Men Win First Ever World Team Title
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

In a hard-fought competition Russia edged the team from China 261.726 to 260.729 to win their first ever team title at the world championships held in Stuttgart, Germany. Russia was trailing China by over a point heading to the last rotation, but on the first high bar routine for China, Sun Wei missed his layout Tkatchev to open the door for the Russians. Ivan Stretovich, Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagornyy hit three brilliant high bar routines for the team to secure the first ever world championships team gold medal for the Russian men. It was a sweet revenge for the team who lost the gold to China by less than a tenth a year ago in Doha, Qatar. The Russian team posted top team totals on floor, rings, vault and high bar. In addition to the high bar trio, the team featured David Belyavskiy who was a strong contributor on pommel horse (14.0) and p-bars (15.133), and Denis Abliazin who competed only on rings.

Despite a weak routine by Xiao Ruoteng on parallel bars, the Chinese men outscored the field on the event thanks to the incredible routine of Zou Jingyuan (uprise Makuts, Makuts, uprise Diamidov, peach half, peach, Bhavsar, Tippelt, double front half stuck), which received a massive - 16.383/7.0. In addition to Sun, Xiao and Zou the Chinese team also included Deng Shudi and Lin Chaopan.

Without Kohei Uchimura and Kenzo Shirai on the team, Japan captured the bronze medal ahead of the Unites States 258.159 to 254.578. The Japanese men (Daiki Hashimoto, Yuya Kamoto, Kakeru Tanigawa, Wataru Tanigawa, Kazuma Kaya) competed without any major mistakes until the very last rotation when they had to count a fall on the floor exercise. Regardless they easily retained their bronze medal from a yaer ago.

Led by Sam Mikulak who competed on all six events, United States had a near perfect competition hitting every single routine, but lack of difficulty on some of the events prevented them from challenging the top three countries. Great Britain was in the running for a top placement until the fourth rotation when Joe Fraser missed a Kolman on high bar. The team placed fifth with a 251.611. Sixth was the much-improved team from Chinese Taipei who posted 248.243; they finished in 17th place in Doha a year ago. Switzerland placed 7th with 247.038, while Ukraine used Oleg Verniaiev on pommel horse only and placed 8th with 246.593.

The world championships continue tomorrow with the women's all-around competition.

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