GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Japan and star Kohei Uchimura have won their country’s first world gymnastics title in nearly 40 years.
The Japanese held off surprising Great Britain and longtime rival China in a tense final on Wednesday, with Uchimura clinching the gold medal despite a fall on high bar on the final routine of the night. Japan finished with a team total of 270.818 to edge the Brits by 0.473 points.
China, seeking its seventh straight world title, struggled early and never led in its lowest finish in a major competition since the 2004 Olympics. Russia was fourth, followed by the U.S., which saw its hopes for bronze fade on pommel horse.
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Uchimura fell during his high bar set just as Britain’s final score was posted. The crowd erupted and it seemed to momentarily jar the Olympic champion. He fell to the mat but recovered for a 14.466, good enough to put Japan atop the podium at worlds for the first time since 1978.