Odd 4-way tie for gold at world gymnastics championships
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) They’re running out of gold medals at the world gymnastics championships.
China’s Fan Yilin, Russia’s Viktoria Komova and Daria Spiridonova and Madison Kocian of the U.S. all tied for the top spot in the uneven bars finals on Saturday. It’s the first-ever four-way tie at worlds.
There are no tiebreakers during world meets, unlike the Olympics, meaning all four women get to head home with gold after posting scores of 15.366.
Fan put together an elegant set only to see the judges give Komova, Spiridonova and Kocian the same total after near flawless routines of their own. Fan did the most difficult routine of the four, with the judges giving Kocian and Komova the highest marks on execution. The math, however, ended up being equal in the end.
The unprecedented result left U.S. national team coordinator Martha Karolyi speechless, saying it’s the first time in 50 years in the sport she can remember having the top of the podium so crowded.
Max Whitlock edged teammate Louis Smith in the pommel horse finals at the world gymnastics championships on Saturday, giving the host Brits their first men’s gold medal ever at the event. Reigning Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas finished fifth with a score of 15.133.
Host Britain continued its historic performance, with Max Whitlock giving the British men’s program its first gold medal at worlds when he edged teammate Louis Smith in the pommel horse final. Whitlock’s score of 16.133 was a tenth better than Smith’s total as Britain continued its ascension to the sport’s elite. The British men won silver in the team finals on Wednesday, a day after the women earned bronze.
Earlier Saturday, Japan’s Kenzo Shirai picked up his second gold medal in men’s floor exercise and Russia’s Maria Paseka earned a gold on women’s vault.
Shirai’s score of 16.233 beat Whitlock by more than half a point. Spain’s Rayderley Zapata Santana edged China’s Deng Shudi for bronze.
The 19-year-old Shirai spent 90 seconds putting together some of the most daring tumbling passes in the sport. His dizzying series of flips are twist are unmatched even by superstar teammate Kohei Uchimura, the six-time world all-around champion.
Paseka earned the Russia women’s team its first medal of the championships after the Russians finished off the podium in the women’s team final, though Komova and Spiridonova later pushed Russia’s gold-medal total to an unexpected three.
Paseka’s two-vault average of 15.633 was just better than the Hong Un Jong of North Korea. Three-time women’s all-around champion Simone Biles finished third, her 12th career medal at the world championships.
Biles will get a chance to add to her haul during the balance beam and women’s floor exercise finals on Sunday.