Olympic gold medallists China won a fifth straight men’s title at the world gymnastics championships on Wednesday, denying Japan’s bid to return to the top after 33 years. China collected 275.161 points with Japan second at 273.093. The United States finished third by one hundredth of a point at 273.083. Japan, who won the Olympic title in 2004 after a break of 28 years, trailed close behind China by 0.609 points into the final rotation.
But Yusuke Tanaka and defending all-around champion Kohei Uchimura, second and third up on horizontal bar in Japan’s final event, failed to re-grasp the bar, while China scored steadily in their final event, floor exercise. Zou Kai, the Olympics floor and high bar gold medallist, scored 15.600 to top off China’s gold medal performance. Japan and the United States clashed head-on in the same rotation group as the top two qualifying teams.
After four rotations, Japan topped the rankings with Russia and China in second and third spots, and the United States in fourth place. But China, a squad studded with Olympic and world champions, overtook Japan after the fifth rotation as horizontal bar title holder Zhang Chenglong scored 16.200 in the event and Zou collected 15.933.
Competing on parallel bars in an adjacent section, Japan could do no better than 15.5 before the final event. China have won the last four world men’s team titles as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold. The Japanese men were 2004 Athens Olympic champions, but their last world team title came in 1978.
Short and stocky is the general frame of a gymnast’s body anyway. The women gymnasts obtain that physique after years of hitting the floor (so masculine-YUK). Well, we still lead in Swimming! Swimmers have much better bodies anyway, particularly the men. Of course, dancers have the best bodies of all, especially the women! 😉