Zonderland flies to third World title

Zonderland KNGU.jpg

Zonderland flies to third World title

November 3, 2018

Competition report of day 2 of event finals at #DohaGym2018

On the final day of these 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha (QAT), we saw the top eight gymnasts in the world in action on vault, parallel bars and high bar for men while the women competed on beam and floor. Freshly crowned all-around and floor World Champion Artur Dalaloyan had another busy day, being the only gymnast to compete in all three men’s finals today. American Simone Biles, of course, started in both women’s finals.


Ri Se Gwang back on top

North Korean former World and reigning Olympic Champion Ri Se Gwang used his two namesake vaults to regain the World title he lost to Kenzo Shirai last year. Although his execution was better, Shirai lacked the difficulty to really challenge Ri. Two-time European Champion Artur Dalaloyan performed last, showing the same difficulty as Shirai but with slightly better execution, clinching the silver medal, his fourth medal of the competition … so far. By just the tiniest margin, Great Britain’s Dominick Cunningham and Russia’s Nikita Nagornyy missed out on the medals.


1. Ri Se Gwang (PRK) 14.933

2. Artur Dalaloyan (RUS) 14.883

3. Kenzo Shirai (JPN) 14.675

4. Dominick Cunningham (GBR) 14.666

5. Nikita Nagornyy (RUS) 14.650

6. Wai Hung Shek (HKG) 14.366

7. Artur Davtyan (ARM) 13.933

8. Caio Souza (BRA) 13.883


Mistakes cost Biles beam title

In a final marked by mistakes, Simone Biles set the tone by wobbling, missing her connections and taking a big hop on her dismount. Other victims of their own instability where European and Olympic Champion Sanne Wevers, American talent Kara Eaker and China’s Jin Zhang. In the end, only two gymnasts delivered good routines. Canada’s World debutant Anne-Marie Padurariu’s elegant style and original combinations, catapulted her to first position with only Liu Tingting to perform. The Chinese leader recovered from her minor mistakes in qualification, delivering a stunning routine with the highest difficulty of the final (6.3) that earned her a high 14.533 and her first World title. Nina Derwael ended fourth, also having to save some of her skills.


1. Tingting Liu (CHN) 14.533

2. Ana Padurariu (CAN) 14.100

3. Simone Biles (USA) 13.600

4. Nina Derwael (BEL) 13.466

5. Ellie Black (CAN) 13.033

6. Kara Eaker (USA) 12.833

7. Sanne Wevers (NED) 12.666

8. Jin Zhang (CHN) 11.500


Zou reaches for the skies

China’s Jingyuan Zou already showed his class on parallel bars at these World Championships, qualifying in top position with 15.800 and delivering a stunning 16.200 that helped China clinch the title in the team final. In this final, he even upped the game even more! Starting from 7.0 difficulty score, he gave almost nothing away to the judges who found just over half a point in deductions. 16.433 flashed, the highest score of the entire competition! Reigning Olympic Champion Oleg Verniaiev came back from surgery just a few months ago and isn’t back at 100% strength yet. This didn’t show in his routine today though, with the Ukrainian going through his moves with his usual style. Nor did he go for an easier option … Verniaiev went all out and was rewarded with the silver medal. Star of the Championships, Artur Dalaloyan, was last up again. He performed an excellent routine that overtook American Sam Mikulak for the bronze medal.


1. Jingyuan Zou (CHN) 16.433

2. Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) 15.591

3. Artur Dalaloyan (RUS) 15.366

4. Sam Mikulak (USA) 15.233

5. Chaopan Lin (CHN) 15.200

6. Jossimar Calvo Moreno (COL) 15.033

7. David Belyavskiy (RUS) 14.633

8. Lukas Dauser (GER) 13.700


Biles, who else?

A full point ahead in difficulty, Simone Biles nailed her impressive tumbling passes for an easy victory in the floor final. She held off her teammate Morgan Hurd by exactly one point. Defending World Champion Mai Murakami and 2017 European Champion Angelina Melnikova battled it out for the bronze medal with the Japanese coming out on top by just 0.033.


1. Simone Biles (USA) 14.933

2. Morgan Hurd (USA) 13.933

3. Mai Murakami (JPN) 13.866

4. Angelina Melnikova (RUS) 13.833

5. Flavia Saraiva (BRA) 13.766

6. Melanie de Jesus dos Santos (FRA) 13.433

7. Lilia Akhaimova (RUS) 13.366

8. Brooklyn Moors (CAN) 13.066


The Flying Dutchman strikes again

At last year’s World Championships, Epke Zonderland’s epic save went viral. This year, the new dad didn’t want to settle for anything less than gold. He increased his D-score by 6 tenths, throwing a Cassina – Kovacs and a Kolman – Gaylord II before sticking the double-twisting double layout dismount. Top qualifier Kohei Uchimura lacked the spectacular combinations to overtook the 2012 Olympic Champion and American Sam Mikulak finally made it onto the Worlds podium, returning home with the bronze medal, after coming close so many times. Fittingly, Dalaloyan was the very last gymnast to perform at these Worlds. Unfortunately, he fell of the high bar on a Tkatchev. He did stick his dismount though, testament to his mental strength. Anyway, his name will forever be linked to Doha 2018 just as it will be to Glasgow 2018.


1. Epke Zonderland (NED) 15.100

2. Kohei Uchimura (JPN) 14.800

3. Sam Mikulak (USA) 14.533

4. Tin Srbic (CRO) 14.500

5. Chia-Hung Tang (TPE) 14.266

6. Shudi Deng (CHN) 14.066

7. Ruoteng Xiao (CHN) 13.900

8. Artur Dalaloyan (RUS) 12.666


Find the complete results on the FIG website: https://live.gymnastics.sport/schedule.php?idevent=13335

That concludes these World Championships! Congratulations to all medallists! The next World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics will be held in Stuttgart (GER) from 4 to 13 October 2019.


Photo: Dutch Gymnastics