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HomeOutdoor AdventuresZhang, Zuo Proceed China’s Gold Streak With All-Round Wins

Zhang, Zuo Proceed China’s Gold Streak With All-Round Wins


Zhang Boheng

The Chinese language crew on the Asian Video games in Hangzhou stored their gold streak going, as Zhang Boheng gained the boys’s all-around title on Tuesday, after which Zuo Tong took the ladies’s all-around title the subsequent afternoon.

Zhang was at his all-time greatest right here, incomes an 89.299 to win the gold by greater than two factors with the very best rating we’ve seen in males’s gymnastics because the 2016 quad, the place scores had been larger throughout the board in a code of factors that allowed for better ranges of problem. His highest scores got here on parallel bars and excessive bar, the place he earned seemingly not possible scores of 15.466 and 15.2 for sensible performances on each, and his lowest rating was a 14.5 on ground, a rating most gymnasts would dream of on any occasion.

His efficiency and scores right here have followers begging for him to be placed on a aircraft and despatched to worlds, and I’ve to say I’m totally on board for this plan, however I additionally perceive why China needed him to have this glory at residence. It’s positively not the identical as going head-to-head as soon as once more with the opposite greatest gymnasts on this planet, and I believe most athletes would worth a world title over a continental one, however for China, this competitors was actually every thing, and Zhang greater than delivered on their expectations for him.

It was fairly clear Zhang was going to be the star of this present and he’s after all the largest story of this explicit last, however it was additionally thrilling to see Japan’s Kitazono Takeru take the silver medal with a efficiency that trumps just about any of the work he’s performed in his profession.

Kitazono was essentially the most promising younger Japanese athlete going into the Tokyo Video games, and he ended up making the crew at simply 18 years previous, profitable a silver medal along with his crew. However some regression throughout his all-around program coupled with an absence of consistency has held him again since then, leaving him out of rivalry for the worlds groups each final yr and this yr. Don’t get me mistaken, he was nonetheless in fairly glorious form and will often rating within the 83-85 vary, however on a crew with a lot all-around depth, he hasn’t been in a position to cope with the blokes who’re persistently just a bit bit higher.

However along with his efficiency right here incomes an 87.032, Kitazono is now formally the second-best Japanese all-arounder this yr behind Hashimoto Daiki, and confirmed precisely what he’s able to when every thing clicks. He was in a position to capitalize on his highest-difficulty occasions, incomes a 14.433 on excessive bar, a 14.6 on pommel horse, and a 15.3 on parallel bars whereas additionally placing in strong work in every single place else to point out why he may very effectively be in Olympic rivalry once more subsequent yr.

Rounding out the rostrum was Lan Xingyu of China, who earned an 84.965 to take the bronze, bolstered by a 15.266 for rings, his pet equipment. Lan can also be a powerful vaulter, incomes a 14.5, and his parallel bars routine earned a 14.533. Every little thing else is a bit additional behind in problem, however with clear performances all through, he was in a position to keep afloat to defeat Kawakami Shohei, one of many all-around podium favorites right here who sadly counted falls on pommel horse and vault to fall again to fourth place with an 81.832.

Additionally reaching the highest eight right here had been Bae Garam of South Korea in fifth with a 77.865, Asadbek Azamov of Uzbekistan in sixth with a 77.197, Mohammadreza Khosronezhad of Iran in seventh with a 76.730, and Ravshan Kamiljanov of Uzbekistan in eighth with a 76.665.

Within the girls’s competitors, Zuo earned a 53.565 to win the gold medal, which ended up being the primary all-around medal of her elite profession with a rating that was a private greatest.

Zuo, who turned 17 earlier this month, solely simply made her worldwide debut on the Asian Championships in June, the place she competed two occasions in {qualifications} and went on to win the bronze on bars, however domestically she hasn’t been a lot of a standout till this yr. It was nice to see her put collectively a strong and full efficiency, counting on her strongest occasions – bars and beam – for the majority of her rating, but in addition exhibiting hits on her weaker occasions to return out with a formidable and surprising win.

Okamura Mana of Japan gained the silver medal with a 52.898, doing a few of her greatest work on beam to earn a 13.933 – a pleasant bump up from her {qualifications} rating – whereas additionally hitting vault, bars, and ground, although she did have some struggles on the primary two. Like Zuo, that is the primary all-around medal of her senior elite profession, and in solely her second senior project after having made her debut with the gold on beam at Cottbus in February, so it was nice to see her stand out and shine with out the highest Japanese all-arounders within the combine.

The bronze medal went to Kim Su Jong of North Korea, who earned a 51.466 to earn that final spot on the rostrum. It wasn’t an ideal day for Kim, who hit beam for a 13.2, however in any other case struggled, scoring far under her potential. However it was a greater day than a number of the different contenders, together with Zhang Jin, who led the sector in {qualifications} however in the end dropped considerably as a result of a fall on vault and three falls on bars.

It was heartbreaking to see Zhang not stay as much as the potential she confirmed the opposite night time, however on the similar time it was so fulfilling to observe Kim attain the rostrum after such a tumultuous begin to her profession after being pressured to surrender her Olympic spot when North Korea withdrew from the Tokyo Video games as a result of issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opposite high finishers right here included Ting Hua-Tien of Taiwan in fifth with a 50.299, An Chang Okay of North Korea in sixth with a 50.299, Lim Sumin of South Korea in seventh with a 49.166, and her teammate An Yeonjeong in eighth with a 48.965.

Sadly, one of many high medal contenders, Ushioku Kohane of Japan, was pressured to sit down out the competitors after being injured on vault simply earlier than it was set to start, leaving Japan with only one all-arounder within the area as there wasn’t sufficient time to exchange her. Ushioku had a unbelievable efficiency in {qualifications} and was wanting more likely to decide up a few particular person medals between the all-around competitors in addition to with how she was wanting going into the vault and ground finals, particularly after qualifying into ground with the highest rating, so this was an extremely unlucky finish to her meet, and we hope she will get effectively quickly and are available again stronger subsequent yr.

Article by Lauren Hopkins



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