Japan Sneaks Qualifications Lead Ahead of China

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As if the first subdivision of men’s gymnastics at the Olympic Games wasn’t dramatic enough, the Japanese men came in and put together a near-perfect day to take over the lead by just over a tenth.

Led by Hashimoto Daiki and Kitazono Takeru, the two young prodigies on the team, Japan’s only major falter came on vault, where they had to count a fall after both Kaya Kazuma and Tanigawa Wataru had misses. Hashimoto currently leads in the all-around with an 88.531, more than half a point ahead of the rest of the field, while Kitazono is currently sitting in seventh with an 85.948, held back a bit by his rings routine.

The Japanese men were able to get the lead thanks to significant advantages on floor and high bar, where they’re nearly a point ahead of the rest of the field on both so far, making up for slight disadvantages on the other events and with the vault fall. With only three tenths total separating the top three teams here, Japan does have an edge with being able to come back on Monday with a fully hit vault rotation, whereas neither China nor Russia had particularly major mistakes, and if anything, I feel like Russia may have goneĀ too hard today, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can repeat that.

Great Britain also had an excellent competition, putting up strong routines even on weaker events, and they’re currently fourth with a 256.594, while Switzerland dealt with a few falls and now sit fifth with a 249.193. I thought Brazil would have a better day based on podium training, but they ended up just behind Ukraine with a 247.263.

Joe Fraser had a remarkably good day for the Brits, and currently sits fifth in the all-around with an 86.298, just ahead of Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan. Teammate James Hall is 12th with an 84.431, Caio Souza of Brazil is 13th with an 84.298, Giarnni Regini-Moran is 14th with an 82.831 (but will be two-per-country’ed out of the all-around final with Fraser and Hall ahead of him), Milad Karimi of Kazakhstan is 16th with an 82.565, with falls on pommels and p-bars holding him back after exemplary floor and high bar routines, and Switzerland has gymnasts in 17th, 19th, and 20th, with Benjamin Gischard standing out as the top for the men at an 82.498, followed by Eddy Yusof with an 81.898 and Christian Baumann with an 81.631.

On floor, Artem Dolgopyat of Israel maintains his lead with a 15.200, with Karimi the top from this subdivision at a 14.766, while Hashimoto, Kitazono, and Regini-Moran all jumped into the top eight. Individual athlete Kameyama Kohei matched Rhys McClenaghan’s pommels score with a 15.266, and Max Whitlock of Great Britain is close behind with a 14.900, while Kaya, Matvei Petrov of Albania, and Fraser all came into finals position. On rings, Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece climbed to the top of the rankings with a 15.333, while Arthur Zanetti of Brazil pushed into third with a 14.900, and Fraser is currently eighth with a 14.400.

Artur Davtyan of Armenia was excellent on vault to take over that lead with a 14.866 average, with Souza and Regini-Moran, who had a fall on his second vault, joining him in the top eight. Fraser was the top p-bars gymnast of the rotation with a 15.400, currently fourth behind the three Chinese men led by Zou Jingyuan, and both Hashimoto and Tanigawa entered the top eight for Japan. Hashimoto now leads high bar with a 15.033, while Karimi, Kitazono, and Tyson Bull of Australia came into the mix.

The most notable apparatus contenders who missed out this subdivision were Uchimura Kohei of Japan and Arthur Mariano of Brazil on high bar.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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