The MAG Record Breakers in Tokyo

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All four Turkish men made history in Tokyo

Athletes competing for 29 countries in the men’s gymnastics field set, matched, or broke records for their nations at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Some nations did big things, like Taiwan and Turkey shattering records for just about every event to show the world they’re going to be the guys to watch out for going forward, but even the guys who made only small leaps ahead of what their compatriots did before them are still incredibly important for the growth of a program, especially for the smaller programs only just getting started where this sort of representation can change their trajectory into the future.

Below are all of those who made history for their countries in the sport.

ALBANIA

Matvei Petrov became the first gymnast from Albania to qualify for the Olympic Games, and set the program’s record by finishing 10th in pommel horse qualifications.

ARMENIA

Artur Davtyan finished 3rd in the vault final, breaking his own 11th place record from 2016. This is the first Olympic medal for Armenia in men’s gymnastics.

AUSTRALIA

Tyson Bull finished 5th in the high bar final, breaking Brennon Dowrick’s 40th place record from 1992. This is the first Olympic apparatus final for Australia in men’s gymnastics.

AZERBAIJAN

Ivan Tikhonov broke two records in Tokyo.

  • He finished 20th on rings, breaking Oleg Stepko’s 47th place record from 2016.
  • On high bar, he finished 41st, breaking Petro Pakhniuk’s 50th place record from 2016.

CHINA

China has finished 1st on every event currently contested in men’s artistic gymnastics, and two athletes in Tokyo added their names to the country’s history of gold medalists.

  • Liu Yang finished 1st on rings, joining Li Ning (1984) and Chen Yibing (2008) to win China’s Olympic gold medal on the event.
  • Zou Jingyuan finished 1st on parallel bars, joining Li Xiaopeng (2000 and 2008) and Feng Zhe (2012) to win China’s fourth Olympic gold medal on the event.

CROATIA

Tin Srbic finished 2nd in the high bar final, breaking Aleksei Demianov’s 87th place record from 1996. This is the second Olympic medal for Croatia in men’s gymnastics, following Filip Ude’s silver on pommel horse in 2008.

CYPRUS

Marios Georgiou broke three of his own records from 2016 in Tokyo.

  • On floor, he finished 50th, an improvement from 57th place.
  • Georgiou finished 61st on rings, an improvement from 65th place.
  • On high bar, he finished 9th, an improvement from 22nd place.

CZECH REPUBLIC

David Jessen finished 53rd on parallel bars, breaking Martin Konecny’s 57th place record from 2012.

EGYPT

Omar Mohamed broke two records in Tokyo.

  • Mohamed finished 54th on floor, breaking Mohamed El Saharty’s 56th place record from 2012.
  • On pommel horse, he finished 46th, breaking the 57th place record shared by Ali Zaky (1952) and Mohamed El Saharty (2012).

FRANCE

Samir Aït Saïd finished 4th on rings, breaking the 5th place record shared by Pierre Yves Beny (2004) and Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues (2008).

GREAT BRITAIN

Two British men competing in Tokyo broke and tied individual records.

  • Max Whitlock finished 1st on pommel horse, winning gold for the second time after first becoming the Olympic pommel horse champion in 2016. This is the third gold medal for Great Britain in men’s gymnastics, with Whitlock also winning floor in 2016.
  • Joe Fraser finished 12th on rings, breaking Nile Wilson’s 14th place record from 2016.
  • Fraser also finished 8th on parallel bars, breaking the 23rd place record shared by Stanley Leigh (1924) and Max Whitlock (2016).

HONG KONG

Shek Wai Hung finished 12th on vault, breaking his own 13th place record from 2012.

IRELAND

Rhys McClenaghan finished 7th on pommel horse, breaking Kieran Behan’s 64th place record from 2016. McClenaghan was also the first Irish man to qualify to an individual final.

ISRAEL

Artem Dolgopyat finished 1st on floor, breaking Alexander Shatilov’s 6th place record from 2012. This is the first Olympic medal for Israel in men’s gymnastics.

JAPAN

Hashimoto Daiki tied two records in Tokyo.

  • Hashimoto finished 1st in the all-around, marking the 7th time in history the all-around title went to Japan following Endo Yukio (1964), Kato Sawao (1968 and 1972), Gushiken Koji (1984), and Uchimura Kohei (2012 and 2016).
  • He also finished 1st on high bar, winning Japan’s 7th gold medal on the event, following Ono Takashi (1956 and 1960), Nakayama Akinori (1968), Tsukahara Mitsuo (1972 and 1976), and Morisue Shinji (1984).

KAZAKHSTAN

Milad Karimi broke or tied four records in Tokyo.

  • Karimi finished 14th in the all-around, matching Yernar Yerimbetov’s finish in 2004.
  • On floor, he finished 5th, breaking Yernar Yerimbetov’s 13th place record from 2004.
  • He finished 49th on rings, breaking Yernar Yerimbetov’s 55th place record from 2004.
  • On high bar, he finished 8th, breaking Sergey Fedorchenko’s 10th place record from 2000.

LITHUANIA

Robert Tvorogal broke three of his own records from 2016 in Tokyo.

  • On floor, he finished 41st, an improvement from 51st place.
  • He finished 48th on rings, an improvement from 61st place.
  • On parallel bars, he finished 32nd, an improvement from 57th place.

MALAYSIA

Loo Phay Xing finished 70th on parallel bars, breaking Ng Shu Wai’s 78th place record from 2004.

NEW ZEALAND

Mikhail Koudinov broke three of his own records from 2016 in Tokyo.

  • On floor, he finished 51st, an improvement from 61st place.
  • He finished 59th on pommel horse, an improvement from 66th place.
  • On parallel bars, he finished 35th, an improvement from 40th place.

NIGERIA

Uche Eke became the first gymnast from Nigeria to qualify for the Olympic Games, and set the program’s first records by finishing 52nd on pommel horse, 58th in the all-around, 61st on floor, 64th on parallel bars, 67th on high bar, and 70th on rings.

NORWAY

Sofus Heggemsnes finished 52nd on rings, breaking Finn Gjertsen’s 57th place record from 1984.

PHILIPPINES

Carlos Edriel Yulo broke or set records in the all-around and on all six events in Tokyo.

  • He finished 47th in the all-around, beating Norman Henson’s 116th place record from 1968.
  • On floor, he finished 44th, beating Norman Henson’s 116th place record from 1968.
  • On rings, he finished 24th, beating Norman Henson’s 116th place record from 1968.
  • On vault, he finished 4th, beating Norman Henson’s 115th place record from 1968, and becoming the first man from the Philippines to earn a spot in an individual final.
  • On parallel bars, he finished 55th, beating Norman Henson’s 116th place record from 1968.
  • He was also the first to compete on pommel horse, setting the record with his 69th place finish, and on high bar, setting the record with his 63rd place finish.

RUSSIA

The Russian men – Denis Abliazin, David Belyavskiy, Artur Dalaloyan, and Nikita Nagornyy – finished 1st to win the gold in the team final. This is the second time in post-Soviet history that the Russian men have become team champions after the team previously won in 1996.

SOUTH KOREA

Two South Korean men competing in Tokyo tied individual records.

  • Ryu Sung-hyun finished 4th on floor, matching Yoo Ok-ryul’s finish in 1992.
  • Shin Jea-hwan finished 1st on vault, matching Yang Hak-seon’s finish in 2012 to become the second South Korean man to win gold in men’s gymnastics at the Olympic Games.

SPAIN

Rayderley Zapata finished 2nd on floor, matching Gervasio Deferr’s finish in 2008 and winning the fourth Olympic medal for Spain in men’s gymnastics.

TURKEY

Every athlete representing Turkey in men’s gymnastics at the Olympic Games broke or set records in Tokyo. All four men also became the first to qualify to individual finals at the Olympics.

  • Ferhat Arican finished 3rd on parallel bars, breaking his own 39th place record from 2016, and becoming the first Turkish gymnast to win an Olympic medal in men’s gymnastics.
  • He also finished 17th on pommel horse, breaking his own 46th place record from 2016.
  • Ibrahim Colak finished 5th on rings, breaking Ferhat Arican’s 53rd place record from 2016.
  • Ahmet Önder finished 13th on floor, breaking Ferhat Arican’s 62nd place record from 2016.
  • Adem Asil finished 15th in the all-around, breaking Ferhat Arican’s 41st place record from 2016.
  • He also finished 6th on vault, setting the record as the first Turkish man to compete two vaults at the Olympics.
  • On high bar, Asil finished 13th, breaking Ferhat Arican’s 54th place record from 2016.

UZBEKISTAN

Rasuljon Abdurakhimov finished 48th on high bar, matching Anton Fokin’s finish in 2016.

VIETNAM

Le Thanh Tung set two records in Tokyo.

  • He was the first Vietnamese man to compete two vaults at the Olympics, and set the program’s record by finishing 19th in vault qualifications.
  • Le was also the first to compete high bar for Vietnam, setting the program’s record by finishing 39th.

TAIWAN

The Taiwanese men broke records in nearly every event contested in men’s gymnastics at the Olympic Games.

  • The men finished 10th in the team final, breaking the team’s 17th place record from 1964.
  • Lee Chih-Kai finished 2nd on pommel horse, breaking his own 31st place record from 2016.
  • He also finished 39th on parallel bars, breaking Lin Yung-His’s 76th place record from 2000.
  • Tang Chia-Hung finished 7th in the all-around final, breaking Lin Yung-Hsi’s 51st place record from 2000.
  • He also finished 16th on floor, breaking Lin Yung-Hsi’s 40th place record from 2000.
  • On rings, he finished 28th, breaking Lin Yung-Hsi’s 76th place record from 2000.
  • And on high bar, he finished 33rd, breaking Lin Yung-Hsi’s 77th place record from 2000.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

4 thoughts on “The MAG Record Breakers in Tokyo

  1. Thanks so much for these posts! I’m sure they take a ton of work, but I love that someone is celebrating the incremental, less publicized victories for small programs.

    Like

  2. Thanks for this!

    It was all but a fluke that Turkey didn’t qualify a team to Tokyo (last minute injury at worlds) and kind of the same thing happened here with Taiwan not doing as well as expected due to a last minute injury athlete swap as well. I really see those two teams possibly being in team finals in Paris.

    On the flipside, I also see the US, Ukraine, Switzerland, Brazil and Germany growing the gap between the big three – Russia, China and Japan. Unfortunately, a lot of the top scoring gymnasts for these countries are retiring and the new seniors, older juniors are unlikely to be at their level by Paris.

    Like

  3. YAY for all these guys and what a great list! Thanks, @Lauren!

    I especially love things like “X finished 5th, beating the previous 86th place finish by Y.” Wow, quite a jump! (That’s not a specific example, of course.)

    Like

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