Japan secured the coveted men’s team title at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, outshining China by a narrow 1.8 points in a nail-biting competition on Tuesday.
Historic victory: Led by reigning world and Olympic all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto, the Japanese national gymnastics team orchestrated a stunning comeback to win at the 2023 event held in Antwerp, Belgium.
Japan earned a total score of 255.594 points to edge past defending champions China, who secured 253.794 points. The title marks Japan’s first gold at a major team international competition since 2015.
Tough competition: China, powered by the substitution of Lin Chaopan for Shi Cong, settled for silver after the loss. The U.S. also made an inspiring podium finish, securing the bronze with a score of 252.428. This marked the first time the U.S. had clinched a medal in either the World Championships or Olympic Games since 2014.
Sealing the win: Despite a somewhat shaky start in the qualifying rounds, Hashimoto delivered a final score of 14.366 via a mesmerizing double-twisting, double layout dismount on the horizontal bar.
“I’ve competed in team event [at the World Championships] since 2019, but only got silver and bronze medals,” Hashimoto was quoted saying. “Finally, I got a gold medal, which is the one I really wanted. I’m very happy.”
Hashimoto has now set his sights on the upcoming all-around competition on Thursday, aiming to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Uchimura Kohei and secure back-to-back World all-around titles.