03 Oct Fueled by Emotion, Japan Wins Gold and Team USA Takes Bronze
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UP NEXT: WOMEN’S TEAM FINAL AND MEN’S ALL-AROUND FINAL
Oct. 4 – Women’s Team Final | 1:30 p.m. ET | Peacock
Oct. 5 – Men’s All-Around Final | 1:30 p.m. ET | Peacock
Oct. 6 – Women’s All-Around Final | 1:30 p.m. ET | Peacock
Oct. 7 – Event Finals Day 1 | 8:00 a.m. ET | Peacock
Oct. 8 – Event Finals Day 2 | 8:00 a.m. ET | Peacock
Event Finals Day 1: Men’s Floor, Women’s Vault, Men’s Pommel Horse, Women’s Uneven Bars, Men’s Rings
Event Finals Day 2: Men’s Vault, Women’s Beam, Men’s Parallel Bars, Women’s Floor, Men’s High Bar
Fueled by Emotion, Japan Wins Gold and Team USA Takes Bronze
From start to finish, the Men’s Team Final at the 2023 World Championships was a roller coaster of emotions but in the end, it was Japan that reigned supreme, clinching its first World title in eight years.
It was a fight to the finish! Japan didn’t take the lead until after the fourth rotation, but didn’t let up from there. Only needing a 12.566 to seal the deal, Hashimoto Daiki delivered big time with a 14.366, pushing Japan straight to the top ahead of the defending champs from China (255.594).
For China, the story felt very similar to what unfolded last year in Liverpool. After a rough Qualification round the Chinese men came into those finals in 4th but left no doubts who was the best when it mattered most to win title number 13. This year in Antwerp, the men had another rough go in Qualifications – finishing 8th and nearly missing out on the finals all together.
In an effort to boost their scoring potential, the team flew in Lin Chaopan at the last minute to replace Shi Cong. Lin came directly from the Asian Games, where he helped the Chinese team win gold, and competed on five events in Antwerp. However, in the end it was too difficult for the team to overcome the two falls from Su Wei on high bar (11.166) in the third rotation and they settled for silver (253.794).
For the U.S. men, it was a hard fought battle to the bronze – the first World team medal for Team USA since 2014. The day started strong on floor with Yul Moldauer (who stuck his first four passes cold) and Fred Richard setting the tone for the day with a pair of 14.366s.
“I knew it was my job to set the tone,” Moladuer said. “I did it for those guys because it wasn’t about me.”
There were some hiccups along the way, such as a less than spectacular pommel horse rotation (39.633), but the team stayed in the moment and focused on hitting all their remaining sets.
“It’s not just about the three routines on that event,” Asher Hong said after the meet. “It’s prioritizing all 18 routines and fighting for each and every last routine that you do. Paul [Juda] had a saying this past week that was “hit all remaining sets.” And that’s what we said right as we moved on from [pommel] horse. We forgot about what we did on horse, and we were focused on rings, and then we had success on rings and we forgot what we did on rings and reset and went to vault, and we did that for every single event.”
The hope remained alive after a monstrous 15.100 for Hong on vault, followed by a clean parallel bars rotation, highlighted by Moldauer’s 14.933.
It all came down to high bar, where the team had two falls just a few days prior in Qualifications. Fred Richard was one of those falls, but today he was calm under pressure to clinch the bronze.
What a performance! 👏
— NBC Olympics & Paralympics (@NBCOlympics) October 3, 2023
Notably, Asher Hong was the only member of the U.S. men’s team who competed in Liverpool last year but with a veteran in Moldauer, plus a roster of rising stars including 2023 U.S. national All-Around silver medalist Khoi Young, and the last two NCAA All-Around Championships in Richard (2023) and Paul Juda (2022), it’s safe to say Team USA was in good hands this year and for years to come.
“Now it’s attainable,” said high performance director Brett McClure. “The reality is set in. Like, you can actually do this, it’s not some unicorn off in the distance that doesn’t exist. Now they can believe in themselves and have a little bit more confidence heading into Paris.”
- Japan – 255.594
- China – 253.794
- USA – 252.428
- Great Britain – 249.461
- Switzerland – 244.426
- Germany – 244.026
- Canada – 243.028
- Italy – 241.160