06 Nov What A Wonderful Worlds! 2022 World Championships Concludes with Day 2 of Event Finals
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What A Wonderful Worlds! 2022 World Championships Concludes with Day 2 of Event Finals
The chalk dust has settled as the 2022 World Championships have come to a close in Liverpool. It was a thrilling day of competition for the second day of event finals with new champions crowned at the halfway point to Paris 2024!
The day got started on vault and it was Artur Davtyan (ARM) who grabbed the first World gold medal ever for his country, upsetting reigning vault champion Carlos Yulo (PHI). Davtyan had some of the cleanest gymnastics in the final, vaulting a Dragulescu, which he stuck cold, and a Randi, with just a small hop (15.050). Yulo put up a good fight to defend his title, but came up just a tenth shy of Davtyan (14.950).
“Since the fall of the Soviet Union this is the first gold for Armenia in a world championship,” Davtyan said. “We got third on pommel (on Saturday) and now we have gold!”
Igor Radivilov (UKR) took the bronze (14.733) and had no shortage of emotions after he finished his second vault. You could see from the look on his face – the years of hard work to get this medal, the pain and heartbreak of the war in his home country – it all came flooding out at that moment. Kathy Johnson Clarke said it best: “When beauty, pain and resilience meet there are no words, only feeling!”
“This medal is very important for Ukraine, because of the war and the problems we have had training,” Radilov said after the competition. “This medal will help push me towards the next Worlds and the Olympics, and maybe there will be one more medal for me.”
Up next was the women’s beam final which gave us perhaps the most unexpected podium of the entire World Championship. Medal favorites Ou Yushan, Skye Blakely and Rebeca Andrade all had falls, leaving the podium wide open for the taking. First year World team member Wantanbe Hazuki, who was originally an alternate for the Japanese team, capitalized on the opportunity, giving Japan its third World title ever on the event and second consecutive title with a strongly executed set for a 13.600.
“I am very happy. This is my first World Championship, my first big tournament, so my legs were shaking with nerves,” Wantabe admitted after the competition. “Other gymnasts were falling and making big mistakes but I was able to go through my routine OK.”
Ellie Black showed great confidence as she attacked the beam, capping off her routine with a stuck 2.5 twist with a NCAA style salute! Ellie held onto the lead for most of the final before being pushed to second (13.566) and grabbing the first individual event World medal of her career. Newcomer and fan favorite Miyata Shoko grabbed the bronze (13.533), solidifying a gold and bronze medal finish for Japan on beam for the second year in a row.
In the parallel bar final, nobody could catch reigning Olympic and 3-time World champ Zou Jingyuan with his massive 6.9 D score. Jingyuan posted a 16.166 – by far the highest score of the competition out of both the men and women – to lock in the gold.
“This is the first time I did this 6.9 difficulty routine,” Jingyuan said. “At first, I just wanted to stick with the original plan, use the 6.5 difficulty and perform it perfectly. But I decided to perform the harder routine to challenge myself. You could see that I was a little bit rushed and shaky, and there was a little pressure. But I am satisfied with my performance.”
Olympic silver medalist Lukas Dauser snatched his first World medal with a 15.500 and Carlos Yulo grabbed his second medal of these World Championships with the bronze (15.366).
In the women’s floor final it was a party from start to finish! 2-time European floor champion Jessica Gadirova dazzled with dramatic choreography and big tumbling for a 14.200. Gadirova had the highest difficulty of the competition (6.0) and posted the highest execution score (8.2) which was enough to get her the gold – and one last roar from the home crowd.
“I’m just so relieved and just so shocked – I can’t believe it,” Gadirova said. “When I focus on the dance it takes my mind away from the crowd and the tumbles and the leaps, and it makes me feel alive. That’s what I am, I love to perform and floor is one of my favorite pieces to do. It gives me such an amazing feeling.”
Jordan Chiles closed out her first World Championship with her second individual silver medal. Chiles’ tumbling was superb with the choreography as entertaining as always for a 13.833. Chiles held the lead all the way until the very last routine.
“It was a little nerve wracking knowing they have higher difficulty than me. But I did my best and showed what I was made of,” Chiles said. “I just did what I know I can do, whether I got a medal or not. Getting the silver makes me really proud. I could cry again.”
In the bronze medal position it was World All-Around champion Rebeca Andrade and reigning Olympic floor champion Jade Carey. Carey had initially tied with Chiles but her D-score was dropped by 1 tenth after an inquiry, tying her for bronze.
“It was really me and my dad’s decision,” Carey said. “They’ve been giving me my full start value (6.100) this whole competition until today. We didn’t think my routine was any different than it has been.”
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) November 6, 2022
The high bar final closed out the 2022 World Championships and it was a thrilling one! Brody Malone upgraded his bronze medal from the 2021 World Championships to a gold one in Liverpool – the only medal for the U.S. men at these World Championships. Malone had one of the best routines we have seen him do, posting a 14.800 to hold onto the lead and top the reigning Olympic champion on the event, Hashimoto Daiki (14.700). It’s the first high bar gold medal for the United States since Kurt Thomas won the event in 1979.
“I haven’t really thought about it yet. It’s pretty incredible, especially going up against a field like that,” Malone said. “You’ve got Daiki who’s the Olympic champion on high bar and then he won high bar last year at the Worlds, so to come out on top of that field is pretty awesome and special.”
Arthur Mariano, who won gold on the event in 2019, took home the bronze (14.466).
And with that, we say goodbye to Liverpool. With new champions crowned and memories to last a lifetime – we’re now one step closer to Paris 2024!
Photos by Ricardo Bufolin for Inside Gymnastics
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