PREVIEW – MEN’S ALL-AROUND COMPETITION
10.10.2019 16:39 Uhr
Battle for gold between Russia and China continues
Friday 11 October – After the thrilling finale of the men’s team competition on Wednesday, where the Russian Federation beat the People’s Republic of China for the first time in history, the rivalry continues in the all-around final.
Last year at the world championships in Doha, China’s Xiao Ruoteng tied for first place with Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan, but was downgraded to silver due to a tie-break procedure.
It is an outcome he is hoping will not be reepated. “I really want to focus on the all-around now,” said the 2017 all-around world champion after the team event. “to win a gold medal, not a silver medal again.”
The top six gymnasts from last year’s all-around are all back in this year’s final, in what could be a repeat contest for the medals. Top qualifier here in Stuttgart is last year’s bronze medalist, Nikita Nagornyy of Russia, and top favourite to take the title.
Also in the mix is China’s Sun Wei, who was fourth in 2018, and Kazuma Kaya of Japan, sixth last year. The fifth-place finisher from Doha is Sam Mikulak of the USA, who only just scraped into this final in 24th place after a nightmare in qualifications.
“I did not think I was even going to make it,” the American confessed after qualifications. But he came back with a stellar performance in the team competition, with a total score that would have put him in second place in qualifications. If he competes like that in the all-around, a medal is certainly within grasp.