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ANTWERP, 7:33 p.m.: A group of young Belgian gymnasts are performing an impressive exhibition on the floor to get tonight’s men’s all-around festivities started. These young boys are quite good — seeing double fulls and front tumbling series, and they can’t be more than 12-13 years old…
For some reason, some new wooden grandstands have been erected just above the head table — a vestige of the first World Championships in Antwerp in 1903, jokes the Associated Press guy here. (Apparently there were some complaints that people sitting over there couldn’t see the field of play properly, but nobody has actually gone over to sit in them.)
AP guy Raf is also indignant at how few people there are in the stands in this mammoth arena, which is apparently the second highest grossing concert hall in the world after Madison Square Garden. (That’s right, more than the 02 in London.)
7:45 p.m.: Right, so the all-around final. It’s very simple: this competition belongs to Kohei Uchimura, and it would be shocking if he loses, given what we saw in the qualifying rounds. The battle for the silver and bronze will be more interesting, with about six gymnasts capable of taking either medal — the U.S.’s Sam Mikulak and Japan’s Ryohei Kato qualified in second and third, respectively, but just behind them are Chinese newcomers Lin Chaopan and Zhou Shixiong, as well as Brazil’s Sergio Sasaki, Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen and Britain’s Max Whitlock and Daniel Purvis. A good performance by any of them could land them on the podium.
A note on Hambuechen, who finished sixth in prelims: his weakness is pommel horse, and he will get that out of the way earlier in the evening tonight than he did two days ago, when he finished on that event. That could boost his chances significantly.
7:55 p.m.: The competition gets underway with a parade of flags…and here come the judges!
Zhou Shixiong, floor: Double double tuck. Front double full to Rudi. 2.5 to front tuck full. Randi, drops to his stomach and puts his hand OOB. Rookie error. Tucked Thomas. Good triple full with a small step back. Very nice form throughout. 14.833.
Jossimar Calvo, pommel: Hit routine for the young Colombian, a future star of gymnastics.
Bart Deurloo, rings: Got a warm round of applause from the crowd for this routine.
Angel Ramos, vault: Tsuk double full, nice form, just a small hop. 14.5.
Lin Chaopan, floor: 1.5 to front double full, line judge picked up his flag but I’m nit sure if he waved it. Twisting second pass, step forward. Arabian double front half out. Tucked Thomas. Triple full, hop back. 14.466.
Max Whitlock, pommel: Impressive, impressive set, with flairs to handstand and down. Much better start for him than in prelims. 15.633.
Oleg Verniaiev, rings: Good routine with full twisting double layout (hop back) to start his night. 14.733, highest score on rings of the rotation.
Pablo Braegger, vault: Tsuk double full with several steps back.
Ryohei Kato, floor: 2.5 to punch front half. Twisting second pass (something to Randi?), slightly underrotated. Tucked Thomas. Front double full to punch front full. 2.5 to Rudi. Triple full to end. 15.5.
Oliver Hegi, pommel: Comes off right as announcer says his name. Too bad for the young Swiss…
Arnaud Willig, vault: Tsuk 2.5, big step to the side, off the mat. Better than prelims, however.
Sam Mikulak, floor: 1.5 to gorgeous double front, stuck. Front double full to Rudi, stuck. 2.5 to front tuck full, and Sam is bringing it tonight! Very sharp so far…Layout Thomas, excellent. Great triple full to end, just a hop back. Sam loves it! Looks delighted, as he should. This is up a step from what he did the other day. Great work. 15.366 is low compared to Kato’s — Sam was exceptionally clean. But I don’t know their SVs.
Dan Purvis, pommel: Hit routine. Gets a high five from Fabian Hambuechen, who is about to go up, as he leaves the podium.
David Belyavskiy, rings: Didn’t see it. But it was a good routine, got a 14.533.
Nestor Abad, vault: Tsuk 2.5, big step forward.
Kohei Uchimura, floor: 1.5 to Randi, hop back. Front tuck full to front double full, hop back. 2.5 to Rudi, stuck that one. Double full side pass, a tad conservative for Kohei. Russians…triple full, STUCK. There he is. 15.558.
Fabian Hambuechen, pommel: More or less the routine (just one leg separation and some form) and runs off the podium, getting away from his worst event as fast as possible. 13.333.
Fabian Gonzalez, rings: Is delighted with his set, capped with full twisting double layout dismount.
Casimir Schmidt, vault: Tsuk 2.5, step forward.
Sergio Sasaki, floor: Handspring front double pike to front layout half, that’s new! 1.5 to immediate double front. Was that a double double side pass just now? Saw it from the corner of my eye…2.5 to front tuck full. Layout Thomas. And finally an Arabian double front half out. Not the best form on his last pass, but a super hard, well delivered routine from the Brazilian!
Andrei Likhovitskiy, pommel: The transplanted Russian hits one of his best events and salutes the crowd, who applauds warmly.
Arthur Mariano, rings: Double double dismount. Didn’t see the rest.
Gustavo Simoes, vault: Tsuk 1.5, hop forward. 13.766.
Lin Chaopan, pommel: Hit set. 14.766.
Max Whitlock, rings: All the swing elements he can pack into this routine and impressively effortless facial expressions in his strength holds. Stuck landing on full twising double layout dismount and he breathes an obvious sigh of relief. Rings was one of his problems in the qualifying round.
Oleg Verniaiev, vault: Excellent Dragueslecu, high and plenty of time for the kickout. Steps back, actually, he had so much rotation.
Pablo Braegger, pbars: Smooth routine for the young Swiss (p-bars seems to be one of their events). But he does take a couple small steps in one handstand and a step back on his double pike dismount.
Ryohei Kato, pommel: Hit set for Kato. 14.6. He’s right in the thick of things.
Oliver Hegi, rings: Didn’t see it, but much enthusiastic cowbelling when he was done, so I assume it was good.
Minsoo Park, vault: 13.066.
Arnaud Willig, pbars: Nice clean set for the Frenchman with double pike dismount, just a small hop back. He should be happy with taht.
Sam Mikulak, pommel: Hit routine for Sam! Big applause. A very happy gymnast there. 14.608.
Dan Purvis, rings: Hit set, not the hardest, but hit. Double double tuck dismount with a small step back.
David Belyavskiy, vault: Tsuk double pike with a couple awkward steps back to keep it on his feet. Hard vault though — the hardest we’ll see tonight. But he gave away everything he earned in difficulty with those steps…
Nestor Abad, pbars: Didn’t see it.
Kohei Uchimura, pommel: Under pressure (the Japanese are drumming in the crowd during this routine), Kohei hits his set and betrays his happiness by allowing himself a small hand clap on the podium after his dismount. Typical Kohei excellence on horse.
Fabian Hambuechen, rings: Good strong routine for Fabi. Pike Yama. Inverted crosses. Double front pike half out dismount, STUCK. Excellent. 14.8. Highest rings score yet, I think…
Fabian Gonzalez, vault: Yurchenko 2.5, super clean, small hop forward.
Casimir Schmidt, pbars: Celebrating his strong routine with stuck double pike dismount. Crowd celebrating with him.
Sergio Sasaki, pommel: Not really his event, like it isn’t Hambuechen’s. He has a couple of form errors, but he too gets through it without a fall. Obviously this is the event he has to work hardest on, and he has been working on it. That’s obvious.
Andrei Likhovitskiy, rings: Strong Russian style work. Lots of swing elements because he’s got a longer body. Front double pike to small hop. 14.165.
Arthur Mariano, vault: Yurchenko 2.5, small shuffle on landing. Great form.
Zhou Shixiong, pommel: Was doing well (just one obvious form break) until his dismount, when he didn’t have the juice to get all the way up to the handstand and ended up stepping down onto the horse and falling off. He does get back up and redo the dismount, just so we don’t have to ask the question “Was that a real dismount or not?” Because that’s never happened before. 13.066.
Bart Deurloo, vault: Tsuk 2.5, not bad, step forward. 14.233.
Gustavo Simoes, pbars: Hand down on his dismount. One of the first errors we’ve seen tonight, belying the impressiveness of this field.
Ryohei Kato, rings: More drumming from the Japanese as he progresses through this routine. Double double tuck with big step back, nearly didn’t get his feet under him and would have overrotated.
Oliver Hegi, vault: Stuck DTY. Very nice! Oliver is smiling as he comes off the podium, and with reason.
Minsoo Park, pbars: Cool giant full, something a bit original on this event. Has a nice line but not the greatest toepoint. Looks a little tired by the time he does his front straddle somie. Double pike dismount.
Arnaud Willig, high bar: Tak full to Yama. Tak half not quite in handstand. One armed giant. Layout Tkatchev. Stalder hop 1.5. Endo. Double double layout, cranks it around with something of an effort and takes two steps back. Clean work on the bar, dismount could have been a little better.
Sam Mikulak, rings: Azarian. Planche. Pike Yama to handstand. Tuck Yama to straddle sit. Double double tuck to small, small hop on landing. Aesthetically, this might be his weakest event…14.775 is still a very good score comparatively.
Dan Purvis, vault: Yurchenko 2.5, well done.
David Belyavskiy, pbars: Hit routine from the European all-around champ with Bhavsar, back toss 1/4, stutz and a lot of other stuff. Double front dismount, small hop. Well done. 14.675 is a little low. Maybe he did have an error…
Nestor Abad, high bar: Tkatchev layout half.
Kohei Uchimura, rings: Calm perfection from Superman. Front pike Yama to tuck Yama to roll to iron cross. Double double tuck with a small hop back. So clean. 15.1. That’s the highest score of the night on rings.
Fabian Hambuechen, vault: 14.9 for Yurchenko 2.5, clean with a hop forward.
Fabian Gonzalez, pbars: Peach, giant. Diamadov. Back toss 1/4 and sits on the bar as he swings back handstand and comes off. That’s a disappointment for the young Spaniard, who is always among the top contenders.
Casimir Schmidt, high bar: Yama. Lot of intricate stalders, etc. Double double layout, small hop forward.
Sergio Sasaki, rings: Planche, a tad high. Front pike Yama to front tuck Yama. Double double tuck dismount, step backward.
Andrei Likhovitskiy, vault: Tsuk double full with steps on landing.
Arthur Mariano, pbars: Classy hit routine with double pike dismount for the future of Brazil.
Gustavo Simoes, high bar: Hit routine, but I didn’t see much of it.
Zhou Shixiong, rings: Basically falls out of one of his handstands halfway through and then struggles (albeit a little bit less) with one right before his stuck full twisting double layout dismount (which he sticks). Hm. That will take him out.
Jossimar Calvo, vault: Handspring front double full, takes a knee on landing. Shame.
Bart Deurloo, pbars: Double tuck. Nice Diamadov. Dalton. Double pike with a small hop back. Good routine for the Dutch hopeful, who is finally uninjured and competing at a World Championship. 14.166.
Angel Ramos, high bar: Very nice double double layout to end, with a hop forward. Good routine but a few tiny form breaks in there. 14.366.
Lin Chaopan, rings: The 18-year-old wunderkind shows a calm, well-performed routine with a double double tuck dismount and just a small hop back. He’s a bit stronger on this event than his teammate Zhou. 14.433.
Max Whitlock, vault: 14.733 for Yurchenko 2.5.
Oleg Verniaiev, pbars: A make-or-break moment for the young man from Ukraine here. P-bars is a good event for him — he has a ton of difficulty — but he doesn’t often hit it when the pressure is really on. And if he wants to medal, he must hit this set…front flip. Peach half. English handstand to inside Diamadov. Peach. Tippelt. Inside Diamadov 1/2. Double pike with small hop back. So he hits it! Good for him. Great set, very clean.
Pablo Braegger, high bar: Yama. Layout Tkatchev half. Layout Tkatchev, well done. Hop 1.5. Front stalder to Rybalko. Double double layout with a sizeable step back. 14.633.
Nestor Abad, floor: Handspring front double pike opener. A lot of elegance on this event. Great form! Front double full to end. 14.466.
Sam Mikulak, vault: Tsuk 2.5, small hop forward. Good vault for Sam.
Dan Purvis, p-bars: Hit set. Double pike with a small hop back.
David Belyavskiy, high bar: Tak half to Tkatchev half and falls. So he’s out…
Casimir Schmidt, floor: Front double full to Rudi. Arabian double front half out, stuck. Tucked Thomas. 2.5 to front tuck full. And very nice triple full to end!
Kohei Uchimura, vault: Handspring Randi (front layout 2.5), good landing, small hop forward. So correct in his form, however. 15.333.
Fabian Hambuechen, pbars: Two double tucks between the bars. Back toss 1/4. Tippelt. Double pike with a small hop. Fabi looks like he’s beginning to enjoy himself! High fives Likhovitsky on the podium. 15.233.
Fabian Gonzalez, high bar: Kolman and Kovacs are the highlights of this set.
Gustavo Simoes, floor: Saw 1.5 to front tuck full and 2.5 twisting dismount. Not bad. High fiving his coach, so th rest must have been pretty good. 14.3.
Sergio Sasaki, vault: Great Dragulescu, tiny hops at the end. Very well done. 15.2.
Andrei Likhovitskiy, pbars: 15.058. Sorry to have missed that.
Arthur Mariano, high bar: What stands out about this kid is basically his really good form and elegance, though a Jaeger layout full doesn’t hurt either. Nor does a stuck double double layout. The future has arrived!
Angel Ramos, floor: Front double full, form. Layout Thomas. Rudi and form again. Nice full twisting windmill side pass. 2.5 twisting dismount, stuck.
Zhou Shixiong, vault: Tsuk 2.5 with a step forward.
Jossimar Calvo, pbars: Good routine from the young man from Colombia, with just about every element that’s popular right now and an unusual full twisting double tuck dismount off the end of the bars.
Bart Deurloo, high bar: Caught a Cassina and stuck his double double layout dismount, to the delight of the crowd. With the lack of Belgians in this event final, the crowd seems to have adopted the Dutch gymnasts as their own. Close enough, I suppose.
Pablo Braegger, floor: Tucked full out, bounces back. Good double full to end.
Lin Chaopan, vault: Tsuk triple but lands low and puts his hands down. Shame. The crowd groans. 14.133.
Max Whitlock, pbars: Had a good routine going until he messed up his English handstand and had to cover, swinging down on one bar. Double pike dismount. Looks a tad sheepish as he salutes the judges, but still smiling.
Oleg Verniaiev, high bar: Yama with extra half twist. Tak half, giant, Tkatchev half. Gets in trouble afterwards though — just pokes his head out on an inverted giant, which slows his momentum, which leads to problems on the next skill, which eventually leads to his jumping down. He’s got a lot of routine to go, too — he gets back and has some more problems, but eventually gets his form back. Damage done. No medal at this Worlds. What a shame. 11.833.
Ryohei Kato, vault: Tsuk 2.5, small hop forward. 14.8.
Arnaud Willig, floor: Gets through a front layout to front double full, tucked Thomas, double full side pass, 1.5 to punch front full, 2.5 twist to end (step forward). 14.3.
Oliver Hegi, p-bars: Really great bouncy set, making it look easy. Double pike dismount. Much cowbelling. 15.0 is a great score.
Minsoo Park, high bar: Cassina, catches too close and has to bend legs on following giant. Double double layout with a hop forward.
Fabian Gonzalez, floor: Double double tuck, hop back. 14.8.
Casimir Schmidt, pommel: 12.7.
Kohei Uchmura, pbars: He’s ahead by about 1.6 points at this point. It is simply a pleasure to be a spectator in the age of Uchimura. Beautiful routine that will continue to distance him as the others make mistakes. A small hop on his double pike dismount was the only noticeable error. 15.333.
Fabian Hambuechen, high bar: Nice Cassina, perfectly caught. Great Kolman too. Layout Tkatchev, hop 1.5 to layout Jaeger full! Tak full. Tak half to hop full. Double double layout to just a small hop and Fabian pumps his arms and mouths “Yeah, baby!”
Arthur Mariano, floor: Double full in pike mount, stuck. Arabian double pike, nicely done, step forward after slightly awkward landing. Ends with a full in tuck. Very nice routine, he seems happy. He should be.
Gustavo Simoes, pommel: 13.766 for hit routine.
Sergio Sasaki, pbars: Peach to double tuck. Bhavsar. Double pike, hop back. 14.9.
Andrei Likhovitskiy, high bar: The crowd loves his German giants! Full twisting double layout, small hop. Even the Swiss use their cowbells to express their appreciation! Normally those are reserved for Swiss gymnasts.
Bart Deurloo, floor: 1.5 to front double full mount. Arabian double front dismount with a hop forward. What a difference a couple of years make for the Dutch team! In 2011, they appeared divided and not much of a unit. But these new young guys are redeeming them and obviously renewing their spirit.
Jossimar Calvo, high bar: Liukin, caught a bit close, has trouble with the cast to handstand coming out of it. Kolman, again a bit of form on the catch. Tak half to Yama, casts too far out and misses the bar. Crowd gasps. He falls again, and I’m not sure if it’s his dismount or something else, but he’s on his back and takes several seconds to get up from the mat, bows to the judges and bends down again before walking slowly off the podium. Yikes!
Oleg Verniaiev, floor: Layout Thomas. Double double tuck with a hop back. Front double full to front layout full with a hop forward. Randi side pass. Triple full to end.
Lin Chaopan, pbars: Front flip, peach half, peach, Diamadov to double tuck. Front straddle somie to his upper arms. Bhavsar. Tippelt. Inside Diamadov. Crisp double pike with a small step back. Great set.
Max Whitlock, high bar: Where it all began going wrong in qualifying. Stalder 1.5 with big leg separation — did the same thing in qualifying. The rest was typical British high bar — minimal risk — but very clean. Double double layout to end, just a tiny hop.
Minsoo Park, floor: Front tuck full to front double full mount. A bit imprecise on some of his twists. 1.5 to Rudi second to last pass. Triple full to end and nearly sits down — really strong quads save him.
Arnaud Willig, pommel: Clean set. Good for him!
Ryohei Kato, pbars: Mini-Uchi performs like Kohei. Great routine. Sticks the double pike dismount. Excellence from Japan! 15.3.
Oliver Hegi, high bar: Very clean lines. Comes off on a Yamawaki maybe? Comes off on something. And is taking what seems to be more than 30 seconds to remount the bar…and then gets off the podium. He’s done. the crowd boos! No cowbelling for that.
David Belyavskiy, floor: Tucked Thomas. Front double full to Rudi. Arabian double front pike half out. Arabian double front half out. Russians. 2.5 to front layout full, big squat on landing. Triple full, high but the floor came a bit quickly for him all the same. Slightly awkward landing but won’t be a big deduction. 14.633.
Nestor Abad, pommel: 12.825.
Samuel Mikulak, pbars: Another hit routine from Mikulak, who has been a model of consistency so far here. He’s going to high bar last, which is a strength. Let the fun begin! 15.2, 9.0 execution.
Dan Purvis, high bar: Calm and clean set with hop 1.5 and hop full that don’t fly high, but are well executed. Double double layout, stuck. Awesome, maybe the best high bar set he’s ever done. Dan looks quite happy, as he should.
Andrei Likhovitskiy, floor: Front double full. Arabian 1 3/4 roll out. 1.5 to front tuck full. 2.5 twist to end, I believe. He has been a surprise here — not a medal contender, and not a power gymnast, but very gymnast with excellent skills and execution.
Arthur Mariano, pommel horse: The Brazilians are singing to him like they’re at a football match. But it seems more distracting than anything, because he comes off early on in the routine. 11.633.
Sergio Sasaki, high bar: One pirouette skill nowhere near the handstand, but he ends it right, sticking his double double layout dismount. Great competition for Sasaki, and for Brazil.
Max Whitlock, floor: 2.5 to punch front full. 2.5 to Rudi. Tucked Thomas. Nice flairs: Magyar to handstand and back down. Randi 1.5 twisting Shushunova after, nice stylish element. Triple full to end.
Jossimar Calvo, floor: Withdrawn following that high bar set, and you can’t blame the Colombians for that. He’s a treasure and needs to be protected.
Bart Deurloo, pommel: Leg separation on his Russians, but otherwise clean, I believe.
Zhou Shixiong, high bar: Didn’t see it.
Oleg Verniaiev, pommel: One fall. Great work before and after it. Poor Oleg!
Pablo Braegger, rings: Double double tuck dismount. Small hop. Much cowbelling.
Lin Chaopan, high bar: Rybalko. Tak half to layout Tkatchev. Gets lost after a pirouette and has to stop his routine. Oops. Tak full to Yama. Double double layout dismount, pulls a stick out of it. Thumbs up for the camera as he leaves the podium, in spite of the mistake. 13.966.
Oliver Hegi, floor: Double full dismount. Clean routine. 13.933.
Minsoo Park, pommel: One fall. 11.7.
Arnaud Willig, rings: Clean set with double double tuck dismount to good landing, just a small hop. Arnaud can be happy with this performance — no big mistakes anywhere for France’s best generalist.
Ryohei Kato, high bar: Tak half. Layout Tkatchev. Kolman, not bad. Stalder hop 1.5. Tak full. Double double layout with a small hop forward. Ryohei is playing to the crowd! He thinks he’s got a medal. 15.166! 90.032 overall.
Dan Purvis, floor: Double double tuck, small hop. Clean set for Purvis with some upgrades, including a whip to immediate double Arabian dismount. His layout Thomas was low for my liking, but he seems OK.
David Belyavskiy, pommel: Has some small problems on a scissor to handstand.
Nestor Abad, rings: Falls on his dismount and limps off the podium.
Sam Mikulak, high bar: Cassina, huge. Kolman. Loses it on a turn and does a handstand pushup to get over after several seconds of struggle. Double double layout dismount with a hop forward. Sam throws his arms in the air, the smile still on his face. 13.766 for 88.548 tonight.
Fabian Hambuechen, floor: Double double layout, small step back. 2.5 to Rudi, stuck. Tucked Thomas. 1.5 to tuck full. Flairs sequence, very good. And full in tuck dismount, stuck! Fabi! Fabi! Fabi! The crowd is chanting his name. 15.133. 89.322 puts him behind Kato, in second right now.
Kohei Uchimura, high bar: Well, technically it wasn’t his best routine ever — he bent his arms coming out of his Cassina and his Kolman in combination, missed a handstand on one of his Tak skills and took a hop on his otherwise perfect double double layout dismount. But whatever, it was still great. 15.333 for 91.990, still nearly two points ahead of Kato. Hambuechen takes bronze (he’s tearing up!). It’s his first World medal in the all-around since 2007, when he was second at home in Stuttgart. Whitlock, Sasaki, Mikulak, Purvis and Likhovitsky round out the top eight.
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