Russians, Chinese and Britons boss big night of gymnastics
Athletes from Russia, China and Great Britain dominated the artistic gymnastics individual apparatus finals at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium on 23 August.
Having already claimed gold in the men's all around final, Giarnni Regini-Moran (GBR) won gold in the men's floor exercise, with a score of 14.766, ahead of Kenya Yuasa (JPN) on 14.133 and Lim Myongwoo (KOR) on 13.766.
“My Olympic journey, coming here to get two gold medals, has been unreal. I only came here to win floor, not the all-around, but I tried my hardest and now I have two golds,” said Regini-Moran.
As the penultimate competitor, Regini-Moran had to watch and wait to show his fellow gymnasts what he was made of, with a mature and poised floor routine.
“I know some of the gymnasts here are quite strong on floor, and obviously I'm a good floor worker, and I had a little bit of pressure.
“But the boys before me didn’t do the best routines, so I went out there confident and just did what I did in training.”
Asked whether he had been tempted to hold back with his routine following the performance of the other gymnasts, Regini-Moran said: “No, I never wanted to water down my routine. I've been practising that routine since day one and that’s going to stay my routine.”
Wang Yan’s gamble pays off
After a shaky start to the artistic gymnastics competition, which saw her fail to win a medal in the women's all-around, local favourite Wang Yan (CHN) put in a bold performance on the vault, with a D score of 6.000 for her first effort and then an even higher D score of 6.200 for her second vault. Her combined score from the two vaults was 14.783, which gave her the gold.
“It was a bit risky, but I was confident that I could do it,” said Wang.
Elissa Downie (GBR) won silver with a score of 14.566 after performing a double twist Yurchenko and a round-off half-on pike half-off, respectively, for her first and second vaults.
Speaking after the medal ceremony, Downie admitted to nerves as she waited for Wang's vaults, which came at the end.
“I was a bit nervous waiting for the Chinese girl to go, because I knew she upgraded her second vault and her first vault was a little bit more difficult than mine.
“Obviously that went her way and I congratulated her, because they were amazing vaults."
Sae Miyakawa (JPN) won bronze with a combined score of 14.566.
Silence is golden for superstitious Nagornyy
Nikita Nagornyy (RUS) revealed his superstitious side, refusing to answer any questions during the competition, despite winning gold on the pommel horse and rings with scores of 13.966 and 14.000, respectively.
“It's a bad omen to talk when the competition isn't finished,” explained Nagornyy.
His good friend, Vladyslav Hryko (UKR), won silver and bronze on the pommel horse and rings, respectively, with scores of 13.933 and 13.533.
Timur Kadirov scored a bronze medal for pommel horse (13.800) and MA Yue (CHN) won silver for rings (13.866).
The women's uneven bar final allowed Seda Tutkhalyan to shine after a disappointing vault final earlier in the night.
“I did not show what I'm capable of, I could have done better [on vault], but that is how it went today,” said the Russian, who had previously won gold in the women's all-around finals.
Asked how she managed to bounce back to win gold on uneven bars, with a score of 13.575, Tutkhalyan gave credit to her coach.
“She said ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s OK. Focus on the bars now’ and I wasn’t nervous,” said the Russian, who was followed by Iosra Abdelaziz on 13.366 and Wang on 13.066.