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Japan’s Murakami, Shirai capture world titles

October 10, 2017 12:00 AM
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Japan’s Murakami, Shirai capture world titles

MONTREAL: Japan’s Mai Murakami won the women’s floor exercise crown and compatriot Kenzo Shirai captured the men’s vault for his second title at the injury-hit World Gymnastics Championships on Sunday.

Murakami, a disappointing fourth in the all-around, claimed Japan’s first women’s world floor medal since 1958 with a score of 14.233 points, edging American Jade Carey by .033 with Britain’s Claudia Fragapane third on 13.933.

Not since Keiko Tanaka’s world floor bronze 59 years ago had a Japanese woman reached the podium in the discipline.It was a historic finish for Murakami after she led qualifiers into the all-around final but fell and settled for fourth.

Shirai edged Ukraine’s Igor Radivilov by one-thousandth of a point for his third podium of the meet on the last day of apparatus finals at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari suffered a left leg injury on a landing early in her floor exercise routine and left the competition area in a wheelchair as an injury-marred competition closed.

Romania’s Laris Iordache, a two-time world all-around medalist, tore an Achilles tendon warming up for floor exercise before qualifying on Wednesday — three days after Japanese superstar Kohei Uchimura pulled out of the men’s qualifying with torn ligament in his ankle.

And US standout Ragan Smith suffered a right ankle ligament injury on a warm-up vault Friday before withdrawing from the all-around and women’s floor exercise final.Shirai scored 14.900 points to 14.899 for Radivilov, a 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist in the event. South Korean Kim Han-sol was third on 14.766.

Shirai took his third world floor exercise crown on Saturday after finishing third in the men’s all-around.South Korea’s Yang Hak-Seon, the 2012 London Olympic champion, withdrew from the final.

Zou Jingyuan captured China’s meet-best fifth men’s podium by winning the parallel bars crown with 15.900 points.Zou was .067 ahead of 2016 Rio Olympic champion Oleg Verniaiev, a Ukraine veteran who also won the 2014 world title and was second in the Rio Olympics all-around.

Russia’s David Belyavskiy, third in the event at Rio, was third on 15.266 for his second medal of the event after a runner-up world finish Saturday in the pommel horse.

Also read: Seven Pak players in Korea, Japan junior events


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