Gymnastics worlds: China wins men’s team title, rallying from disaster; U.S. misses medal

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China rebounded from an awful qualifying day to win the men’s team title at the world gymnastics championships by the largest margin in 15 years. The U.S. placed fifth, extending its medal drought since earning bronze in 2014.

In qualifying, China, which owns a record 13 men’s team titles, had eight falls among its 18 routines that it would use in the final. But the Chinese were in no danger of missing the eight-team final, making it in fourth place. Then scores reset after qualifying.

China totaled 257.858 points in the final, distancing longtime rival Japan by 4.463 to win its first global title since 2018. It marked the largest margin of victory in the event since the 2007 Worlds. Before Wednesday, the four most recent world men’s team titles, plus the Tokyo Olympics, were decided by less than a point.

The Chinese prevailed among an error-filled field in Liverpool, England, led by Zhang Boheng, who goes for a repeat world all-around title on Friday.

“Chinese men’s team gymnastics is rising again,” Zhang said, according to the International Gymnastics Federation. “In qualification, we faced some difficulties in adapting to the weather and apparatus. We obviously had mistakes, but after two days of reviews, we put out some good performances today.”

GYMNASTICS WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | Results

The absence of Russian gymnasts who won the Olympic title — and are now banned due to the war in Ukraine — opened up a podium spot behind China and Japan.

Great Britain emerged from the rubble of fall-heavy teams to earn bronze over Italy, despite not having its biggest star over the last decade, Max Whitlock. The two-time Olympic pommel horse gold medalist has been on a break since Tokyo.

The U.S., which qualified third into the final, had major errors on pommel horse, high bar and floor exercise. The Americans, who also finished fifth at the Tokyo Olympics, are in their longest medal drought since missing the podium at every Olympics and worlds between 1985 and 2000.

“We just weren’t able to get it done,” U.S. high performance director Brett McClure told GymCastic. “I honestly don’t need to say too much [to them]. They know what they need to do. I’m sure they’re motivated to get back out there.”

Worlds continue Thursday with the women’s all-around final (2:50 p.m. ET, Peacock). Rebeca Andrade is favored to become the first Brazilian to win a world all-around title. Americans Shilese Jones and Jade Carey are also medal contenders.

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2022 Grand Prix Final figure skating TV, live stream schedule

Ilia Malinin
Getty
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The Grand Prix Final, the most exclusive figure skating competition of the season and a preview of March’s world championships, airs live on Peacock and E! this week.

The top six per discipline from the six-event fall Grand Prix Series gather in Turin, Italy, at the Palavela, the 2006 Olympic venue. It’s the first Grand Prix Final in three years after the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. qualified skaters in all four disciplines for the first time since 2007, led by the world’s top-ranked man. Ilia Malinin, who turned 18 last Friday, has been the story of the season, becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition.

Malinin, the reigning world junior champion, won both of his Grand Prix starts and posted the best total score among all fall events, edging world champion Shoma Uno of Japan. Malinin and Uno will go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Final.

Isabeau Levito, a 15-year-old world junior champion, is the youngest American at a Final since Caroline Zhang in 2007. She qualified in fifth place. The favorites are Japan’s Mai Mihara and Kaori Sakamoto and Belgian Loena Hendrickx.

The U.S. also qualified two pairs’ teams — world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and Emily Chan and Spencer Howe — and two ice dance couples — three-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.

For the first time, the Final has no Russian skaters. They are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine. For the first time in 25 years, there are no Chinese skaters. China’s top pairs’ teams did not compete in the fall Grand Prix Series.

Grand Prix Final Broadcast Schedule
All TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 1:20-2:15 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Short Program 2:35-3:20 p.m. Peacock
Friday Pairs’ Free Skate 11:35 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Peacock
Rhythm Dance 1:50-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Short Program 3:05-3:50 p.m. Peacock
Saturday Men’s Short Program* 6:30-7:30 a.m. E!
Men’s Free Skate 7:30-8:30 a.m. E!, Peacock
Women’s Short Program* 8:30-9:30 a.m. E!
Free Dance 1:40-2:40 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 3-3:55 p.m. Peacock
Sunday Highlights* 4-6 p.m. NBC

*Delayed broadcast.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde sweeps Beaver Creek World Cup races

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Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde held off Swiss Marco Odermatt for a second consecutive day to sweep World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this weekend.

Kilde won Sunday’s super-G by two tenths of a second over Odermatt, one day after edging Odermatt by six hundredths. France’s Alexis Pinturault took third as the podium was made up of the last three men to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

This season’s overall figures to be a two-man battle between Kilde, the 2019-20 champion, and Odermatt, the reigning champion, and could come down to March’s World Cup Finals. They’ve combined to win the first five of 38 scheduled races.

The top American Sunday was River Radamus, who finished an impressive 16th given his start number was 57. Radamus’ best event is the giant slalom.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Olympic super-G silver medalist, and Travis Ganong, who was third in Beaver Creek last year, both skied out.

The men’s World Cup heads next weekend to Val d’Isere, France, for a giant slalom and slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

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