Daiki Hashimoto adds gymnastics world all-around to Olympic gold; U.S.’ best since 2003


Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto became the youngest man to add a world all-around gymnastics title to Olympic gold in the event, one year after becoming the first teenage man to claim the Olympic title.

Hashimoto, a 21-year-old who entered worlds with wrist problems, outdueled Chinese rival and defending world champion, 22-year-old Zhang Boheng, in a battle of two men who may lead the sport for years to come.

“I couldn’t win this competition last year because he won. So I felt sad,” Hashimoto said. “Competing against him was a motivation [today]. The battle with Zhang Boheng is so good.”

Hashimoto totaled 87.198 points in Liverpool, England on Friday to be crowned the world’s best male gymnast. Zhang was second with 86.765, a year after he defeated Hashimoto by 17 hundredths of a point at the world championships.

“I feel a little bit disappointed, because as defending champion I didn’t do my best in the final today,” Zhang said. “A lot of the dismounts, especially in the floor exercise, I could have improved those.”

Japan’s Wataru Tanigawa took bronze.

Americans Brody Malone and Asher Hong placed fourth and sixth, two days after the U.S. finished a disappointing fifth in the team final.

“Today went really well compared to how the last two days of competition have gone, so I’m happy with that,” said Malone, the two-time reigning U.S. all-around champion. “But it’s definitely bittersweet to be that close [to a medal] and taste it, but just not get it. I’m definitely motivated.”

GYMNASTICS WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | Results

It’s the first time the U.S. put two men into the top 10 of a world all-around since 2003 (Paul Hamm gold, Jason Gatson eighth) and the second time in history to have two in the top six after 1979. Jonathan Horton was the last American man to earn a medal, bronze in 2010.

Hong, at 18 the youngest U.S. male gymnast at worlds since 2009 (Danell Leyva), became the second-youngest man from any nation to finish that high in the all-around since 2001. He was in fourth place going into the final rotation and fell off high bar, his weakest event.

“It’s just mind-boggling,” Hong told GymCastic of his worlds debut. “There’s still a lot to improve, so I’m going to go back home, keep training hard, work on high bar, upgrade my difficulty, clean up all the routines, but I think that there’s a big possibility [that I can win in the future] for sure.”

Hashimoto, who made his world championships debut as a high school student in 2019, has succeeded his gymnastics idol, six-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura, as king of the sport.

He followed two older brothers into gymnastics and was nicknamed “Mr. Infinite Stamina” by a coach for his appetite for training.

Like Uchimura, Hashimoto rocketed to individual stardom while his team has been unable to get on top of the podium.

Hashimoto owns world team silver and bronze medals and Olympic team silver. Uchimura, who made his Olympic debut in 2008, waited until 2015 to win his first team title.

Worlds conclude Saturday and Sunday with individual apparatus finals, live on Peacock.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly reported Hong as the youngest man to place that high in a world all-around since 2001. Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun finished third last year as a younger 18-year-old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Jessie Diggins ties U.S. record for World Cup cross-country skiing wins


Jessie Diggins tied Kikkan Randall‘s U.S. record with her 13th career individual cross-country skiing World Cup victory, taking a 10km freestyle in Lillehammer, Norway, on Friday.

Diggins, the most decorated U.S. Olympic cross-country skier with a medal of every color, prevailed by 3.8 seconds over German Katharina Hennig in the interval start event. Diggins trailed Hennig by one second at the 8.2-kilometer split, then made up 4.8 seconds over the final four minutes of the course.

“My fitness and brain were in a really good place,” Diggins said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “When I asked my body to go deep into the pain cave, it responded.”

Diggins tied the record of Randall, who in 2007 became the first U.S. woman to win a World Cup cross-country skiing race and ended her career by teaming with Diggins to win the first U.S. Olympic cross-country skiing title at the 2018 PyeongChang Games. (Another skier, Alison Owen-Spencer, won a race in 1978 that U.S. Ski and Snowboard counts as a World Cup, but the International Ski Federation does not.)

Diggins opened this World Cup season last weekend in Ruka, Finland, with a best finish of 10th among three races. She trended up each day, finishing that stop with the second-fastest time in last Sunday’s individual pursuit (where she started 19th).

Diggins, 31, has spread out her goals this season. One of the biggest is helping the U.S. win a relay medal for the first time at the world championships in three months. Diggins has been a part of relays that finished fourth at four different worlds.

She also eyes the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in the sport that goes to the best all-around skier for the season. In 2020-21, Diggins became the second American — and first American woman — to win the overall in a season where Norway’s top skiers, including superstar Therese Johaug, skipped early season races and chances to gain points for the overall title.

Johaug retired after winning three individual golds at last February’s Olympics. Diggins is the top returning skier given the absence of reigning overall champ Natalya Nepryayeva, who cannot compete due to the ban on Russian athletes for the war in Ukraine.

The World Cup season continues with a freestyle sprint on Saturday and a classic 20km mass start on Sunday in Lillehammer.

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Katie Ledecky out-touches new rival at swimming’s U.S. Open, extends streak


It was a rare sight: Katie Ledecky being matched stroke for stroke in a distance race in an American pool. She was up for the challenge.

Ledecky out-touched emerging 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh by eight hundredths of a second in the 400m freestyle at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday night.

Ledecky and McIntosh were tied at the 300-meter mark. Ledecky ended up clocking 3:59.71 to McIntosh’s 3:59.79 to extend a decade-long win streak in freestyle races of 400 meters or longer in U.S. pools.

“I know we’ll have a lot more races ahead of us,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “We bring the best out of each other.”

The U.S. Open continues Friday with live finals coverage on Peacock at 6 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

At the Tokyo Olympics, McIntosh placed fourth in the 400m free at age 14.

She accelerated this year, taking silver behind Ledecky at the world championships and silver behind Tokyo gold medalist Ariarne Titmus of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Then in October, McIntosh outdueled Ledecky in a 400m free — also by eight hundredths — in a short-course, 25-meter pool at a FINA World Cup meet in Toronto. Long-course meets like the Olympics and the U.S. Open are held in 50-meter pools.

McIntosh also won world titles in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

A potential showdown among Ledecky, Titmus and McIntosh at the 2024 Paris Games is already being compared to the “Race of the Century,” the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m free where Australian Ian Thorpe edged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.

In other events Thursday, Regan Smith, an Olympic and world medalist in the backstroke and butterfly, won a 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:10.40, a time that would have placed fifth at June’s world championships. She beat 16-year-old Leah Hayes, who took bronze in the event at worlds.

Olympic 400m IM champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 200m IM in 1:56.52, his best time ever outside of major summer meets. Frenchman Léon Marchand won the world title in 1:55.22 in June, when Kalisz was fourth.

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