Brody Malone ensured the U.S. men didn’t finish the world gymnastics championships without a medal. He also ensured they didn’t leave without a gold medal.
Malone became the second American to win on the capstone men’s apparatus at worlds — high bar — after Kurt Thomas in 1979. Malone, one year after taking bronze at worlds and missing his first Olympic medal by one spot, had what NBC Sports’ John Roethlisberger called his best high bar routine ever and scored 14.800 points.
That was enough to defeat Olympic and world all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto of Japan by one tenth in Liverpool, England.
Malone, the two-time U.S. all-around champion, capped a world championships where he improved throughout finals. He had a poor team final on Wednesday (the U.S. finished fifth), improved to place fourth in the all-around on Friday and then upgraded to the top of the podium in the very last event Sunday.
“This week was pretty rough for us,” Malone said, according to the International Gymnastics Federation. “It just seemed like we were building up. This was a good one to end on.”
GYMNASTICS WORLDS: Results
Earlier Sunday, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey gave the U.S. two more medals. The Tokyo Olympians earned floor exercise silver and bronze, respectively, for their third medals of worlds.
Jessica Gadirova of Great Britain took gold with 14.200 points. She overtook Chiles, who scored 13.833 to add to her medal collection (team gold, vault silver).
Chiles originally tied Carey, and held the tiebreaker. Carey or the U.S. team challenged the difficulty score given to Carey’s routine, hoping it would be increased, Roethlisberger said. The review actually led to that score being lowered by one tenth, which meant Carey went from solo bronze to sharing bronze with Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade.
Carey previously earned team gold and vault gold.
The U.S. was the only nation to win two women’s golds at worlds and had seven total women’s medals, distancing second-place Great Britain’s three. The Americans were expected to excel in the absence of Russian gymnasts who won the Olympic team title and are banned due to the invasion of Ukraine.
The Americans did not have Olympic all-around champions Simone Biles and Suni Lee (on indefinite, perhaps permanent breaks from competition) and national all-around champion Konnor McClain (back injury).
Also Sunday, Hazuki Watanabe became the second consecutive Japanese woman to win the world title on balance beam, scoring 13.600 and edging Ellie Black by 34 thousandths of a point. Black won Canada’s 13th world championships medal in history — all silver or bronze.
The top two qualifiers, China’s Ou Yushan and American Skye Blakely, fell off the beam. Blakely, 17, had a medal-contending routine going until a late fall, after her hair ribbon started coming undone and flapping around her face.
Absent from worlds were last year’s Olympic champion (Guan Chenchen, who the Chinese federation says retired) and world champion (Urara Ashikawa).
China’s Zou Jingyuan added his record-tying third world title on parallel bars to his Olympic title from last year. He scored 16.166 points, distancing Olympic silver medalist Lukas Dauser of Germany by .666. The 2021 World champion, Hu Xuwei, was not on China’s team this year.
In men’s vault, Armenian Artur Davtyan dethroned defending world champion Carlos Yulo of the Philippines by one tenth, averaging two vaults. Davtyan, 30 and the Olympic bronze medalist, became the first Armenian to win a world gymnastics title.
Olympic gold medalist Shin Jea-Hwan of South Korea did not compete at worlds.
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