stretched spindle to mount horse, then elicited
applause for a flaired spindle later. On rings he
eclipsed top qualifier Yan Mingyong (who missed
a handstand) with steadiness (kip Maltese, press
inverted; full-twisting double layout), and his two
7.0-value vaults (stuck handspring-randi; piked
double Tsukahara, nearly stuck) were too strong
for runner-up Flavius Koczi (Romania).
Okiguchi won floor over Canadian Brandon
O’Neill in a B-score tie breaker, with Hambüchen taking the bronze, his only medal of the
week. “I hope I can perform in the Olympics
next year as perfectly as today,” Okiguchi said.
Added O’Neill, who had a 6. 5 A-score compared with the winner’s 6.3: “If I had been more
careful and avoided the small mistake, I could
have gotten the gold medal. Yet I’m happy with
Liang Mingsheng used two Belles (tucked and
piked) and a pair of front- 11⁄4s to nab the p-bars
gold over teammate Feng Zhe (beautiful form
but muscled a handstand), and Korea’s Yang Tae
Young took third.
On high bar Kim Ji Hoon won Korea’s only
gold (Kolman, Kovacs-Rybalko) with the help of
favorite Hambüchen, who peeled off the bar as
he tapped for his dismount. “I was really upset
after my missed high bar routine,” Hambüchen
told IG. “I was kind of sad and just a little bit
shocked. I never fell like this, but I’m still healthy
and doing well. That’s the most important
Hoshi won the silver over teammate Tanaka,
using a routine that featured a Kolman, Kovacs,
elgrip-Endo and several immediate combinations.
Australia’s Daria Joura was the only top- 10 all-arounder from the 2007 worlds to appear in
Beijing, and she led all qualifiers with a 60.00.
Second was U.S. world team alternate Bridget
Sloan (59.525), who proved her competitive
value with solid technique and consistency.
China’s Jiang Yuyuan qualified third with
59.125 (trouble on beam), and 2005 world all-around champion Chellsie Memmel was fourth
(58.675), competing for the first time since the
2006 worlds (shoulder surgery). Though Pang
Panpan qualified fifth and Zhou Zhuoru eighth,
both were China’s exhibition performers and
ineligible for medals.
The all-around final featured 21 gymnasts
instead of the usual 24, and Jiang corrected her
beam problems from prelims (although she wobbled quite a bit) for an easy win over Joura,
The tiny Chinese with the engaging grin
opened her challenge with a rather piked double-twisting Yurchenko for a 14.875, her lowest
mark of the day. At bars she swung effortless
elgrip combinations, a Tkatchev, Jaeger and
double layout dismount.
Jiang’s beam mark of 15.400 might have
been generous considering the numerous balance checks she employed (piked front; flip-flop
layout to two feet; switch leap, Rulfova; side