Hashimoto cements superiority with all-around gold

Daiki Hashimoto celebrates after his floor routine in the men's all-around World Championship final (Pic: Simone Ferraro)
Daiki Hashimoto celebrates after his floor routine in the men's all-around World Championship final (Pic: Simone Ferraro)

By Tom Harle at the M&S Bank Arena

Daiki Hashimoto cemented his status as the world’s best male gymnast with all-around gold at the World Championships.

The Japanese star matched his Tokyo Olympic title with a maiden global gold, outgunning rival Zhang Boheng.

Hashimoto reversed the result of last year’s World Championships and Wednesday’s men’s team final where Zhang’s China beat Japan to gold.

The 21-year-old is widely hailed as the successor to legendary compatriot Kohei Uchimura, who won an unprecedented six successive all-around titles between 2009 and 2015.

And this performance will do little to dampen those comparisons, Hashimoto hitting the front on the second rotation after scoring 14.333 on the pommel - the best of the night on the apparatus.

Zhang stayed on his coattails throughout but Hashimoto held firm and a 14.433 score on the high bar was enough to seal his crown.

“Competing against him [Zhang] was a motivation," he said. "The battle with him is so good.

“His performance is so good. I couldn’t win this competition last year because he won. So I felt sad.

"This gold medal is very important for me. I don’t feel pressure but I want Japan’s gymnastics to be number one.”

Hashimoto's compatriot Wataru Tanigawa won the battle for bronze, with Brody Malone fourth and home favourite Jake Jarman fifth.

Tanigawa said: “On all three days I’ve competed from the start of the competition – the team and the all-around – I’ve been focusing on not making any big mistakes. Today that was one reason the points between the leaders could keep changing and there was only a small gap.

“It was good I didn’t make any mistakes and that was something I learned in previous competitions – to keep doing what I do.”

The World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 will be one of the largest international sporting events ever to be held in the city. Over 500 gymnasts from more than 70 countries will compete at the M&S Bank Arena from 29 October to 6 November 2022. Tickets are available at www.2022worldgymnastics.com/tickets.