Zou Kai Defends FX Title


2008 Olympic Champion Zou Kai of China successfully defended his gold medal on the floor exercise Sunday, hitting a double-twisting double layout mount and showing precise landings out of his tumbling skills to score 15.933.

Zou Kai's performance gave him a slight edge over all around gold medalist Kohei Uchimura of Japan (3 1/2 twist to punch front 1/2; stuck triple full - 15.8).  Russia's powerful Denis Ablyazin finished third, after a tiebreaker with Uchimura (double-double layout; punch double full to double front - 15.8).  Ablyazin's bronze is the first medal for the Russian men at these Games.

Jake Dalton ended up in fifth (15.333) after nearly hopping out of the floor area following a side pass.  He also gave away slight landing deductions after his laid out double Arabian mount and triple full dismount.

Tomas Gonzalez Sepulveda
of Chile placed just ahead of Dalton (15.366) in fourth, under rotating his final triple full pass to finish well behind the leaders.

Alexander Shatilov (15.333), Flavius Koczi (15.1) and Marcel Nguyen (14.966) each gave away too much in landing deductions to challenge for a medal, finishing near the bottom of the standings.


On the differences between the gold medal in floor exercise at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the one he won at Beijing 2008:
"I was really young and inexperienced in 2008. I was just a kid who focused on the competition. I'm different now and wanted to be on top of the podium."
- Zou Kai

“I just wanted to go out there and have fun today. I knew I’d have to be perfect to get a medal with my start value. I’ve done routines that would have been really close before, but it’s hard to time it at the right time. I’ll take fifth in the world.”
- Jake Dalton


1. Zou Kai (CHN)- 15.933 (GOLD)
2. Kohei Uchimura (JPN)- 15.8 (SILVER)
3. Denis Ablyazin (RUS)- 15.8 (BRONZE)
4. Tomas Gonzalez Sepulveda (CHI)- 15.366
5. Jake Dalton (USA)- 15.333
6. Alexander Shatilov (ISR)- 15.333
7. Flavius Koczi (ROU)- 15.1
8. Marcel Nguyen (GER)- 14.966


WAG:   Team     AA     VT     UB     BB     FX

MAG:   Team     AA     FX      PH     SR     VT     PB     HB

When: Sunday, Aug. 5 - 9:00 a.m. ET

FLOOR EXERCISE FINALISTS and qualification scores:
1. Zou Kai (CHN)- 15.833
2. Kohei Uchimura (JPN)- 15.766
3. Flavius Koczi (ROM)- 15.666
4. Jake Dalton (USA)- 15.633
    Alexander Shatilov (ISR)- 15.633
6. Tomas Gonzalez Sepulveda (CHI)- 15.533
7. Marcel Nguyen (GER)- 15.433
8. Denis Ablyazin (RUS)- 15.433

Reserves: Ryohei Kato (JPN), Gael da Silva (FRA) and Kristian Thomas (GBR)


How to advance to event finals
The top eight gymnasts based on scores from prelims will advance to event finals. However, only two gymnasts per country may advance.

Reigning World Champion:
2011 - Kohei Uchimura (Japan)

Past Olympic Floor Champions:
2008 - Zou Kai (China)
2004 - Kyle Shewfelt (Canada)
2000 - Igor Vihrov (Latvia)
1996 - Ioannis Melissanidis (Greece)

2012 Olympic Medal Contenders

Denis Ablyazin, Russia
Ablyazin has come on strong in 2012, boasting a huge 7.1 D-score.  His routine is packed with big tumbling skills, including a whip to layout Thomas, double-twisting double layout, piked double Arabian, and triple full dismount.

Jake Dalton, USA
Dalton impresses with flawless execution, leading the U.S. men with pointed toes and stuck landings.

Zou Kai, China
The defending Olympic champion is a master at building his D-scores.  He combines intricate tumbling combinations with precise landings to score big.

Kohei Uchimura, Japan
Reigning World Champion Uchimura will again be a factor in London.  With a cat-like ability to land and perfect form, Uchimura's execution scores will help him overcome a lower degree of difficulty.

Alexander Shatilov, Israel
A bronze medalist at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, Shatilov has been a force on floor exercise throughout the quad.  He mounts with a unique double full-in, pike out.

Kristian Thomas, Great Britain
Thomas earned his spot on the British team partially by virtue of his talent on this event.  The British champion on floor exercise, Thomas has scored as high as 15.85 this year and may be in the medal hunt in front of his home crowd in London.

Diego Hypolito, Brazil
Although he is coming back from knee surgery, Hypolito is the reigning World Championship bronze medalist on floor exercise and was the World Champion in 2005 and 2007.  If in top form, Hypolito could earn his first Olympic gold in London.

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