Russia's Artur Dalaloyan Wins Gold At 2018 Gymnastics Worlds In Qatar

After a disappointing performance at men's team finals Monday where he fell on parallel bars and hurt Russia's chances of winning team gold, Artur Dalaloyan has earned redemption and an all-around gold medal at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Like the men's team final, the all-around final came down to the last routine. Xiao Ruoteng was up last on high bar and needed a 14.233 to win the all-around title and received that exact score. Dalaloyan and Ruoteng had tied. But the FIG breaks ties by dropping the gymnast's lowest event score and taking the execution scores of the remaining five events. Whoever has the highest execution total wins the tie.

Dalaloyan and Ruoteng waited to see what would happen to this tie, and the Russian came out on top, joining his teammate Nikita Nagornyy on the all-around podium. Dalaloyan and Ruoteng both scored 87.598 while Nagornyy won bronze with an 86.33.



The story of the meet was the fantastic performances the top six qualifying gymnasts had for throughout the competition. China's Sun Wei, Dalaloyan, USA's Sam Mikulak, Nagornyy, Ruoteng, and Japan's Kenzo Shirai hit their routines for the first five rotations with no major mistakes. Arguably the biggest mistake heading into the final rotation was Nagornyy struggled at the end of his parallel bars routine in the fifth rotation, having trouble controlling his dismount. 

That put him in fourth place heading into the last event. But the scores for the top four gymnasts were very tight as they prepared to move to high bar. Nagornyy sat in fourth, just over one point behind Dalaloyan in first and just under half a point behind Mikulak in third. 

Nerves were no match for the first three gymnasts on high bar as Shirai, Wei, and Dalaloyan each competed great routines. Dalaloyan and Wei were in first and second, respectively, after their hit routines. The pressure was on Mikulak, who was 5/5 so far. What he did on high bar would decide if he finally got an individual Worlds medal. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to deliver and caught his Kolman too close, and one arm flew off after catching his Tkatchev 1/2. He opened the door for Nagornyy, who was next.

Nagornyy wasn't perfect either, as he had a break in his routine during a squat to 1/2 turn, but he didn't let go of the apparatus or fall and completed the rest of his set without error. He earned only a 13.900, but that was enough to move him into second behind Dalaloyan and ahead of Wei. The final contender was set to go, and Ruoteng did not disappoint. The final Chinese gymnast competed a great high bar routine for a 14.233, exactly what he needed to win. The judges broke the tie, and the podium would be Dalaloyan, Ruoteng, and Nagornyy.

At the beginning of the meet, however, the top three looked quite different. Shirai nailed his floor routine for a 14.900 to lead after the first rotation. Dalaloyan nearly stuck his triple full to end his floor routine and was close behind in second with a 14.800. Artur Davtyan, who was a reserve but made it into the final after Rene Cournoyer withdrew, sat in third with Nagornyy. Davtyan and Nagornyy both got scores of 14.733 on vault and floor, respectively.



Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev moved up to second place after the second rotation where he stuck a huge Dragulescu vault for a big 14.966. Romania's Andrei Muntean had a great parallel bars routine that earned a 14.650, moving him into first. Ruoteng was great on the tricky pommel horse to receive a 14.700, the second best pommel score of the meet, and round out the top three.

The third rotation brought the top group to still rings, where Ruoteng and Mikulak scored big to move up the standings. But the highlight of rotation three was Verniaiev's stellar parallel bars routine that rocketed him into the top spot. He excelled on his signature event for the highest p-bars score of the night, 15.666. Verniaiev, Ruoteng, and Mikulak led halfway through the meet.



The top group of qualifying gymnasts put on a show in the fourth rotation when they moved to vault. Gymnast after gymnast performed explosive vaults to keep the all-around race interesting. Nagornyy got things started with a nice Dragulescu but had a few small steps on the landing. Ruoteng followed with a clean Kasamatsu double, but Shirai's stuck triple twisting Yurchenko stole the show. Wei also vaulted a clean Kasamatsu double, but Dalaloyan kept the energy high with a stuck front double pike. Mikulak finished the apparatus with a clean Kasamatsu 1.5. 

However, the fourth rotation was the beginning of the end for Verniaiev, who entered the rotation in first. His high bar routine included some form issues and routine breaks but ended badly when the Ukrainian star fell forward to his knees on his dismount. His routine received just an 11.5 to move him out of medal contention.

After four rotations, Ruoteng, Dalaloyan, Nagornyy, Mikulak, and Japan's Kaya Kazuma led the standings.

Rotation five wasn't much better for Verniaiev as he fell on one of his passes, realistically moving him out of medal contention for the meet. Wei moved up the rankings in this rotation after a solid parallel bars routine that ended with a clean stuck double front 1/2 dismount. Dalaloyan followed with a great routine of his own that also had a stuck double front 1/2 dismount. Mikulak continued the double front 1/2 stick trend and scored a big 15.441, which moved him into third place. Then came Nagornyy's routine that had some breaks to begin and ended with some stumbles on the dismount.

The tight race for the podium was set with less than two points separating the fifth and first place gymnasts. Dalaloyan, Ruoteng, Mikulak, Nagornyy, and Wei headed into the final rotation in the top five standings. High bar would be the deciding event.

After mistakes from Mikulak and Nagornyy and hit routines from Dalaloyan and Ruoteng, the latter pair came out on top with a tie score. Due to Dalaloyan's higher execution, he was crowned the champion with Ruoteng receiving the silver. Luckily for Nagonyy, his mistakes on high bar weren't too costly, and he won bronze. Wei also hit his high bar routine to move into fourth, ahead of Mikulak in fifth.

Full results can be found on the FIG's website.

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