Worlds Men's All-Around: Nagornyy Wins, Mikulak Narrowly Misses Podium

The top 24 qualifying men competed in artistic gymnastics all-around finals at the 2019 World Championships, and the competition was an exciting one down to the very last minute. Here are the top three headlines from this competition! 

Nikita Nagornyy takes world title

Nagornyy topped his incredible performance on Wednesday for the team final by performing almost flawlessly and taking the individual all-around title. He ended with an 88.772, more than a point and a half ahead of second place. 

He started his meet off strong on floor, scoring a 15.041 and although he had a few form issues, was in second place after the first rotation. After a 14.566 in the second rotation on pommel horse and a 14.633 on rings in the third, he was still in second going into the fourth rotation. On vault, Nagornyy competed a stuck Dragulescu, which scored a 15.066 and moved him into first place. He scored a 15.300 on parallel bars, then a 14.166 on high bar to secure his first-place finish.

After the meet, he shared what winning gold means to him. “Basically the gold medal means that I have had good training. Now I don’t have any more emotions because we put all of them into our team competition two days ago. But I liked that the crowd was very supportive, very energizing and exciting, and that helped us to feel that excitement.”

Nagornyy’s finish in this meet makes him now the 2019 national, European, and world all-around champion! This is a huge improvement from his bronze-medal finish in the all-around at worlds last year and is surely a sweet victory after Russia took home the gold for the first time ever in the team final earlier this week

Sam Mikulak misses the podium once again

Sam Mikulak is known for his incredible gymnastics, but also by his inability to hit six-for-six when it matters. Earlier this week, Mikulak posted an incredible 88.931 during the team final. Although that score undoubtedly helped his team, today was the day he needed to attain that type of all-around score if he wanted to place. 

Mikulak started off strong, scoring 14.266 for a good vault, which put him in eighth place. His second rotation was on parallel bars, where he scored a huge 15.325, elevating him to third place. Still climbing in the rankings, he shot up into first place after his high bar routine that scored a 14.700. 

In the fourth rotation he got through floor without too many problems, scoring a 14.400, but Mikulak fell during his fifth rotation on pommel horse, during a skill he included in his routine because he thought he would need it to place in the top three. His fall cost him a medal as he scored only a 13.000 on that event, dropping into seventh place. His last rotation was rings, where he scored a 14.000, a strong performance after his fall on the fifth event.

Still, this competition was an improvement on qualifications, where Mikulak fell four times and barely qualified for finals after taking 24th place. Although he did not show up as strong in the all-around competition as he could have, he did improve since qualifications and only missed the podium by 1.282 points. 

Russia and Ukraine take all-around medals

Nikita Nagornyy winning first place gave Russia the gold in all-around, but they also took home silve when Artur Dalaloyan scored an 87.165 finish second.

Dalaloyan shared that he is good friends with Nagornyy and is happy they placed first and second. “The relationship is very, very good, because we are good friends, our families are good friends, and we train in the same gym, in the same situation and the same team. We won the gold medal, and all is very good with Nikita.” 

Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine took home bronze, scoring an 86.973. This was a bit of a surprise for some, especially as he had a lot of near-falls on high bar and floor, his last two events, but he hit every event in the end. Verniaiev was an underdog in this competition, but stayed steady and got on the podium. 

Verniaiev even surprised himself by medaling today, as this was something he did not expect. “When I saw a picture of the medal, I said, why is it the most beautiful medal I have ever seen.”

With these results, 2019 becomes the first year both China and Japan did not win team or all-around medals at a world championships or Olympics since 1992. 

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