American wins floor gold to make amends for vault flop

Shining bright: China’s Liu Yang competes in the rings final. — AFP

TOKYO: American Jade Carey produced a series of high-flying tumbling combinations to win gold on the floor exercise at the Tokyo Games, while Mai Murakami became the first Japanese woman to win an individual Olympic gymnastics medal.

Carey made the most of her opportunity to grab gold with a score of 14.366 points.

The win allowed Carey to heal her dented pride after she finished last among the eight competitors in yesterday’s vault final.

Italian Vanessa Ferrari, a world all around champion in 2006, finally got her hands on an Olympic medal at the age of 30 when she claimed silver with 14.200.

Murakami and Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic committee both won bronze with identical scores of 14.166.

While Japanese men have long been a gymnastics powerhouse, Murakami gave the host nation their first Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics since they claimed a team bronze in 1964, the last time Tokyo hosted the Summer Games.

Shin Jea-hwan became the second South Korean to win an Olympic gold in the men’s vault after edging ahead of Denis Abliazin on the tiebreak rule.

Both competitors earned an average of 14.783 points from their two vaults but Jea-hwan claimed the top prize after drawing the higher individual vault score – 14.833 – compared with the mark of 14.800 given to Russian Olympic Committee’s Abliazin.

Artur Davtyan of Armenia took bronze, winning his nation’s first medal in gymnastics.

Earlier, Liu Yang won the men’s rings gold, with You Hao completing a one-two for China.

Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece’s defending champion from the Rio Games, took the bronze.

A former world champion on rings, Liu Yang claimed gold with a total of 15.500 points,.200 clear of You Hao.

Petrounias took third on 15.200 after a solid performance, only marred by under-rotating on his dismount and landing heavily on his knees.

Meanwhile, Simone Biles will compete in today’s balance beam final, the last women’s event on the Tokyo Olympics gymnastics schedule, officials confirmed.

“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two US athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow – Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!” USA gymnastics said in a statement.

It will be the first time the American will be seen competing in Tokyo following her withdrawal from last Tuesday’s women’s team final after her opening vault, citing mental health issues. — Agencies

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