15.366 – you would think that a score to the thousandth would be hard to tie, but it can happen. At the World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, as many as six judges managed to put up scores that placed FOUR gymnasts at exactly 15.366 in the uneven bars final.
And so, Russians, Viktoria Komova and Daria Spiridonova, China’s Fan Yilin, and American Madison Kocian all received gold medals and then listened to three national anthems in succession.
The International Olympic Committee does not like ties in gymnastics, so has a tie breaker based on so called “start values” and “execution marks”, but to many, including FIG (the International Gymnastics Federation), ties are the right call. And yet, four? American Gabby Douglas finished fifth, and this is what she had to say according to AP: “I’ve never seen that before,” said reigning Olympic champion Gabby Douglas, who finished fifth. “I was just like really judges? Come on now!”
There was a time from 1960 to 1978 when Japan’s men dominated, taking team gold in five straight Olympics, as well as five straight World Gymnastics Championships. They finally re-claimed Olympic gold in 2000 and 2004 but had not won in the World Championships since 1978…until Wednesday.
And this weekend, we find out if Uchimura, arguably the greatest men’s gymnast ever, will win gold in the men’s all around, again, as he has done since 2009. Since then he has won gold in London, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Antwerp and Nanning, including gold in the 2012 London Olympics. No one has ever come close in excellence and sustainability.
Can he make it six straight as the very best men’s gymnasts in the world?
Watch him in his floor exercise at the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships. Perfection.