Hashimoto adds world all-around gold to Olympic title

The Yomiuri Shimbun
All-around champion Daiki Hashimoto, center, and bronze medalist Wataru Tanigawa, right, posed with silver medalist Zhang Boheng of China in Liverpool on Friday.

LIVERPOOL — Following up on his triumph at the Tokyo Olympics, Daiki Hashimoto joined legendary compatriot Kohei Uchimura as the only Japanese gymnasts in history to win men’s all-around titles at both the Olympics and the World Championships.

Hashimoto claimed the all-around gold at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool on Friday, making him the fifth Japanese world champion in the event and the first since Uchimura won the last of his six consecutive titles in 2015.

Hashimoto, a 21-year-old student at Juntendo University, won the gold with 87.198 points to avenge a close loss to defending champion Zhang Boheng of China at last year’s worlds.

Zhang finished second with 86.765, while Wataru Tanigawa gave Japan a 1-3 finish by taking the bronze with 85.231 for his first career individual world medal.

It marked the first time Japan put two gymnasts on the world medal podium in the event since 2014, when two-time Olympic champion Uchimura won the gold medal and Yusuke Tanaka took the bronze.

Hashimoto, who placed second in the qualifying round, went through the six disciplines without a major error, and capped the day with a successful landing in his final routine on the horizontal bar, the event in which he also won a gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

“After sticking the high bar landing, the first thing that came to my mind was Kohei,” said Hashimoto, a member of the Japan team that finished second in the team event on Wednesday. “‘Nail the landing,’ [he] told me, and I now can say, ‘I nailed it.’”

While the high bar routine clinched the gold for Hashimoto, it was his performance on the second discipline, the pommel horse, that put him on the path to victory.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Daiki Hashimoto performs on the pommel horse in Liverpool on Friday.

He had injured both wrists before the competition, and in the qualifying round had fallen off the horse, leading to some anxiety for the all-around.

But he told himself, “Believe in yourself, and take it one technique at a time,” and produced the top score among the 24 participants at 14.333.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Daiki Hashimoto gestures after finishing the floor exercise during the men’s individual all-around event at the World Championships in Liverpool on Friday.