History was again made at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships here today after the women’s uneven bars competition produced the event’s first-ever four-way tie, with Russians Daria Spiridonova and Viktoria Komova, Madison Kocian of the United States and China’s Fan Yilin all winning a gold medal.
In a truly staggering final, each gymnast scored 15.366 points as the judges were unable to separate their respective routines and with no tie-breaking rule in place, they were awarded with gold with no silver or bronze handed out.
Fan was the first to take to the bar and her well-drilled performance saw her move to the top of the leaderboard, only for Komova to record the exact same score in the next routine.
When Kocian stepped up and delivered a display where only minor adjustments to her position were needed, it looked as though she might have done enough to surge above her two rivals but a familiar score of 15.366 flashed up on the giant screen.
Remarkably, a three-way tie quickly became four as Spiridonova, the European champion on the apparatus, was efficient, if not particularly dazzling, and when she was given the same total, a wave of confusion, doused with a tinge of laughter, swept the arena.
An unusual medal ceremony followed, with the four competitors all standing on the spot on the podium usually reserved for one athlete and three national anthems played.
"It's definitely crazy," Kocian said.
"I wasn't sure if they were going to do a tie-breaker but I knew my execution would be a little better based on qualifications - I was just hoping it'd still be gold."
The record-breaking trend of the event in Glasgow had earlier continued when Max Whitlock became Great Britain’s first-ever men’s world champion, taking a gold medal on the pommel horse ahead of team-mate Louis Smith.
Whitlock was the last to go on the apparatus and faced an arduous task if he was to usurp Smith, who had set a benchmark of 16.033 for the 22-year-old to beat.
From the moment he began his routine, Whitlock looked cool and composed, making the tricky apparatus look easy and was eventually rewarded with a superb 16.133 to snatch victory.
His winning score bettered the 16.100 he achieved yesterday, the highest on the apparatus at an Olympic Games or World Championships since 2009.
The success for Whitlock, who had earlier won a silver medal on the floor, continued the excellent showing from the hosts, who had already clinched historic medals in both the men’s and women’s team competitions.
The drama on the bars had come after red-hot favourite Kenzo Shirai, a member of the Japanese team which won their first men’s team title for 37 years on Wednesday (October 28), had demonstrated his prowess in the floor final, twisting and somersaulting his way to a commanding score of 16.233.
Whitlock earned his second silver of the event, finishing 0.667 points behind the sublime Shirai, world champion in 2013, with Spain picking up a rare medal thanks to Rayderley Miguel Zapata Santa.
While formidable American Simone Biles rules the roost in the all-around having won her record third straight title on Thursday (October 29), she is not quite the queen of the vault as she had to settle for bronze in the individual apparatus final.
Russia’s Maria Pasenka, bronze medallist at London 2012, was the winner by a slender margin, beating 2014 world champion Hong Un-jong with a total of 15.666, just 0.033 in front of the North Korean thanks to an execution score of 9.400 on her second vault.
Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias also claimed his first world title as he reigned supreme on the rings, notching an impressive 15.800 with a routine packed with strength and poise to finish ahead of Chinese duo You Hao and Liu Yang.
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