American teenager Ruben Padilla shone on day one of the 2019 International Gymnastics Federation Trampoline World Championships in Tokyo, matching Russian legend Mikhail Zalomin's score of 76.000 points to head up qualifying for the men's double mini trampoline final.
The 18-year-old performed two passes he had only attempted once before in competition, at last month's World Cup stop in Spanish city Valladolid, as action began at the Japanese capital's Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
At last year's World Championships in Saint Petersburg, Padilla admitted he felt Zalomin was "unbeatable", despite taking home the silver medal behind the four-time champion.
But he is confident he has more in the locker for when the pair go head-to-head in the final on Saturday (November 30).
"It's insane," Padilla, eight years Zalomin's junior, said.
"I don't know how to describe it.
"I didn't know I would be able to do it ever really.
"I remember watching him (Zalomin) way back when I first started competing at WAGCs (World Age Group Competitions) and just watching his videos and being amazed by what he can do and how he performs.
"This time around, I do feel like, as I just showed, that I am definitely getting closer, but we'll see.
"I am really happy right now, happy to just get closer."
Third place in men's double mini trampoline qualification went to Russia's Vasilii Makarskii with 75.700 points.
Check out the best pictures from a 💥thrilling💥 first day at the 2019 Trampoline World Championships in Tokyo🇯🇵. The world's best gymnasts flipped, twisted and tumbled their way towards finals, delighting the crowd in the gleaming Ariake Gymnastics Centre🎯. #GTR2019Tokyo pic.twitter.com/Pz0gVpkOLv— FIG (@gymnastics) November 28, 2019
In the equivalent women's event, Sweden's Lina Sjoeberg was the top qualifier for the final on Sunday (December 1) with 70.000 points.
Great Britain's Kim Beattie finished second with 69.800 points, while Canada's Jordyn Miller-Burko came third with 69.600.
Double Olympic gold medallist Rosie MacLennan of Canada finished 10th in women's individual trampoline qualification, but it was enough to secure her safe passage to the semi-finals on Saturday.
The 31-year-old defending champion will, however, have to get past a formidable trio of Chinese gymnasts led by 2014 world champion Liu Lingling.
Liu, who also won the synchronised global crown five years ago, proved the strongest on day one with 106.460 points.
Team mate Huang Yanfei ranked second with 105.375 points, while Japan's Hikaru Mori completed the top three with 105.065.
Reigning Olympic champion Uladzislau Hancharou showed he remains in the form of his life, topping the men's individual trampoline qualification standings by almost half-a-point.
The Belarusian managed 115.440 points to nearest challenger Gao Lei's 114.995.
Gao, the defending champion, was followed in the rankings by fellow Chinese Dong Dong, a three-time Olympic medallist, with 114.010.
In the morning session, 2018 world silver medallist Shanice Davidson of Britain led qualification for Saturday's women’s tumbling final with 68.300 points.
Last year's bronze medallist Viktoriia Danilenko of Russia finished second with 67.500 points, while Davidson's fellow Briton Megan Kealy came third with 66.900.
Action continues tomorrow, with the team finals headlining the afternoon programme.
The World Championships are doubling as trampoline gymnastics' official test event for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.