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Sunday 01 November 2015

After 10 days awe-inspiring athleticism, the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships today drew to a stunning close, with further glory for American sensation, Simone Biles and Japanese ‘Superman’, Kohei Uchimura.

Over the course of four days of qualifying and six finals, more than 70,000 spectators packed into Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena to witness some of the most spectacular moments in gymnastics history.

As well as a momentous sixth consecutive World All-Around title for the legendary Uchimura and Biles’ third straight All-Around gold, 2015 saw the first ever world Team medals for GB as both men and women earned silver and bronze, respectively.

And while the penultimate day of competition produced an incredible double for the home nation, with a 1-2 on Pommel Horse for Max Whitlock and Louis Smith, there was no shortage of drama on an outstanding final session, where five gold medals lay in wait.

Men’s Vault saw the final foray of this World Championships for Romanian favourite Marian Dragulescu. Now 34, the four-time World gold medallist on this particular apparatus almost added another title to his impressive career haul, narrowly losing out to top qualifier Gwang Se Ri of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

On his comeback to top level gymnastics after announcing his retirement on no fewer than three occasions, Dragulescu said: “It was a long journey. I had to fight for a place on the team and compete All-Around again, which wasn’t easy. It feels very good to be back, especially if you make a final and medal. Now I got the silver and I’m very happy.”

Vault Final Results

1. Gwang Se Ri PKR 15.450
2. Marian Dragulescu ROU 14.400
3. Donnell Whittenburg USA 15.350
4. Oleg Verniaiev UKR 15.283
5. Igor Radivilov UKR 15.083
6. Denis Abliazin RUS 14.850
7. Kenzo Shirai JPN 14.516
8. Hansol Kim KOR 14.500
After Team All-Around and Individual All-Around glory, and having qualified for the final in first position, Beam gold was almost destined for the ever expanding haul of medals that will be returning with Simone Biles to the USA. And she faced very little in the way of competition for a third Championship title.

The Netherlands’ Sanne Weavers and German Pauline Schaefer were her closest challengers but trailed some way off the blistering pace set by the American, whose 15.358 masterclass was a Championships best.

“It feels so amazing,” said Biles. “It feels amazing to redeem myself after the All-Around Final [where she nearly fell on Balance Beam]. The highlight of these Championships is my beam. If I was told that I would be two-time [World] beam champion, I wouldn’t have believed it before.”

Balance Beam Final Results

1. Simone Biles USA 15.358
2. Sanne Weavers NED 14.333
3. Pauline Schaefer GER 14.133
4. Viktoriia Komova RUS 13.933
5. Yan Wang CHN 13.633
6. Seda Tutkhalian RUS 13.5
7. Elsabeth Black 13.466
8. Eythora Thorsdottir NED 12.733
Such was the scoring on Parallel Bars that a 15.233 from Nile Wilson, the first Brit to ever make the final, was only good enough for eighth. On the highest scoring apparatus of the session, the 16-point barrier was twice broken, by China’s Hao You and Verniaiev, and as many times threatened. As it transpired, You’s 16.216 beat Verniaiev, the P-Bars champion of Nanning in 2014, into silver.

Parallel Bars Final Results

1. Hao You CHN 16.216
2. Oleg Verniaiev UKR 16.066
3. Oleg Stepko AZE 15.966
3. Shudi Deng CHN 15.966
5. Manrique Larduet CUB 15.733
6. Danell Leyva USA 15.666
7. Yusuke Tanaka JPN 15.600
8. Nile Wilson GBR 15.233

In the incredibly competitive final of the women’s Floor, Claudia Fragapane and Ellie Downie watched on as one impressively high score after another was chalked up on the leaderboard. Unsurprisingly, at its head sat Biles, also the leader in qualifying.

A 15.800 from the superstar of women’s gymnastics essentially left the all others battling it out for silver and confirmed Biles’ fourth Glasgow gold, replicating exactly the quadruple she landed 12 months previously in Nanning.

Such was the quality of the contest, even the best efforts of the British duo could dislodge neither Russia’s Kseniia Afanaseva (15.100) nor the American Margaret Nichols (15.000) who were each well deserving of recognition.

Women’s Floor Final Results

1. Simon Biles USA 15.800
2. Kseniia Afanaseva RUS 15.100
3. Margaret Nichols USA 15.000
4. Chunsong Shang CHN 14.933
5. Sae Miyakawa JPN 14.933
6. Ellie Downie GBR 14.733 
7. Claudia Fragapane GBR 14.466
8. Lieke Wevers NED 14.100

The honour of drawing the curtain on almost two weeks of wonderful gymnastics was reserved for those contesting the Horizontal Bar, considered by many as the most exciting and simultaneously treacherous apparatus. Step forward Kohei Uchimura.

After taking bronze in Antwerp in 2013 and silver in Nanning last time around, what better way to close out a remarkable World Gymnastics Championships than a first ever Horizontal Bar gold and the most prolific championships of his career from the finest gymnast in a generation.

Horizontal Bar Final Results

1. Kohei Uchimura JPN 15.833
2. Danell Leyva USA 15.700
3. Mariquet Larduet CUB 15.600
4. Arthur Mariano Oyakawa BRA 15.166
5. Andreas Bretschneider GER 14.966
6. Christopher Brooks USA 13.800 
7. Fabian Hambuechen GER 13.500
8. Oliver Hegi SUI 13.500

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