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Thursday 29 October 2015
After the incredible final of the men’s Team competition, the men return to the Hydro for day eight of this incredible 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
The drama is likely to continue in the All-Around final as the top 24 men’s gymnasts in the world battle it out to be crowned world champion.
Uchimura will take to the floor in the final safe in the knowledge of having secured team gold, as he bids to win his sixth consecutive individual All-Around world title. While Uchimura has dominated men’s gymnastics in recent years, 21 year old Ukrainian, Oleg Verniaiev, is considered a serious contender to take “King Koheis” crown. The young gymnast finished just .433 behind Uchimura in qualification and will be striving to halt the Japanese gymnast’s stronghold on the sport.
On his potential to take the world title he said: “I don’t want to guess anything right now. We’ll have to see on the day because in the final we will both start from zero. I have a few plans for the final, but those plans also bring risks.”
Verniaiev goes into the All-Around final in strong form as 2014/15 World Cup Series Champion and reigning 2015 European All-Around Champion, so if anyone is going to knock Uchimura off top spot, Oleg has a real chance.
While Verniaiev is on form, the British duo of Daniel Purvis and Max Whitlock will be high in confidence after securing a historic Team silver medal for Great Britain on Wednesday evening. The British men will be looking to push Kohei Uchimura as close as they did in the team competition. Purvis finished behind Uchimura and Verniaiev in qualification placing in third, while teammate Whitlock will want to place highly after individually scoring over 90 points, as his team secured world silver. That said, the young Brit wouldn’t be drawn on his medal chances saying: “Individually, I just want to do my job.”
However, the Essex born British gymnast will know that he needs another 90 pointer if he is to challenge for the podium and replicate or better the silver medal he achieved at the World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China last year.
One thing is for certain the battle for the medals will be as tight and fierce as it was in the Team final. In qualification, less than half a mark separated the five gymnasts who finished from 3rd to 7th place.
An individual medal will also be a high priority for the USA’s 2012 Olympic All-Around bronze medallist Danell Leyva, who missed out on a podium finish in the Team final. While the Chinese duo of Shudi Deng who placed 6th in the All-Around final in 2014 and Ruoteng Xiao, will be looking for more medal success after claiming a bronze in the Team competition on Wednesday.
Another individual capable of scoring highly is Russia’s David Belyavskiy, who was fifth in 2014 and will be looking to step it up a gear on Friday night, after qualifying is a disappointing 12th place.