Teenager Daiki Hashimoto followed in the footsteps of legendary Kohei Uchimura when he gave Japan a third straight gymanstics all-around gold at the Tokyo home Olympics on Wednesday.
Hashimoto, 19, lost an early lead but moved top past China’s 2017 world champion Xiao Ruoteng with a near-flawless performance on the horizontal bar in the final rotation.
He won with a tally of 88.464 from six apparatus. Xiao, who had missed the 2016 Olympics with injury, followed on 88.065; and Russian 2019 world champion Nikita Nagornyy took bronze a fraction further back on 88.031.
Xiao moved top in third rotation when he picked up a full point more than Hashimoto on the rings and led until the final apparatus. But Hashimoto was unstoppable on the high bar where he had also almost stolen gold from the Russians in the team event Monday.
Hashimoto takes over from “King Kohei” Uchimuri who had won every all-around world and Olympic title between 2009 and 2016, and has 10 world titles and three Olympic golds overall.
Uchimura, 32, only competed on the horizontal bar in Tokyo, missing the final after a mistake.
Olympic gymnastics continues on Thursday with the women’s all-around final which takes places without American superstar Simone Biles who has stated mental health issues.