Japan, China qualify for men's gymnastics team final at Tokyo Olympics

24/07/2021 10:06 PM

TOKYO, July 24 -- The defending Olympic champion Japan and China both qualified for the men's gymnastics team final here, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team on Saturday at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Japan, with a team of four debuting at the Olympics, was the top qualifier with a total score of 262.251 points despite two falls on landing in the vault event, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Daiki Hashimoto, 19, led the Japanese squad to the top the team qualification as he took the first place in all-around qualification in 88.531 points. The young athlete was unparalleled at the horizontal bar in 15.033 points.

"Obviously, this is the first Olympic competition for me, and I'm a little bit nervous at the beginning," he said. "I think as a team, we can do our very best as a group."

The Chinese men's gymnastic team trailed behind Japan with a disparity of 0.190 point. China's star gymnast Xiao Ruoteng ranked third in all-around in 87.732 points, entering the all-around final with his teammate Sun Wei who followed with 87.298 points.

"I performed well today, though the early competition had a little influence on me, but I turned it into motivation," Xiao said, adding that he would strive for a better performance in pommel horse and rings.

China's Zou Jingyuan scored the highest point of all events at 16.166 in parallel bars.

The men's gymnastic team of the ROC performed as the biggest contender of China in the first subdivision, and finished the qualification at the third in 261.945 points. The ROC's 24-year-old Nikita Nagornyy surpassed Xiao by an edge of 0.165 point in all-around qualification to finish the second.

"I don't think our team was really good today, but we made our best effort. We have a lot to do. There are still tasks for us, and to do it much better (in the team final)," Nagornyy said.

Renowned Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura fell off the horizontal bar during the second subdivision, failing to qualify for the final after finishing only 18th.

Horizontal bar was the only event Uchimura entered at Tokyo 2020, which means the two-time Olympic all-around winner has ended his Olympic journey.

The 32-year-old athlete made an error on a pirouette and flew off the mat. Although he remounted the bar, his score of 13.866 points was not able to make him through the qualification round.