"King Kohei" Uchimura wins second consecutive all-around title - WSMV Channel 4

Long may he reign: "King Kohei" Uchimura wins second consecutive all-around title

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The king still reigns. After an incredibly hard-fought all-around final where Japan's Kohei Uchimura rarely sat in the lead, he pulled out a nearly flawless high bar routine in the final rotation to retain his crown as "King Kohei."


The Japanese gymnast is the first man since Sawao Kato in 1968 and 1972 to win two consecutive all-around Olympic titles.


Uchimura hasn't been defeated since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and won the all-around gold at six straight world championships.


The humble athlete has said that he'd be happier to win the team gold than all-around gold, as he'd get to share the victory with his teammates. And he did just that in the team final, erupting with joy after his floor routine in the final rotation secured the gold for Japan.



Uchimura was much more serious throughout the all-around competition, especially as Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev established and held the lead. While Uchimura didn't have any major mistakes, 22-year-old Verniaiev had the best competition of his life. He was the only man to earn a score over 16 points, a 16.100 on parallel bars, and the lone gymnast with only one score under 15.


The two both finished the competition on horizontal bar, with Uchimura going up just before Verniaiev. Uchimura's monster score of 15.800 put him back on top, but still within striking distance. In an electric arena, Verniaiev stepped up to his own high bar routine. He flew through the next 90 seconds, finally coming down to earth with his dismount--but no stick. With that small hop on the landing, Verniaiev scored 14.800 points. It was just a tenth of a point less than he needed to clinch gold.


After absorbing the blow, Verniaiev draped himself in a Ukrainian flag and posed for pictures with Uchimura. Verniaiev has said that Uchimura is one of the gymnasts he admires most, and sportsmanship ruled the day.


In third place was Great Britain's Max Whitlock, becoming the first British man to win an all-around medal at the Olympics in 108 years. Starting on pommel horse, where he's the world champion, gave him an early cushion to keep up with the field through his weaker events.  


The two U.S. men in the final, Sam Mikulak and Chris Brooks, finished seventh and 14th respectively. Neither suffered a fall, but on a night when so many gymnasts stepped up their performances to challenge the king, they weren't quite as sharp.


Watch today's episode of The Daily Dismount, hosted by Tanith White, to see the medal ceremony and hear Jonathan Horton and Courtney Kupets Carter recap all of today's high-flying action.




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