Two-time world champion Ri Se-Gwang of North Korea won vault gold in his Olympic debut. He performed the hardest combinaton of vaults, both worth 6.4 difficulty points, to beat the field.
He is the first male gymnast from North Korea to win the Olympic title on vault, and only North Korea's third Olympic gymnast to win gold. The other North Korean gymnast in Rio, Hong Un-Jong, finished fourth in yesterday's women's vault final.
Russia's Denis Ablyazin, the silver medalist in vault at the 2012 London Olympics, collected another silver performing a vault named after Ri Se-Gwang.
For many of these gymnasts in the vault final, this was their last competition of the Rio Olympics, so they didn't hold anything back. Two gymnasts tried vaults that had never been successfully done before in hopes of getting their names in the gymnastics record books.
Japan's Kenzo Shirai performed a yurchenko vault with 3.5 twists--that's the Amanar vault made famous by McKayla Maroney at the 2012 Olympics, but with a full extra twist. He won bronze, his first individual medal of the Rio Olympics.
Ukraine's Igor Radivilov did a triple front vault, which is three front flips off the vaulting table. Several women, including Oksana Chusovitina and Dipa Karmakar attempted to do the double front vault in yesterday's women's final. His feet hit the ground just moments before his bottom, but was able to stand it back up.
Off the podium was Marian Dragulescu, competing in his third Olympics at 35 years old. He was a silver medalist on vault at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the silver medalist in the vault final at the 2015 World Championships and came out of retirement in hopes of finally winning an elusive gold Olympic medal. Instead, he tied for third place with Shirai, but lost the tiebreaker. Shirai's best score of his two vaults was higher than Dragulescu's best score, so he received the bronze.
No Americans qualified to the final.
1. Ri Se-Gwang: 15.691
2. Denis Ablyazin: 15.516
3. Kenzo Shirai: 15.449
4. Mairan Dragulescu: 15.449
5. Nikita Nagornyy: 15.316
5. Oleg Verniaiev:15.316
7. Tomas Gonzalez: 15.137
8. Igor Radivilov: 15.033