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GYMNASTICS | Daiki Hashimoto Claims Second Gold Medal By Winning Horizontal Bar Title

The Japanese teenager has come into his own at the Tokyo Games, earning three medals.

There was more gold for Japanese teenager Daiki Hashimoto at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, August 3, the final day of the artistic gymnastics competition.

The 19-year-old Hashimoto secured his second gold medal of the Games claiming the men’s horizontal bar title at Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

Hashimoto became the youngest ever men’s all-around Olympic gymnastics champion with a superb routine in the men’s all-around final on Wednesday, July 28. He also won silver in the men’s team event on Monday, July 26.

Hashimoto won Tuesday’s horizontal bar event with 15.066 points. Tin Srbic of Croatia was second with 14.900, followed by Nikita Nagornyy of Russia with 14.533.

“I knew it was going to be difficult with all the specialists performing,” Hashimoto was quoted as saying by Kyodo News. “Many of them fell trying to be aggressive. I performed as usual and managed to go all the way.”

Takeru Kitazono, who qualified for the Games despite suffering ligament damage in both arms during the national championships in April, finished sixth with 12.333 points after falling twice.

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Guan Triumphs in Balance Beam Final

Earlier, U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles returned to competition and won the bronze medal in the balance beam, finishing behind two Chinese gymnasts.

China’s Chenchen Guan won the gold medal with 14.633 points while compatriot Xijing Tang took the silver with 14.233. Biles, using a double-pike dismount, finished third with 14.000 points. 

Biles reacted to her absence and returned to competition after winning the bronze.

“It was really, really hard,” Biles said. “I’ve never been in the stands, so I just wasn’t used to it. So to have one more opportunity to compete meant the world.”

Biles had made headlines with multiple withdrawals over the first first week of the Tokyo Games to focus on her mental health.

The 24-year-old Biles shocked the world last Tuesday when she withdrew from the team final after performing just one vault. She later said she had a case of the “twisties” ー a sensation of losing her position in the air.

She told fans in a series of Instagram posts that she was “simply not in sync.”

“Definitely bringing a light to the conversation of mental health,” Biles said. “It’s something that people go through a lot that is kind of pushed under the rug. I feel like we’re not just entertainment, we’re humans as well and have feelings.”

Competing in front of a small crowd that included IOC President Thomas Bach, Biles completed a slightly watered-down version of her usual routine. 

Tuesday’s result gave Biles her seventh Olympic medal, tying her with Shannon Miller for the most by a U.S. gymnast.

Biles came into the Tokyo Games with high expectations, hoping to repeat or better her performance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, where she won four gold medals. 

Canada’s Elisabeth Black was fourth while all-around individual champion Sunisa Lee of the United States was fifth. Japan’s Urara Ashikawa finished in sixth place.

China also won gold in the men’s parallel bars final with Jingyuan Zou finishing first with 16.233 points. Lukas Dauser of Germany won silver with 15.700 while Ferhat Arican of Turkey took bronze with 15.633.

Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for more than 25 years. You can find his articles here, on JAPAN Forward.

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