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China's Xiao takes 3rd medal on Day 1 of Tokyo 2020 individual gymnastics

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-08-01 21:39
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TOKYO -- On the first day of individual gymnastics events at the Tokyo Olympics, four gold medals went to athletes from four different countries on Sunday, while China's Xiao Ruoteng bagged his third medal.

Xiao, who had won a bronze in men's team all-around and silver in individual all-around, took bronze in the floor exercise final with 14.766 points.

"Of course I was hoping to even get higher (on the podium), like getting gold or silver. But bronze is very good, and I am very happy with today's performance and result," Xiao said.

"I watched the other gymnasts compete (in the final) before I competed myself, but I tried to solely focus on my own performance as I wanted to do my best," he said.

"I can't control the impact of the pandemic, and I can't control the external factors, such as the previous controversy. But I can control the things that I can. I train every day, so my own mental state is really good. In fact, I am very grateful to Japan for hosting the Olympic Games successfully. I think Japan has made great efforts for this. Otherwise, many athletes would not have had the opportunity," he said in a mixed-zone interview.

Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat, 24, won gold in the men's floor exercise with 14.933 points. Spain's Rayderley Zapata had the same score but was edged into the second place due to lower difficulty.

"I didn't do my best combination and I had some mistakes, but I was surprised when I saw my score. We'll keep working," said Dolgopyat.

Brazil's Rebeca Andrade triumphed on the women's vault with 15.083 with both routines over 15.000 points. The gold, her second medal at Tokyo 2020, came after her silver in the women's all-around final on Thursday.

"I am super happy, I worked very hard for it. Those were not my best two vaults, and after I performed them I even said, 'this was not good', but it got me the score I needed to be in the first place," she said.

"I wasn't focused on getting a medal. After taking the silver on Thursday, I took it one day at a time and focused on what I need to do," she said.

Britain's Max Whitlock, defending champion on pommel horse and floor exercise, claimed gold in the pommel horse final with 15.583 points.

"This was the most nervous I have ever been for any competition I have ever done in my entire life. I always said it: retaining titles is 10 times harder than chasing (it). Today proved that to me. It's a million times harder," he said.

China's Sun Wei placed eighth on this apparatus.

On uneven bars, Belgium's Nina Derwael, the 2019 world champion in the apparatus, received an unparalleled 6.700 difficulty score to ensure a gold in 15.200 points.

US gymnast Sunisa Lee, a gold medalist in all-around on Thursday, finished third in 14.500 points.

China's Lu Yufei and Fan Yilin placed fourth and seventh respectively.

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