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Five titles awarded as Gymnastics Worlds wrap in Liverpool

Team GB's Jessica Gadirova delighted the hometown crowd with a gold medal in the floor exercise final as competition concludes

4 min By Scott Bregman | Created 6 November 2022
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The 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, England, came to a close Sunday (6 November) with the final five apparatus titles handed out, including a spectacular win for hometown hero Jessica Gadirova, who claimed floor gold.

Read more: The emotional story of the Gadirova twins

The competition opened with a historic gold medal as Artur Davtyan claimed Armenia's first-ever gold medal at the worlds. The 30-year-old, who claimed Olympic bronze at Tokyo 2020 in the event, had never made it to the global podium despite his Games success and four previous European medals.

He earned a two-vault average of 15.050, holding off 2021 champ Carlos Yulo of the Philippines (14.950). Ukraine's Igor Radivilov claimed his fourth world vault medal in third (14.733).

“Since the fall of the Soviet Union this is the first gold for Armenia in a world championships. We got third on pommel (on Saturday) and now we have gold," said Davtyan.

Balance beam saw Japan win gold for a second year in-a-row with Watanabe Hazuki scoring 13.600 for gold. Canadian Ellie Black, who was competing in her fifth world final on the event, scored a 13.566 for silver with Japan's Miyata Shoko just behind at 15.533 for bronze.

“I am very happy. This is my first world championships, my first big tournament, so my legs were shaking with the nerves," said Watanabe. "But other gymnasts were falling and making big mistakes but I was able to go through my routine OK, and that was a real boost to my confidence."

Ashikawa Urara was the champion a year ago.

Olympic parallel bars champion Zou Jingyuan of the People's Republic of China won his third world title on the event with ease, posting a massive 16.166 on the event to take the gold medal by more than half a point over Germany's Lukas Dauser.

Dauser scored 15.500 for silver, with Yulo picking up another medal in third at 15.366.

“This is the first time I did this 6.9 difficulty routine. At first, I just wanted to stick with the original plan, use the 6.5 difficulty and perform it perfectly," said Zou of competing an upgraded routine. "But I decided to perform the harder routine to challenge myself. You could see that I was a little bit rushed and shaky, and there was a little pressure. But I am satisfied with my performance."

It was a thrilling floor exercise final that came down to the final routine from Great Britain's Gadirova. She tumbled a double-double, layout, full-twisting double back and a front through to double back and scored 14.200. That gave her the win in front of a boisterous home crowd. The win is the first on the apparatus for Team GB since Beth Tweddle took the title in 2009.

American Jordan Chiles was second (13.833) with Brazil's Rebeca Andrade and USA's Jade Carey sharing the bronze at 13.733.

“I’m just so relieved and just so shocked – I can’t believe it," said Gadirova. “When I focus on the dance it takes my mind away from the crowd and the tumbles and the leaps, and it makes me feel alive. That’s what I am, I love to perform and floor is one of my favourite pieces to do. It gives me such an amazing feeling.”

Competition wrapped up with American Brody Malone earning Team USA's first gold medal on the horizontal bar in 43 years when the legendary Kurt Thomas won in 1979. His 14.800 was just good enough to hold of Japan's Hashimoto Daiki, the reigning Olympic champion on the event. Hashimoto scored 14.700 for silver, while Olympic bronze medallist Arthur Nory of Brazil was third (14.466).

"It's pretty awesome," said Malone. "It's incredible. Any time you get to compete for Team USA and then bring home any medal is great, but a gold medal is pretty awesome, too."

Follow all the latest in our daily live blog. You can watch action from the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifier event live on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com here (territorial restrictions apply).

READ MORE: World Artistic Gymnastics Championships - Top things to know.

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