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Murakami, Shirai snag gold at world c’ships

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Kenzo Shirai, left, flies through the air during his vault, while Mai Murakami performs her routine in the floor exercise at the World Gymnastics Championships on Sunday.

AFPMONTREAL (AFP-Jiji) — Japan’s Mai Murakami won the women’s floor exercise crown and compatriot Kenzo Shirai captured the men’s vault for his second title at the injury-hit World Gymnastics Championships on Sunday.

Murakami, a disappointing fourth in the all-around, claimed Japan’s first women’s world floor medal since 1958 with a score of 14.233 points, edging American Jade Carey by .033 with Britain’s Claudia Fragapane third on 13.933.

Not since Keiko Tanaka’s world floor bronze 59 years ago had a Japanese woman reached the podium in the discipline.

It was a historic finish for Murakami after she led qualifiers into the all-around final but fell and settled for fourth.

Shirai edged Ukraine’s Igor Radivilov by one-thousandth of a point for his third podium of the meet on the last day of apparatus finals at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari suffered a left leg injury on a landing early in her floor exercise routine and left the competition area in a wheelchair as an injury-marred competition closed.

Romania’s Laris Iordache, a two-time world all-around medalist, tore an Achilles tendon warming up for floor exercise before qualifying on Wednesday — three days after Japanese superstar Kohei Uchimura pulled out of the men’s qualifying with a torn ligament in his ankle.

And U.S. standout Ragan Smith suffered a right ankle ligament injury on a warm-up vault Friday before withdrawing from the all-around and women’s floor exercise final.

Shirai scored 14.900 points to 14.899 for Radivilov, a 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist in the event. South Korean Kim Han Sol was third on 14.766.

Shirai took his third world floor exercise crown on Saturday after finishing third in the men’s all-around.

South Korea’s Yang Hak Seon, the 2012 London Olympic champion, withdrew from the final.

Zou Jingyuan captured China’s meet-best fifth men’s podium by winning the parallel bars crown with 15.900 points.

Zou was .067 ahead of 2016 Rio Olympic champion Oleg Verniaiev, a Ukraine veteran who also won the 2014 world title and was second in the Rio Olympics all-around.

Russia’s David Belyavskiy, third in the event at Rio, was third on 15.266 for his second medal of the event after a runner-up world finish Saturday in the pommel horse.

Tin Srbic won Croatia’s first world title in the men’s horizontal bar with 14.433 points edging Dutchman Epke Zonderland by .200 with Dutchman Bart Deurloo third on 14.200.

Zonderland was the 2012 Olympic horizontal bar champion and the 2013 and 2014 world champion on the apparatus.

Germany’s Pauline Schaefer won the balance beam with 13.533 points, defeating women’s all-around winner Morgan Hurd of the United States by .133 with Germany’s Tabea Alt third on 13.300.Speech

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