Japan leads sixth subdivision despite wild pommel horse ride
DOHA: Six-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura was one of Japan’s three pommel-horse casualties, but his squad handily earned the top team score of the sixth subdivision of men’s qualifications at Aspire Dome on Friday.
“We were tired and we felt kind of bad,” said Kazuma Kaya of his team’s woes on pommel horse in the last rotation of the subdivision. “So we tried to stop it, but we just put too much energy into it, and that’s why we fell.”
After six of 10 subdivisions, Japan’s 214.955 score ranks it second behind Russian Federation in team standings, and Kenzo Shirai and Kaya sit in third and fourth place, respectively, in all-around rankings.
Sam Mikulak of the USA rallied his squad after, like Japan, three of his team-mates missed routines on pommel horse in the fifth rotation.
In the process of helping move USA to third place in team standings thus far in qualifications, Mikulak assumed second place in the all-around standings.
Qualifications continue with four more subdivisions on Friday while the WAG qualifications will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Based on their performances in qualifications, competitors will advance to team, individual all-around and individual apparatus finals.
The competition will determine the winners of eight sets of medals for men (Team, All-around, Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and Horizontal Bar) and six for women (Team, All-around, Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise).
The three medal-winning nations in the Team finals for both men and women will earn team berths directly to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo while the others will have further chances to qualify in 2019 and 2020.