Britain’s Whitlock, Japan’s Shirai defend world titles

Britain’s Whitlock, Japan’s Shirai defend world titles

Britain’s Whitlock, Japan’s Shirai defend world titles

Britain’s Max Whitlock captured his second consecutive pommel horse title and Japan’s Kenzo Shirai took his third floor exercise crown as defending champions dominated the World Gymnastics Championships on Oct. 7.

All five apparatus titles decided at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium went to those who had taken crowns in 2015 at Glasgow in the previous edition of the worlds.

Whitlock, the reigning Olympic champion, defended his title with 15.441 points to 15.100 for Russia’s David Belyavskiy. China’s Xiao Ruoteng was third, .034 further adrift.

The 24-year-old Englishman, also the reigning Olympic floor exercise champion, was third at Rio in the all-around and took 2012 London Olympic bronze in team and pommel horse.

Shirai, third in the men’s all-around competition on Oct. 5, kept his crown with 15.633 points, defeating Israel’s Dolgopyat Artem by 1.1 with American Moldauer Yul third on 14.500.

Defending world champion Shirai, a Rio Olympic champion in the team event who also took a bronze medal last year in the vault, became the youngest man to win a floor exercise world crown four years ago at Antwerp with a title at age 17, then followed up with another world gold in 2015 at Glasgow.

Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias, the reigning Olympic champion, won his second consecutive world rings crown with 15.433 points, downing Russia’s Denis Abliazin by .10.

China’s Liu Yang was third on 15.266, .008 ahead of France’s Samir Ait Said. Chinese 17-year-old Fan Yilin, who shared the 2015 world uneven bars crown with three rivals, put herself alone atop the event by taking the title again with 15.166 points, .066 ahead of 16-year-old Russian Elena Eremina, who was third in Friday’s all-around competition.

Belgium’s Nina Derwael was third on 15.033, earning her homeland’s first world medal.