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Japan Takes Three Titles in Toyota
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Japanese gymnasts won eight medals, including three of five titles, as the 11th Toyota International Gymnastics Competition began Saturday in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.

Superstar Kenzo Shirai won his third consecutive title on floor exercise, and fourth overall (2013; 2014-17). Shirai, who picked up gold medals on floor and vault and a bronze in the all-around at October's world championships in Montreal, hit his three eponymous skills on floor (triple-twisting double layout; triple-twisting front; quadruple twist) as well as a tucked triple-double and 3 1/2 twist to double-twisting front to easily take the gold medal with 15.800 (7.2D). Hops on his mount and dismount kept him below the 16.00 mark he was hoping for.

"I wanted to finish the year with a 16, but my performance didn't reach that level," Shirai said. "Next year I will work on increasing the Execution score for a higher overall score."

Kenzo Shirai (Japan)

Shirai is competing only a few events this weekend, but on Friday he also trained pommel horse and still rings, staying an hour longer than the other Japanese gymnasts. Shirai said he is determined to remain a factor in the all-around leading to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where he hopes to help Japan win another team title.

"It was a precious opportunity to train in an environment different from usual," he said. "I wanted to have a meaningful practice that will lead to next year."

Competing in his fourth Toyota Cup, Shirai said he was excited to be competing for the first time on high bar at the tournament, once his weakest event but Japan's signature event.

"The fact that I'm competing on high bar is meaningful in itself," he said. "I would like to perform routines beyond what people expect of Kenzo Shirai."

Japan's Wataru Tanigawa won the silver (14.600) over Canada's Jeremy Bartholomeusz (13.275).

On pommel horse, Japan's Takaaki Sugino, 19, won the gold medal (14.850/6.6) over Iran's Saeedreza Keikha (14.275/6.1). Keikha, 29, turned in the top international result for Iranian gymnastics last year with the bronze medal on pommel horse at the Baku World Challenge Cup. 2013 world champion Kohei Kameyama won the bronze (14.025/6.1).

Taiwan's Chen Chih-Yu won still rings, preventing a Japanese sweep. Chen scored 14.550 (6.1) to edge out Kazuyuki Takeda (14.500/5.9) and Tanigawa (13.900/6.0).

Takumi Sato, who was competing exhibition for the host team, had the third-best scores on both floor exercise (14.400/6.3) and still rings (14.050/5.8).

2016 Olympian Sae Miyakawa won women's vault with a layout Rudi and Yurchenko full (14.249 average). Germany's Sarah Voss won the silver (14.133) over floor exercise world champion Mai Murakami (14.049). Canada's Ellie Black tied Murakami for the bronze.

Miyakawa said she was pleased to finish the year well after her eighth place on vault in Montreal, where she crashed her double-twisting Yurchenko second vault. Miyakawa said she has been focusing heavily on technique since her disappointment at worlds.

"I was thinking of getting revenge by doing the same vaults as the world championships, but I was more concerned about competing with the cleaner technique," Miyakawa said of opting for an easier second vault on Saturday.

France's Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos won the gold medal on uneven bars (14.533/5.8), topping world silver medalist Yelena Yeryomina (Russia). France won a second medal with Juliette Bossu's third-place performance (14.166/5.7).

Australia's Georgia Godwin placed seventh on both women's events Saturday, while teammate Kiara Munteanu took 10th place on uneven bars. Godwin and Munteanu were among the 11 Australian team members (seven seniors and four juniors) who came to Japan last week for a training camp with national coach Mihai Brestyan.

Two-time Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura is still recovering from the sprained ankle that knocked him out of the world championships. Uchimura is expected to be back in competition at next April's Japanese national championships.

Competition concludes Sunday at Sky Hall Toyota with the remaining events.

External Link: Official Website

11th Toyota International
December 9, 2017, Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Women's VaultDENDScoreAverage
1.Sae Miyakawa5.88.96614.76614.249
2.Sarah Voss5.49.20014.60014.133
3.Mai Murakami5.48.86614.26614.049
3.Ellie Black5.48.73314.13314.049
5.Sophie Marois5.48.7660.114.06613.899
6.Yelena Yeryomina5.09.03314.03313.816
7.Georgia Godwin4.68.83313.43313.566

Uneven BarsDENDScore
1.Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos5.88.73314.533
2.Yelena Yeryomina6.08.46614.466
3.Juliette Bossu5.78.46614.166
4.Hitomi Hatakeda5.78.13313.833
5.Sanne Wevers5.18.46613.566
6.Helene Schäfer5.07.73312.733
7.Georgia Godwin5.46.90012.300
8.Sarah Voss4.77.40012.100
9.Sophie Marois4.85.93310.733
10.Kiara Munteanu4.56.03310.533
11.Haley Dejong3.76.30010.000

Men's Floor ExerciseDENDScore
1.Kenzo Shirai7.28.60015.800
2.Wataru Tanigawa6.08.7000.114.600
--Takumi Sato6.38.2000.114.400
3.Jeremy Bartholomeusz5.48.1750.313.275
4.Philipp Herder5.57.72513.225
5.Saeedreza Keikha4.67.97512.575
--Takaaki Sugino5.26.95012.150
6.Zachary Clay5.26.8500.111.950

Pommel HorseDENDScore
1.Takaaki Sugino6.68.25014.850
2.Saeedreza Keikha6.18.17514.275
3.Kohei Kameyama6.17.92514.025
4.Evan Cruz6.17.40013.500
5.Zachary Clay5.87.52513.325

Still RingsDENDScore
1.Chen Chih-Yu6.18.45014.550
2.Kazuyuki Takeda5.98.60014.500
--Takumi Sato5.88.25014.050
3.Wataru Tanigawa6.07.90013.900
4.Philipp Herder5.48.02513.425
5.Zachary Clay5.47.42512.825
6.Saeedreza Keikha4.76.70011.400
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