McKayla Maroney, Kohei Uchimura win

Updated: October 15, 2011, 12:51 PM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Kohei Uchimura spun off the pommel horse and smiled as he pulled himself upright.

Hey, he and the American women can't win every gold medal at the world gymnastics championships.

McKayla Maroney gave the Americans a sweep of the first three gold medals at worlds by winning the vault title Saturday, and Uchimura took gold on floor exercise about 18 hours after becoming the first man to win three all-around titles.

"It just shows we are the best," Maroney said. "We come for business and that's what we want to do. We all work really, really hard for it."

But other gymnasts do, too, and Uchimura and the Americans were nice enough to let them share in the loot, failing to win any more medals -- let alone more gold -- the rest of the day.

Jordyn Wieber was fourth on uneven bars, missing the bronze medal by about three-tenths of a point, and Gabby Douglas was fifth. Uchimura finished fifth on pommel horse after a fall and was sixth on still rings.

"It was physically very hard," Uchimura said of the quick turnaround. "It's very hard, but I wanted to show my best to the audience."

Viktoria Komova of Russia finally got her gold, winning uneven bars after going home with silvers in the all-around and team competition. Chen Yibing of China proved he really is "Lord of the Rings" with his fourth world title on still rings, where he's also the Olympic champion, and Krisztian Berki won his second straight title on pommel horse.

Wieber and Aly Raisman are both competing on balance beam and floor exercise on Sunday, and Uchimura still has parallel bars and high bar to go.

The Americans got off to a perfect start at worlds, winning the team title followed two days later by Wieber's victory in the all-around. Maroney made it a three-peat -- in more ways than one. A U.S. woman has now won the last three vault titles, impressive for a country that had not won the title before Kayla Williams in 2009.

"That's just really cool," Maroney said about the three-peat. "It's just great to know I could do that for the U.S."

The 15-year-old from Laguna Niguel, Calif., does one of the hardest vaults in the world -- a roundoff onto the takeoff board, back handspring onto the vault and then 2½ twists before landing

"Vault has always just kind of come naturally for me. It's more something that I just do for fun," Maroney said. "I don't get nervous, I just do it."

Uchimura's score in the floor exercise initially was posted as a 15.433, drawing boos from the crowd. But one of the Japanese coaches immediately filed an inquiry with the judges, who realized they had undervalued one of Uchimura's skills. His revised score of 15.633 was enough to keep him in front of Zou Kai of China, the Beijing Olympics and 2009 world champion on floor.

But Uchimura looked gassed, shaking out his legs as he walked off the floor. Sure enough, he fell on pommel horse and had major form breaks on still rings. When he finished his rings routine, he tapped his chest and smiled.

"Very much," he said when asked if he was drained. "After pommel horse, I felt very tired."

Still rings is all about brute strength, but Chen made it look easy. When Chen's feet hit the mat upon landing, he playfully stuck out his tongue and gave a fist pump to each side of the arena. Before walking off the podium, he kissed one of the support poles.

"The apparatus does not belong to China, the apparatus does not belong to Japan," Chen said through a translator. "I just want to show my best performance, a high-quality performance, to the audience from all over the world."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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