Whitlock steals spotlight on day of records

Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:19pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

GLASGOW (Reuters) - It was 112 years in the making as Max Whitlock ended Britain's hunt for a male champion at the gymnastics world championships on Saturday when 15.366 was the magic number for four women sharing the asymmetric bars title.

Fan Yilin, Viktoriia Komova, Daria Spiridonova and Madison Kocian shared an unprecedented four gold medals when the judges could not decide between their asymmetric bars routines -- leaving them all deadlocked on the same score.

The sudden and unexpected formation of the '15.366 gang' caused shock and amusement in equal measure among the four champions who jostled for space on a crowded top platform of the winner's podium, while the two lower levels remained empty.

A prolonged medals ceremony featured three national anthems -- China, Russia and the United States -- being played. Organizers also had to abandon the flag-raising ceremony as there was no room for three flags on the same horizontal pole.

American Kocian described it as "super crazy", China's Fan found it "hilarious" while Russia's Spiridonova said: “Wow! I've never seen anything like this. I didn't think anything like this would even be possible. It's great that we are in this together and we will share the victory.”

Her compatriot Komova added: "It was hard to deal with the nerves after they started to announce the results. I am personally shocked. It's the first time the judges had such a hard time deciding who the champion was.” 

NARROW MARGIN   Continued...

Britain's Max Whitlock celebrates his silver medal following the floor medals ceremony during the men's apparatus final at the World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro arena in Glasgow, Scotland, October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne