The superstar gymnast from Japan won the men’s all-around Olympic title on the night of Wednesday (10 August), edging Ukranian Oleg Verniaiev by less than a tenth of the point to capture his second straight gold. Uchimura trailed heading into the final rotation but put up a dazzling 15.8 on high bar. Verniaiev followed with a less challenging routine and hopped forward on the dismount at the Rio Olympic Arena.
Needing 14.9 to win, Verniaiev instead earned a 14.8. The crowd groaned when the score was revealed, though Verniaiev shrugged his shoulders as if to say “what can you do?”
Uchimura finished with a total of 92.365, just ahead of Verniaiev’s 92.266.
Max Whitlock of Great Britain was third, just ahead of Russia’s David Belyavskiy.
Uchimura arrived in Rio as the overwhelming favourite to defend the all-around gold he won in London four years ago. Yet the six-time world champion said repeatedly his ultimate goal was a team gold for Japan. He got that triumphant moment on Monday night, when he guided the Japanese to the top of the podium for the first time since 2004 with a nearly flawless finishing kick on floor exercise.
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) August 10, 2016