Taiwan’s Shiao Yu-jan on Friday clinched bronze in the pommel horse final at the FIG Apparatus World Cup in Doha.
The 23-year-old, who represented Taiwan at the Tokyo Olympics, scored 14.833 for his smooth routine, trailing Ireland’s reigning world champion Rhys McClenaghan, who won silver with 15.033, and Kazakhstan’s Nariman Kurbanov, who took gold with an eye-popping score of 15.400.
Japan’s Sugino Takaaki — a four-time World Cup winner — matched Shiao’s score of 14.833, but finished fourth as Shiao did a more difficult routine.
Photo courtesy of Shiao Yu-jan’s coach Cheng Kun-chieh
Shiao’s coach Cheng Kun-chieh told reporters in a telephone interview that their strategy, which was drawn up before the competition, was to focus on stability.
“We were already a bit lucky to enter the final, as the athletes who won the gold and silver medals this time have finished in the top three in the world championships in the past,” Cheng said. “So we were aiming for the bronze medal and Yu-jan performed quite well.”
The podium finish adds to Shiao’s series of World Challenge Cup medal wins last year — a gold in Mersin, Turkey, in October; a silver in Szombathely, Hungary, in September-October; and a bronze in Paris in September.
Shiao was expected to travel to Azerbaijan yesterday to compete in the FIG Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus World Cup in Baku, from Thursday to March 12.
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