ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura won a record fourth all-around world championship Thursday, beating Japanese compatriot Ryohei Kato in a final that had a sense of inevitability from the start.
Uchimura opened with the best floor exercise of the six top qualifiers, and was in command the rest of the way. He mixed strength, poise and elegance in every discipline, setting himself apart from all gymnasts and reinforcing his reputation as the greatest in the history of the sport.
"I always do my own things," Uchimura said. "I don't think about rivals." Such is his mastery that he doesn't have to.
Even though Uchimura already held the men's record for all-around world titles, he still shared it overall with retired women's great Svetlana Khorkina of Russia, who also won three. Uchimura also qualified for the weekend floor exercise, high bar and parallel bar finals.
In the contest for the other medals, Sam Mikulak of the U.S. made a decisive error late in his high bar routine and instead of challenging for silver he ended up fifth. Fabian Hambuechen of Germany started with a weak pommel horse routine, but his evening-long chase ended with a great floor exercise and the bronze medal.
Uchimura finished with 91.990 points, almost a massive two points ahead of Kato, who had 90.032. Hambuechen finished with 89.332. Britain's Max Whitlock was fourth at 89.031.