Russian gymnast Dalaloyan redeems himself with all-around world title
Wins gold two days after his error helped cost Russia the team event
Artur Dalaloyan ended the men's team final at the world gymnastics championships in tears — and not the good kind. A mistake on parallel bars by the 22-year-old played a factor in Russia's narrow runner-up finish to China.
Though Dalaloyan skipped training in the run-up to Wednesday's all-around final in an attempt to decompress, his mind kept drifting back to the five-hundredths of a point that proved the difference between gold and silver for the Russians.
"It was scrolling through my mind," Dalaloyan said.
It proved to be the fuel he needed to keep the opportunity to stand atop the podium from slipping through his grasp twice. Dalaloyan drilled his high bar set, watched 2017 world champion Xiao Ruoteng of China do the same and then fought back tears — the good kind this time — after becoming the first Russian to win a world or Olympic all-around title in nearly 20 years.
Artur Dalaloyan wins men's all-around title:
Though Dalaloyan and Xiao both finished with a score of 87.598 in Doha, Qatar, Dalaloyan was awarded the gold on a tiebreaker after the officials dropped the lowest score for each competitor.
"I do feel a little pity about that," Xiao said. "But respect to the judge and respect to the rival."
Xiao went last in the 24-man final and the 14.233 he needed to get to pull even with Dalaloyan was plastered in bright yellow letters on the video board inside the Aspire Dome. When his score flashed — 14.233 — there was a brief moment of confusion before the tiebreaker was announced. Xiao didn't exactly hang his head in disappointment.
Watch the full event:
"I want to be No. 1, yeah but this result, I'm still happy," Xiao said.
The victory marked a redemption of sorts for Dalaloyan, who came off the parallel bars shortly after his mount during the team final, the deduction one of a handful of miscues by the Russians that helped China return to the top of the sport for the first time since 2014.
There were few miscues for Dalaloyan two days later. He put up the top score on rings and was second on vault, floor and parallel bars and third on high bar while becoming the second Russian to win the world all-around title, joining Nikolai Kryukov in 1999. Alexei Neimov captured gold for Russia at the 2000 Olympics.
"It's amazing," Dalaloyan said in English after joining exclusive company.
Dalaloyan's teammate Nikita Nagornyy took third. China's Sun Wei was fourth.
The women's all-around final goes Thursday. Watch it live on CBCSports.ca beginning at 9 a.m. ET.
The individual apparatus finals go Friday and Saturday, and can also be seen live on CBCSports.ca
With files from CBC Sports