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Posted 6.11.2022 in News

Magic Malone rules the high bar

Brody Malone tore up the script to surge to gold in the men’s horizontal bar final. 

The final episode of the World Championships in Liverpool had been billed as a two-way fight between the two most recent all-around champions, Daiki Hashimoto and Zhang Boheng. 

But no-one told Malone, who stormed to victory with a stunning routine to earn a score of 14.800, becoming USA’s first high bar world champion since 1979. 

Malone narrowly missed out on the podium with a fourth-placed finish in the all-around final on Friday but bounced back from disappointment to clinch a maiden world title. 

The Stanford gymnast notched the highest high bar score in the all-around competition, a warning his competitors did not heed as he repeated the feat for the individual gong. 

It was the final act of an enthralling World Championships in Liverpool, with Malone’s gold putting USA to the medal table summit ahead of China. 

"It’s pretty incredible, especially going up against a field like that," said Malone.

“You’ve got Daiki [Hashimoto] who’s the Olympic champion on high bar and then he won high bar last year at the Worlds, so to come out on top of that field is pretty awesome and special.

"My goal for that routine was to do what I’ve been doing in the gym and hit handstands, and it happened, so that’s good. 

“Any time you get to compete for team USA and bring home any medal is great, but a gold is pretty awesome.”

It was the perfect ending to what had been a difficult week for the American men's team, who finished a disappointing fifth in the team final having been tipped for a battle for bronze with hosts Great Britain.

There was also individual disappointment for reigning pommel champion Stephen Nedoroscik and Donnell Whittenburg.

Malone also struggled in qualifying and the 22-year-old admitted this was the perfect way to leave Liverpool.

“This is definitely the icing on the cake," he added. "This week was pretty rough for us. The prelims and team finals weren’t great.

"I did a little better in the all-around finals, and it just seemed like we were building up. This was a good one to end on.” 

Silver went to all-around champion Hashimoto, who earned his fourth medal of the Championships with another outstanding display.

It was his third silver of the week having also come second in the floor and team finals, and the 21-year-old revealed he has eyes on upgrading.

“I am a bit disappointed about the silvers but it was good to be in the finals and prepare for them one-by-one," said Hashimoto.

"Now I have to take one more step to win gold. 

“I will try my best to work on that for next year and then the Olympics in 2024.” 

An historic week for Brazil was capped in style with a bronze medal for Arthur Mariano.

Mariano's childhood friend Rebeca Andrade has been one of the stars of the championship, storming to the women's all-around title to become Brazil's first-ever world champion in the event.

Andrade also took bronze in the women's floor final and Mariano was pleased to count on her support in the crowd.

He said: "We grew up together, we’re really good friends. I often watch the girls training.

"Sometimes I spend more time with the women’s team than the men’s team and I hope our friendship will continue all our lives.

“I’m very happy and very emotional. I worked a lot to be here in this position.

"I always believed in the process – sometimes I doubt myself, but you must always believe in the process and then you can do it.”