NANNING: Hosts China won a record sixth straight world men’s gymnastics team title Tuesday with their final performer overturning the lead of arch rivals Japan at the last moment.
China finished the six-apparatus team competition with 273.369 points, just 0.1 points ahead of Japan at the Guangxi Gymnasium in the southern China city of Nanning.
The United States came in third at 270.369.
China trailed Japan by nearly one point going into their final event, the high bar.
Japan’s Yusuka Tanaka and four-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura put on clean performances to earn the top two high-bar scores so far on the day, 15.266 and 15.400 respectively.
China were the last team left to perform on the night.
After national champion Deng Shudi and 19-year-old Lin Chaopan finished their routines, China’s gap with Japan was 15.866.
Zhang Chenglong, the 2010 world high bar champion, was the last up and wowed a capacity crowd of nearly 4,000 with giant swings and spectacular releases before pulling off a perfect landing.
When his score of 15.966 came up on the board, the crowed burst into a roar after a stoned silence.
No country had ever won the world team title, male or female, for six times in a row. In the Olympics, however, the Soviet women’s team claimed eight straight team titles from 1952 to 1980
Japan won the 2004 Olympic team gold when China finished fifth, but have not triumphed at the worlds since 1978, finishing second behind China in their last three encounters.