Max Whitlock earned his fourth Olympic medal today with a gold in the men’s floor final.
Scoring 15.633, Whitlock out-tumbled the competition to claim not only his first Olympic gold medal, but the first ever Olympic gold medal for a British gymnast. He won team bronze and pommel horse bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, and took an all-around bronze a few days ago.
Equally as thrilled were Brazil’s Diego Hypolito and Arthur Mariano, who finished second and third in front of a roaring home crowd. It was the first Olympic medal for both, and the second and third Olympic medals for Brazilian gymnasts.
Sam Mikulak and Jake Dalton were the top two qualifiers to the final, but couldn’t replicate their performances from the preliminary round. Dalton finished sixth and Mikulak finished eigth.
The biggest surprise was the fourth-place finish of Japan’s Kenzo Shirai. The reigning world champion on floor, Shirai is known as the “Twist Prince” for his incredibly difficult and innovative tumbling skills, such as a single flip with four twists and two flips with three twists. He has three skills named after him on floor exercise. But either nerves or fatigue affected him in the final, and he struggled to avoid falls on multiple landings. The 20-year-old will hope to become the Twist King in Tokyo, perhaps.
The final standings were:
1. Max Whitlock: 15.633
2. Diego Hypolito: 15.533
3. Arthur Mariano: 15.433
4. Kenzo Shirai: 15.366
5. Kohei Uchimura: 15.241
6. Jake Dalton: 15.133
7. Kirstian Thomas: 15.058
8. Sam Mikulak: 14.333