Nikita Nagornyy of Russia won his first individual world gymnastics title on Friday in Stuttgart, Germany, by more than 1½ points, a year after fellow Russian Artur Dalaloyan needed a tiebreaker to win.
That puts Russia’s men on track for a strong showing at next year’s Olympics, after world team gold on Wednesday and a 1-2 finish in the all-around for Nagornyy and Dalaloyan two days later.
Nagornyy has a Roman numeral tattoo on his arm marking the date of his team Olympic silver with Russia in 2016, but he’s keen to shut down talk of an upgrade to the gold medal in Tokyo next year.
“We’ve got a lot of work in front of us, we need to train well and properly,” he said. “You can’t talk about it. Our work’s going to do all the talking.”
Coming off a shoulder injury, China’s 2017 world all-around champion Xiao Ruoteng was in the silver medal position after five of the six rotations. However, he came off the high bar and dropped to fourth.
Nagornyy scored 88.772 points to 87.165 for Dalaloyan.
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP Via Getty Images
Bronze went to Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine on 86.973.
Six-time U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak had just made the final as the last qualifier, but he briefly looked a surprise contender for gold. Mikulak led the scoring after three rotations with high-scoring routines on the parallel bars, but he later fell on the pommel horse and finished seventh.
He said bouncing back after qualification gave him more confidence ahead of the Olympics.
“Going forward, if I ever have a bad day, I know that I can turn it around right away,” he said. “There’s nothing against performing bad because I know my true potential out there.”
U.S. men’s soccer thumps Cuba
Weston McKennie scored 32 seconds into the game and had the fastest hat trick (13 minutes) from the kickoff in U.S. history, helping the Americans overwhelm Cuba 7-0 in their first CONCACAF Nations League match.
Stanford alum Jordan Morris scored and tied a U.S. record with three assists and Josh Sargent also had a goal as the 21st-ranked Americans burst to a 6-0 halftime lead against No. 179 Cuba and set their modern record for goals in a half.
Golf: Peter Malnati started strong and shot 7-under-par 65 to lead at the PGA Tour’s Houston Open after morning rain and lightning prevented the second round from being completed. First-round co-leader Austin Cook, who opened with a 64, briefly got to 11-under before dropping to 6-under through 15 holes before play was suspended due to darkness. Talor Gooch, who started the day tied with Cook, improved to 9-under through 14 holes and is a shot behind Malnati.
• Doug Barron opened with a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead over Woody Austin after the opening round in the PGA Tour Champions’ SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.
• Matthew Fitzpatrick took a one-stroke lead after a 65 moved him to 10-under after the second round of the European Tour’s Italian Open in Rome, while local favorite Francesco Molinari missed the cut.
Tennis: American teenager Coco Gauff advanced to her first WTA semifinal match by beating top-seeded Kiki Bertens 7-6 (1), 6-4 at the Upper Austria Ladies in Linz. Gauff, 15, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and third round at the U.S. Open, earned her first win over a top-10 player against the eighth-ranked Bertens.
• The Shanghai Masters lost its two biggest draws when Roger Federer was beaten by Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3 and defending champion Novak Djokovic lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Zverev will next play Matteo Berrettini, who defeated Dominic Thiem 7-6 (8), 6-4.
Swimming: American Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer received a 20-month doping ban after an arbitration panel found that he had testosterone pellets inserted into his body. Dwyer, 30, who won relay gold medals in 2012 and 2016, tested positive three times between Nov. 15 and Dec. 20 last year. His ban was made effective on Dec. 21, meaning he won’t be eligible for next year’s Olympics.
Motor sports: Formula One moved qualifying from Saturday to Sunday, hours before the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka is scheduled to run, because of Typhoon Hagibis’ approach to Japan’s main island.
Obituary: Longtime Cal athletic trainer Bob Orr died Wednesday of multiple myeloma blood cancer, the school announced. He was 80. Orr started at Cal in 1964 and worked there for 30 years, including 24 as head athletic trainer. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.
— Ron Kroichick