First gold for China as Fan shares four-way tie on uneven bars

Emmeline Moore

China grabbed its first gold at the world gymnastics championships on the penultimate day of competition as Fan Yilin shared an unprecedented four-way tie on uneven bars.

The 16-year-old from Beijing claimed her first major title but shared the glory with three other gymnasts -- American Madison Kocian and Russian duo Viktoriia Komova and Daria Spiridonova -- after all scored 15.366 points to the amazement of spectators at the Hydro Arena.

It is the first time that more than three gymnasts have shared a world title in the 112-year history of the championships, although five shared parallel bars silver back in 1922.

"I was nervous when I was waiting for their scores," admitted Fan, who had competed her acrobatic routine between the bars first of the four and had a tense although amusing wait for the scores.

She was followed by 2011 champion Komova, who had fallen off her signature apparatus during the women's team final in which Russia finished fourth.

This time the 20-year-old made no mistake dismounting cleanly as intended only to see she had earned the same score as Fan.

Both then stood side by side watching expectantly as next Kocian and then Spiridonova performed only to see the same mark appear on the scoreboard to gasps of disbelief and laughter.

"I am personally shocked," said Komova. "It's the first time judges were having such hard time deciding on the champion on bars."

The scores are divided into difficulty and execution.

Fan's performance was the most difficult while Kocian and Komova scored highest for execution. But when the scores were added together they all came to the same mark.

"It made me laugh to see four gymnasts with the same score, but I'm happy for all of the other gold medallists," said Fan, who also got a silver medal with China in the team event.

No silver or bronze was awarded with America's Gabrielle Douglas, team gold and all-around silver medallist, finishing next best with 15.133 in the eight woman field.

All four hugged and kissed each other and the flags of the three countries were marched out onto the presentation stage and the Chinese, Russian and American national anthems were duly played one after the other.

"It's definitely crazy," said Kocian after her third world gold after defending the team title with the United States.

"I wasn't sure if they were going to do a tie-breaker but I knew my execution would be a little better based on qualifications, so I knew either way I was going to have a medal," added the 18-year-old.

Spiridonova added: "I've never seen anything like this, and I didn't really think anything like this would even be possible. But I'm very happy with my result.

"I think it's great that we are in this together and we will share the victory."

-- Uchimura, Biles eye more gold --

For Fan the gold broke China's title drought in Glasgow after their men, the reigning six-time champions, lost their team title to Japan.

Defending rings champion Liu Yang had to settle for bronze on the apparatus Saturday, with teammate You Hao taking silver behind Greece's Eleftherios Petrounias.

Their final hopes of men's gold lie now with You and Deng Shudi in Sunday's parallel bars final with Wang Yan competing in the women's floor final.

On the final day of competition, Japan's Kohei Uchimura and American Simone Biles will both be looking to add to their all-around and team gold medals.

Uchimura, 26, the six-time men's all-around champion, takes to the high bar, the only apparatus on which he has never won gold, as he bids for a tenth world title.

Biles, 18, won a record third straight individual gold and the team title this week and after taking vault bronze will bid to defend her beam and floor titles.