In the most dramatic, meaningful moment of this 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships so far, the highly-coveted and competitive men’s team gold went to China, narrowly edging out Russia on the final routine to claim the World Championship by under a tenth of a point.

The Chinese team, led by defending World all-around gold and silver medalists Xiao Ruoteng and Lin Chaopan, relied on brilliant parallel bars and pommel horse work to seal the team gold medal- the Chinese men’s fourth World title in the last ten years. Joining Ruoteng and Chaopan in the gold-medal effort was Deng Shudi and Sun Wei along with Zou Jingyuan.

Chinese men’s team atop the podium at the 2018 World Championships Photo: AP

While it was glory and elation for China on one half of the Aspire Academy Dome in Doha, Qatar, heartbreak and frustration filled the other half of the competition floor as the Russian men, an incredibly talented and capable group, fell just short of their team gold goals, scoring a 256.585 to finish second by under a tenth of a point to China’s 256.634.

The incredibly talented Russian team of David Belyavskiy, Artur Dalaloyan, Nikita Nagornyy, Nikolai Kuksenkov, and Dmitrii Lankin showed brilliant work on the floor exercise, still rings, and vault, however China’s edge on the p-bars was the difference between gold and silver for both teams.

Much farther behind in third for the bronze, men’s gymnastics powerhouse Japan totalled a team score of 253.744, nearly three points behind their Chinese and Russian rivals for the team of Kohei Uchimura, Kenzo Shirai, Kazuma Kaya, Yusuke Tanaka, and Wataru Tanigawa. Despite their typically incredible and high-flying work on the high bar, struggles on parallel bars left the Rio 2016 Olympic team gold-medalists too far out.

Arguably the team happiest with their placement beside the Chinese is the U.S., coming back after a difficult start to the competition to take a young, inexperienced team and finish fourth just two points behind Japan. The U.S. team consisting of veterans Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, and Akash Modi helped lead newcomers Colin van Wicklen and Alec Yoder to a successful competition for Team USA. Strong work on the floor exercise, vault, and high bar helped the U.S. men to an overall team score of 251.994.

The United States’ men’s team Photo: John Cheng

In fifth was Great Britain with Max Whitlock and Brinn Bevan for a 248.628, Switzerland in sixth, Brazil in seventh with Arthur Mariano and Arthur Zanetti, and the Netherlands in eighth led by Epke Zonderland and Bart Deurloo.

The second medals of these World Championships will be decided tomorrow with the women’s team final taking place before Wednesday, October 31st sees the men’s all-around World Champion decided in the final.

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