Chiba stars as Japan sit on top of the world
Kenta Chiba led the way as Japan dominated the men’s team all-around qualifiers at the world gymnastics championships on Sunday in Antwerp.
With 258.228 points, they are four points ahead of the United States and Britain.
They also occupy the first three places in the individual standings.
With a total of 85.799 points, Chiba finished first ahead of teammate Kazuma Kaya (85.598) and Daiki Hashimoto (85.432), the reigning Olympic and world champion in the individual all-around.
Only two competitors from each country can compete in the all-around final, so Hashimoto should have been left out.
But his team, as the regulations allow, said they preferred to retain Hashimoto at the expense of Kaya.
The floor, pommel horse, rings and high bars were also dominated by the reigning Olympic champions of each apparatus.
The qualification rounds are also used to allocate the last team places for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands and Ukraine have secured their places joining China, Britain and Japan who were already qualified.
France, however, missed out on a berth at their own Olympics after finishing 19th in qualifying.
“We knew we had to achieve something almost perfect to qualify,” said one of the team, Jim Zona.
France also failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.