After the 2021 Olympics I did an article highlighting whacky stats from that competition and now I’m back to do the same for the 2022 World Championships
The 4 x 3 Milestone
At the 2022 World Championships four different gymnasts won three medals each.
This hasn’t happened at the Olympics or World Championships since 2011 when it was done by:
Brazil wins its first All-Around gold
Brazil became only the 9th country ever to win the All-Around at the Olympics or World Championships. The other countries who have an All-Around Champion:
Team USA’s British luck runs out
Before 2022, every time the Olympics or World Championships were held on British soil the Americans have won the All-Around.
1993 Birmingham: Shannon Miller
2009 London: Bridget Sloan
2012 London: Gabby Douglas
2015 Glasgow: Simone Biles
For the first time ever, an All-Around Finals held on British soil was not won by the Americans
2022 Liverpool: Rebeca Andrade
All-Around gold, but no team medal
Rebeca Andrade became only the fifth gymnast to win the All-Around without winning a medal in the team competition. The 2022 World Championships was the 6th instance of an All-Around gold medal going to a gymnast who did not win a medal in the team competition.
1950: Helena Rakoczy
1995: Lilia Podkopayeva
1996: Lilia Podkopayeva
2003: Svetlana Khorkina
2006: Vanessa Ferrari
2022: Rebeca Andrade
The Podium of All-Around Champions
This statistic was made possible at the 2022 World Championships, but retroactively applies to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The 2021 Olympic All-Around featured Sunisa Lee, Rebeca Andrade, and Angelina Melnikova taking the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Because Andrade and Melnikova have now become All-Around Champions themselves, the 2021 Olympic All-Around podium is now a “podium of Champions.” Where all three medalists went on to become All-Around title holders.
The only other time this happened in Olympic All-Around Finals was the legendary 1976 Olympics where Nadia Comaneci, Nellie Kim, and Ludmilla Turischeva shared the All-Around podium. I wrote about this trend and similar examples back in July.
Canada makes history
Canada won their first ever medal in the team competition. Not counting countries impacted by border changes, this has only happened on six occasions since 1952 where a country that had never before won a team medal finished in medal position during the team competition.
1952: Soviet Union
There are an additional three countries who won their “first” medal after a border change gave their gymnastics program independence from a program that had previously won team medals.
American All-Around dominance wanes
For the first time in 18 years, two All-Around Finals were contested without an American victor. The last time the Americans lost the gold medal in two consecutive All-Around Finals was to Svetlana Khorkina of Russia in 2001 and 2003.
Gadirova v. Gadirova Part II
The Gadirova twins both competed in floor finals at the 2021 Olympics. This was not unprecedented in gymnastics history as during the 2007 World Championships Hong Su Jong and Hong Un-Jong of North Korea became the first sibling duo to appear in an apparatus finals at the same time.
But at the 2022 World Championships Jessica Gadirova and Jennifer Gadirova did it again and competed in the same apparatus finals (floor) for the second time in their careers. This makes them the first sibling duo to ever appear in the same event during Event Finals on multiple occasions.
Three countries, three All-Around titles
The last three All-Around gold medals have gone to gymnasts representing three different countries.
2021: Sunisa Lee (United States)
2021: Angelina Melnikova (Russia)
2022: Rebeca Andrade (Brazil)
Since World War II this has happened on only two previous occasions, one of which occurring in the context of the 1984 boycott:
1984: Mary Lou Retton (United States)
1985: Elena Shushunova & Oksana Omelianchik (Soviet Union)
1987: Aurelia Dobre
1996: Lilia Podkopayeva (Ukraine)
1997: Svetlana Khorkina (Russia)
1999: Maria Olaru (Romania)
Great Britain makes history
Great Britain won a team medal at the 2021 Olympics and did so again at the 2022 World Championships. This is not only the first time Great Britain has ever won team medals in consecutive competitions, it is the first time any country from Western Europe has accomplished this feat. The other countries to do it:
Coline Devillard gives France Déjà vu
Coline Devillard made history for France by becoming the first French gymnast to win a medal at the World Championships or Olympics in 13 years. That feat alone is a historic accomplishment. But Devillard’s victory also came with some irony.
Coline Devillard won a bronze medal on vault and became the 6th gymnasts to win a medal in an individual event at the World Championships for France. Strangely enough, every time this has ever happened was France winning a bronze medal. Six French gymnasts, six medals, six bronze medals.
1950 Worlds: Alexandra Lemoine won bronze on vault
1995 Worlds: Ludivine Furnon won bronze on floor
1996 Worlds: Isabelle Severino won bronze on bars
2007 Worlds: Cassy Vericel won bronze on floor
2009 Worlds: Youna Dufournet won bronze on vault
2022 Worlds: Coline Devillard won bronze on vault
Uneven bars gets another back-to-back victor
Wei Xiaoyuan won the gold medal on the uneven bars title at the 2021 World Championships and defended her title at the 2022 World Championships.
This marks the sixth consecutive World Championships where the uneven bars gold medal was won in back-to-back fashion. This particular streak of back-to-back winners features three different gymnasts.
2015: Fan Yilin (tie)
2017: Fan Yilin
2018: Nina Derwael
2019: Nina Derwael
2021: Wei Xiaoyuan
2022: Wei Xiaoyuan
Nina Derwael’s historic streak ends
For the first time since 2017 Nina Derwael attended a Group-1 competition (Olympics or World Championships) and did not win the gold medal on the uneven bars. Nina Derwael won three consecutive gold medals (3-peat) from 2018-2021. Nina was the first gymnast to do this in Group-1 competition in 20 years. The last being Svetlana Khorkina who completed a 3-peat (and better) in 2001. Maxi Gnauck and Daniela Silivas are the only other gymnasts besides Derwael and Khorkina to complete a 3-peat on uneven bars.
Shoko Miyata gets a program first
It may surprise readers to learn how successful Japanese women’s gymnastics has been over the years. The programs has produced seven different gymnasts who have won an individual medal in Group-1 competition. That is actually the most for any program that was not a member of the Eastern Bloc or one of the “Big Four” powers.
For a country that has a gymnast in the Hall of Fame, an Olympic medal in the team competition, four different World Champions, and a gymnast with an Olympic Order, at the 2022 World Championships Shoko Miyata did what none of her predecessors had ever managed to do.
Shoko Miyata competed in three different Event Finals at the same competition. For a program that has such a storied history and a specific track record of success at the individual level, Miyata managed to achieve a historic benchmark measuring individual personal achievement that had never been seen before in the Japanese program.
Japanese beam magic continues
But Japan wasn’t done yet as Shoko Miyata’s teammate Hazuki Watanabe won a gold medal on beam. Because Japanese gymnast Urara Ashikawa had won the gold medal on beam at the previous World Championships in 2021 and now Hazuki won the same gold medal in 2022, Japan became the rare example of a country to have won back-to-back gold medals on beam.
At the World Championships there are only two other examples of a program winning the gold medal on beam two consecutive times. Simone Biles did it for the United States in 2014 and 2015, while Romania won three-straight from 1985-1989 thanks to the dual work of Daniela Silivas and Aurelia Dobre.
Hazuki and Urara made Japan only the third country, as well as only the third occasion* where a program won two consecutive gold medals on beam at the World Championships. The duo will also become the first time two different gymnasts led the same country to gold on beam in consecutive years at the World Championships level since the 1980s.
*4th occasion if you count 1980s Romania twice.