LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Daiki Hashimoto of Japan won the men’s all-around title at the world gymnastics championship on Friday, giving the 21-year-old star a bookend to the gold he won at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hashimoto put together an all-around total of 87.198 to edge 2021 champion Zhang Boheng of China, who finished second at 87.765, well clear of bronze medalist Wataru Tanigawa of Japan at 85.231.

Hashimoto posted the best score on pommel horse during his second rotation and finished second in four other events — still rings, floor exercise, vault and high bar — in a display of excellence that showcased why is the heir apparent to Japan’s Kohei Uchimura, a two-time Olympic and six-time world champion.

Hashimoto finished second to Boheng by just .017 points at the 2021 world championships just a couple of months after Hashimoto’s triumph at the Olympics.

“(Boheng’s) performance is so good,” Hashimoto said. “I couldn’t win this competition last year because he won. So I felt sad. Competing against him was a motivation (today). The battle with Zhang Boheng is so good.”

Boheng, who won gold with his Chinese teammates in the team competition on Wednesday, made Hashimoto work for it. The 22-year-old attempted more difficult routines than Hashimoto on each of the final two events but was dinged by the judges for small lapses in execution.

“I feel a little bit disappointed, because as defending champion I didn’t do my best in the final today,” Boheng said. “A lot of the dismounts, especially in the floor exercise, I could have improved those.”

Brody Malone of the United States finished fourth, tied for the best performance by an American in the all-around at a world championship since Jon Horton took bronze in 2010. Eighteen-year-old Asher Hong of the U.S. finished sixth in his first world championship.

“Today went really well compared to how the last two days of competition have gone, so I’m happy with that,” said Malone, who struggled with the rest of the Americans during a fifth-place finish in the team final. “But it’s definitely bittersweet to be that close (to a medal) and taste it, but just not get it. I’m definitely motivated, that’s for sure.”

The meet did not feature any competitors from Russia, the defending Olympic team champion. Russia is currently banned from competing at International Gymnastics Federation and European Gymnastics federation-hosted events due to the war in Ukraine.

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