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Kitazono raises the bar to become first gymnast to win five golds at YOG

Date : 17 Oct 2018

Date: 16 Oct 2018 Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 16, 2018: The crowds repeatedly called out his name “Takeru, we love you”, leaving Japan’s teenage gymnastic sensation blushing after he finished the Youth Olympic Games with a five-star performance.

Takeru Kitazono became the most decorated artistic gymnast in the history of the Youth Olympic Games winning five individual gold medals. He also won a silver in the team competition.

Kitazono, who turns 16 on Sunday, added golds in the parallel bars and horizontal bar to the all-around, floor exercise and rings he had won earlier.

It will certainly be a "sweet 16" birthday for Kitazono, who was left flushed at the adulation from the fans: “Through the support I had here at Buenos Aires I have been able to showcase my talent and that tuned out to be enough to win five gold medals. Of course, there was a lot of expectation around me and I am very proud that I was able to meet those here.”

Nicknamed the “new Uchimura” in reference to legendary countryman Kohei Uchimura, a triple Olympic champion and 10-times world champion, Kitazono was all smiles after he brought the curtain down on the gymnastic competition in stunning fashion.

“While I am happy at my performance, I failed in one of my finals, the pommel horse where I ended up sixth. Still it is a great result. I will now use this experience in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, where I also want to win a gold medal,” Kitazono said.

On parallel bars, Kitazono finished 0.366 points ahead of China’s Yin Dehang who won the silver. The bronze went to Sergei Naidin of Russia.

In the horizontal bar final, Kitazono finished ahead of Brazilian Diogo Soares who won a bronze in the men’s all-round final. The bronze went to Hungary’s Krisztian Balzas.

In the women’s balance beam event, China’s Tang Xijing won the gold medal with Russia’s Ksenila Klimenko taking silver and Great Britain’s Amelie Morgan winning the bronze.

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