LONDON — Four years after letting the title slip through his fingers, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura finally won the Olympic gold medal he dreamed of to go with his three world crowns in the all-around gymnastics final Wednesday.
Uchimura left the Beijing Olympics with silver after falling twice from the pommel horse and the apparatus proved his downfall again in the team event here Monday when Japan had to settle for second place.
“It’s like a dream still,” Uchimura told reporters, weighing his medal in his hand.
Everything went superbly to plan for the 23-year-old pre-games favorite at the North Greenwich Arena on Wednesday, however, and he finished 1.659 points ahead of an excited Marcel Nguyen, who took Germany’s first silver medal in the event since the 1904 games.
American Danell Leyva stormed back from a poor start with a roof-raising horizontal bar routine to snatch the bronze from Ukraine’s Mykola Kuksenkov in the final rotation.
Leyva, who had been the top qualifier, said his medal would soothe U.S. wounds after they finished a disappointing fifth in the team event.
“This medal is a little redemption from team finals,” he said. “This is for all the guys on the team who are my brothers. I love these guys.”