Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2006 and beyond: The Top Nations in MAG

No matter how you present the statistics, the Chinese men have dominated the past 5 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. They were the gymnastics equivalent of the Dream Team.

(Team competition counts as 1 medal)

Of those 27 medals, 20 of them are gold. That's right, the Chinese men have won 20 of the last 40 gold medals awarded by the FIG at at the World Championships.
Romania can thank Marian Dragulescu for all those gold medals, and Japan can thank Kohei Uchimura for all its gold medals.

Since 2006, one time and one time only, China wasn't at the top of the medal count. In 2011, Japan beat them… 
…by one medal.

This year, that could all change. It looks like China will be sending a relatively inexperienced team to the World Championships. The country's current list consists of Zhang Hongtao, Zhou Shixiong, Lin Chaopan, You Hao, Liu Yang, and Zhang Zhongbo. Of these gymnasts, Zhang Hongtao has the most international experience, having won gold on pommel horse in 2009.

The rest of the gymnasts are relatively unknown on the senior international scene. Though some have competed extensively at their continental championships. If you haven't been keeping your eye on Chinese gymnastics, here's a quick rundown of the last year or so:

Lin Chaopan

  • 2012 Asian Junior Championships: 1st PH, VT, HB; 2nd AA
  • 2012 Asian Championships: 2nd HB; 6th FX
  • 2013 Chinese Nationals: 2nd AA; 3rd HB

Zhou Shixiong
  • 2012 Asian Championships: 1st PB, 2nd AA, 5th SR
  • 2013 Chinese Nationals: 1st HB; 6th AA

Liu Yang

  • 2012 Asian Junior Championships: 1st SR
  • 2013 Cottbus Challenge Cup: 2nd SR
  • 2013 Chinese Nationals: 2nd SR

Zhang Zhongbo

  • 2013 Chinese Nationals: 2nd VT

You Hao
  • 2013 Chinese Nationals: 1st PB

Since the Chinese men compete even less than the U.S. women--I know, who thought that was possible?--it's difficult to predict how they will fare at the World Championships this year. According to a recent article, the expectations are not high, and the Chinese men are going to focus on pommels, rings, parallel bars, and high bar. So, if I had to venture a guess, I'd say that Japan, Great Britain, and Russia have the opportunity to make steady advances in their medal counts, and hopefully, Ukraine will up its number from a depressing total of 1 medal.

Related Posts:

2006 and beyond: The Top Nations in WAG
2006 and beyond: The Best WAG Gymnasts
2006 and beyond: The Best MAG Gymnasts


  1. How come Australia has 4 medals? I know Phil Rizzo got the HB Gold in 2006 but where are the other 3 from? Lauren Mitchell has 3 but hers are obviously not from MAG.

    1. The other three are a silver and two bronzes from Prashanth Sellathurai on PH from 2006, 2009, and 2010.