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Leanne Wong, Brody Malone Capture Bronze at Artistic Gymnastics Worlds

by Karen Price

Leanne Wong poses with her medal at a victory ceremony for the Women's Floor Exercise during the FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships on Oct. 24, 2021 in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan. 


This summer, Leanne Wong and Kayla DiCello were in Japan, but as Olympic alternates.
This week, they were the headliners on the women’s team that competed in the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, and on Sunday, Wong added an individual apparatus medal to the all-around silver she won Thursday in Kitakyushu, Japan. 
On the men’s side, 2020 Olympian Brody Malone, who finished fourth on the high bar in Tokyo, won the bronze on the apparatus for his first world championship medal.
Both Wong and DiCello, who won bronze in the all-around, qualified for the finals on the balance beam and the floor. The beam was a struggle for both women, with DiCello falling and Wong grabbing the beam at one point. Wong’s error left her just off the podium in fourth place, while DiCello finished eighth. 
Wong, a freshman at the University of Florida, qualified in third for the floor final with a 14.000. She bobbled slightly on a couple of her tumbling pass landings but otherwise turned in a strong performance and scored a 13.833 for third place. New all-around gold medalist Angelina Melnikova of Russia, who competed in every event final and won Olympic bronze on the floor, scored a 14.000 to move into first place. Japan’s Mai Murakami was last to compete, and her score initially came in at 13.966. Her coaches submitted an inquiry with the judges, however, and Murakami’s score was raised by a tenth to come up to 14.066 to put her into first place.
Malone was the highest-finishing U.S. man at the Olympics this summer, coming in 10th overall. The 21-year-old from Johnson City, Tennessee, decided to only compete on the high bar at the world championships, citing fatigue after a full season competing for Stanford leading up to the Olympic qualification period and the Olympics themselves. 
China’s Xuwei Hu won with a score of 15.166 followed by Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto in second with a score of 15.066. Malone hit a strong routine, punctuated by a stuck double double layout landing, and his score of 14.966 had him briefly in second place.
Yul Moldauer competed in the parallel bar final, finishing fifth.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.