- artistic ... championships
- 体操世界選手権のこと（後出 the worlds も同意）
- flip and twist one's way to winning ～
- （ここでは）宙返りやひねりを決めて～を獲得する（後出 capture は獲得する）
- remarkable feat
- ～ ‐straight
- ～連続の（後出 consecutive と straight は連続の）
- (individual) all‐around
- 予選通過者（後出 qualify は予選を通過する）
- vie (→ vying) for ～
- steadily execute one's moves
- save someone's face
- (be) named after ～
- difficulty ... H
- balance beam
- pay off
Japanese gymnast Murakami Mai, 21, became the first Japanese woman in 63 years to win a gold medal at the artistic gymnastics world championships in Montreal, Canada, this month, while compatriot Shirai Kenzo, 21, flipped and twisted his way to winning two golds and one bronze.
The remarkable feat by two young athletes gives Japanese gymnasts a boost ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The medals came after 28‐year‐old champion Uchimura Kohei, who was hoping for a seventh‐straight men's all‐around gold, was forced to withdraw due to an injured ankle.
On Oct. 5, the top five qualifiers in the all‐around this year were all vying for their first victory in the competition. Shirai, who qualified in fourth place, steadily executed his moves to capture bronze with 86.431 points. It was the 11th consecutive medal for a male Japanese athlete. "I was relieved," Shirai said. "I was able to save Japan's face in the individual all‐around event."
On the floor on Oct. 7, Shirai executed a highly difficult routine including three moves named after him, and came out on top with 15.633 points, 1.1 points ahead of second place. It was his third and second‐straight floor gold. "I think this will be the start of a series of straight wins," a confident Shirai said.
Shirai also captured the title in the men's vault on Oct. 8, winning the first gold for Japan in the event in 39 years.
Murakami won the women's floor with 14.233 points on Oct. 8. Her expressive routine included a technique with a difficulty score of H. "It was the best performance in my life," she said.
The only other time a Japanese woman won gold at the Olympics or the worlds was at the worlds in Rome in 1954, when Ikeda Keiko won the balance beam event. Initially there was a large gap in ability between Japan's male and female gymnasts, but in 1975, Japan started boosting training of girls at the junior level.Now that appears to be paying off.
"I've proven that the women also can (win medals)," Murakami said proudly.