• Kyodo


The International Gymnastics Federation on Tuesday announced the approval of eight new elements for its men’s code of points, including a vault named after Rio Olympic team gold medalist Kenzo Shirai and a floor exercise element named for Takahiro Goshima.

“My motivation in gymnastics is not just to attach my name (to elements), but I am happy” with the achievement, the 20-year-old Shirai said in a Twitter post.

His new namesake vault, dubbed the “Shirai 3” and assigned an element value of 5.4 for its high degree of difficulty, adds a double twist to a vault once performed by six-time Olympic gold medalist Vitali Scherbo. Shirai was the first to pull it off in competition at a World Cup meet in Melbourne in February.

The Rio bronze medalist in vault now has more elements named after him than any other male gymnast, with three each in floor exercise and vault for a total of six.

Compatriot Goshima was also recognized for a forward somersault in layout position with three and a half twists, which he debuted in floor exercise competition in Germany in March. The “Goshima” adds a half twist to the “Shirai 2,” earning a difficulty upgrade from “F” to “G.”

All eight elements approved by the men’s technical committee of the governing body carry the names of gymnasts who successfully executed them in World Cup events in late 2016 or early 2017.

Gymnasts from Canada, Hungary, Iran, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey were also represented for their innovations in floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings and parallel bars.

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