ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – Hikaru Mori and Megu Uyama became the first women to win gold for Japan at a world trampoline championships on Friday when they topped the podium in the synchronized event.
On the third day of action at the St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, the Japanese pair earned 48.340 points in the final, while Canada’s Rosannagh MacLennan and Sarah Milette won silver and Mexico’s Dafne Navarro Loza and Melissa Flores captured bronze.
Previously, the best result at the worlds by Japanese women had been second-place finishes — Ayano Kishi in individual trampoline, as well as Mori and Yumi Takagi in synchronized trampoline, both last year.
“I got goosebumps (when I found out we won gold). It was silver for Mori and Takagi last year so I wanted to beat that. I achieved my goal,” said the 22-year-old Uyama.
“There was a last minute change in the pairing, and I wanted to believe it was a good change. We went last and put on a satisfying performance. I’m really happy,” said 19-year-old Mori.
Mori and Uyama, who have known each other since childhood, competed together for the first time due to an injury suffered by Takagi.
While five of the first seven pairs had to stop their routine midway due to a lack of synchronization, Mori and Uyama, the top qualifiers, stayed clean for gold.
In the qualification round, gymnasts perform two 10-element routines, a compulsory exercise and a more difficult voluntary exercise. The latter is performed again in the final round.
Japan won the men’s team gold at the 2011 worlds, and men’s synchronized trampoline gold in 2007, 2009 and 2013.
Synchronized trampoline, where two athletes perform identical routines at the time same using separate trampolines, is a non-Olympic event.
The competition concludes Saturday with the semifinals and finals for men’s and women’s individual trampoline, and the finals for women’s double mini and men’s tumbling.