Joe Fraser endured a difficult night as his quest for a men’s all-around medal fell flat at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool.
Fraser, who had qualified for the final in fourth place, made mistakes on four of his six apparatus to score 77.098 and finish in a lowly 22nd position in the standings. In contrast, Fraser’s teammate Jake Jarman underscored his own enormous potential for the Paris Olympics and beyond with a strong set of routines to score 82.865 and finish in a highly creditable fifth place.
The 20-year-old Jarman scored among the world’s best on floor and vault to continue his stellar year that had included a sweep of four Commonwealth Games gold medals in Birmingham in August. For Fraser, however, the night was a major disappointment as he missed out on his opportunity to use his home tournament to announce his arrival as one of the world’s leading all-around gymnasts.
Fraser might have hoped history might repeat itself after he slipped off the pommel midway through his routine, making the same mistake that had cost him in the team final on Wednesday night.
But whereas his error two days ago sparked an extraordinary turnaround which saw him nail parallel and horizontal bars routines to steer Great Britain back into an improbable podium place, this time there was to be no redemption.
A mistake in landing his vault effectively ruled him out of contention, and two mistakes on the parallel bars – the apparatus on which he won his maiden world title in 2019 – plunged him further down the rankings.
In his concluding high-bar routine, Fraser crashed face-first to the mat before gamely returning to the apparatus to finish his routine and receive the sympathy of the home crowd.
Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto took gold with a total score of 87.198, dethroning China’s reigning champion Zhang Boheng on 86.765, with Japan’s Wataru Tanigawa in bronze.