ANTWERP, Belgium (October 5, 2023) – Fred Richard (Stoughton, Mass./University of Michigan) made history Thursday night, becoming only the fourth and youngest U.S. man to win an all-around medal at the Artistic World Championships.
With a bronze-medal performance, Richard is one of four U.S. men to win a World all-around medal, joining the ranks of hall of famers Paul Hamm (gold, 2003), Kurt Thomas (silver, 1979) and Jonathan Horton (bronze, 2010). Richard is also the first U.S. man to win more than one medal at a World Championships since Hall of Famer Danell Leyva (team bronze, parallel bars silver; 2014), and the first U.S. man to win a team and all-around medal since 2003 (Hamm; team silver, all-around gold).
A wild ride from start to finish, Richard entered the final rotation in second, and held on – almost literally – for third with a final score 84.332. Japan’s reigning World and Olympic all-around champion, Daiki Hashimoto, again won gold with an 86.132, while Illia Kovtun of Ukraine took silver with an 84.998. American Asher Hong (Tomball, Texas/Stanford University) landed 19th in all-around competition with a score of 80.064.
Richard led after the first rotation with a score of 14.633 on floor and remained in medal-contention all night, posting consistent scores on pommel horse (13.733), still rings (13.500), vault (14.566) and parallel bars (14.600). On the last rotation, with the podium in his sights, Richard once again had the chance to seal a medal with his performance on high bar, having secured the team bronze on the apparatus on Tuesday. A fall midway through the routine seemingly sapped his momentum, but he recovered for a clean finish, a stuck landing, and a score of 13.300.
He was left to watch his top competitors complete their routines. Two falls from China’s Wei Sun on pommel horse guaranteed Richard a fourth-place finish. An improbable fall by Japan’s Kenta Chiba in the final routine of the competition, on high bar, moved Richard back onto the medal podium in a final 10 minutes of competition that no one could have predicted.
The U.S. men return to action Saturday and Sunday for individual apparatus finals beginning at 8 a.m. ET. Richard will compete on floor, Hong and Yul Moldauer (Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics) on parallel bars, Khoi Young (Bowie, Md./Stanford University) on pommel horse and vault and Paul Juda (Deerfield, Ill./University of Michigan) on vault and high bar.
Simone Biles (Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre) and Shi Jones (Auburn, Wash./Ascend Gymnastics Center) will compete Friday in the women’s all-around final at 1:30 p.m. ET. The FIG microsite will continue to be the hub for all things Artistic Worlds, including scoring and results. Finals will stream live on Peacock.