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By Yoo Jee-ho
TOKYO, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean gymnast Shin Jea-hwan vaulted into the record books at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, winning the men's vault gold medal to become only the second Olympic gymnastics champion from the country.
Shin scored 14.783 points on average after two vaults in the final held at Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo, beating Denis Abliazin of the Russian Olympic Committee for the gold medal. Shin had 14.733 points with his first vault and 14.833 with the next one.
Shin and Abliazin were tied in their scores at 14.783, but Shin had a higher difficulty score with 6.000 in his first vault. Both of the Russian's vaults had 5.600 points in difficulty scores.
Shin joins the 2012 men's vault champion Yang Hak-seon as the only South Korean gold medalists in Olympic gymnastics.
Shin's gold came about 24 hours after another South Korean gymnast, Yeo Seo-jeong, won bronze in the women's vault.
Shin was the top qualifier among eight finalists and the sixth vaulter to perform.
With his first vault that had a 6.000 difficulty score, Shin added 8.833 points in execution score but lost 0.1 point in penalty for a total of 14.733.
His next vault had a 5.600 difficulty score, and Shin had a higher execution score with 9.233 points for a total of 14.833 points.
With two gymnasts left, Shin jumped to first place and secured at least the bronze medal at that point.
Abliazin, the silver medalist at each of the past two Olympics, was up next. He posted 14.766 and 14.800 points for an average of 14.783 points. The Russian earned high execution points but performing less difficult vaults cost him.
Carlos Edriel Yulo of the Philippines, the last gymnast, botched the landing on his first vault, essentially guaranteeing Shin his first gold medal.
When Yulo's final score of 14.716 points, good for only fourth place, was announced, celebrations ensued for Shin and his coaches.
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