1974 MAG World Championships

1974: The Men’s All-Around Competition at the World Championships

In 1974, Kasamatsu Shigeru became only the second Japanese gymnast to win the all-around title at the World Championships. (Kenmotsu won it in 1970.) However, his win was not without controversy. With only 0.125 separating Kasamatsu and Andrianov, some thought that Kasamatsu should have won while others thought that Andrianov should have won.

As we’ll see, much of the coverage focused on what happened during the last rotation on October 26, 1974.

Datum: 26.10.1974 Copyright: imago/Sven Simon Shigeru Kasamatsu (Japan) – Reck; quer, Flugelement, Froschperspektive, unten Weltmeisterschaft 1974, Geräteturnen, Kunstturnen, Vneg, Vsw Varna Turnen WM Herren Einzel Einzelbild Aktion Personen

Reminder: This was the first World Championships with an all-around final. (The Munich Olympics were the first Olympic Games to include an all-around final.)


Note: Each gymnast’s qualifying rank is listed under his name. His qualifying average from compulsories and optionals (competitions 1a and 1b) are listed under his country. His final all-around score is listed in bold print in the third row. It is the sum of his qualifying average and his point total from the all-around finals.

1. Kasamatsu
Qual: 158.0509.7509.8009.7509.8009.6509.65058.400
2. Andrianov
Qual: 257.4759.6509.7009.8009.8009.7509.70058.400
3. Kenmotsu
Qual: 357.2509.7009.7009.4009.6509.5509.60057.600
4. Kajiyama
Qual: 656.9009.6009.6009.5009.8009.4009.50057.400
5. Tsukahara
Qual: 557.0509.5509.3009.6509.6009.4509.80057.350
6. Mikaelian
Qual: 756.8759.6009.5509.5009.6509.5009.40057.200
7. Thüne
Qual: 457.1009.6009.5509.5509.5009.5509.70057.450
8. Szajna
Qual: 956.6759.5509.3509.7009.7509.4509.75057.550
9. Marchenko
Qual: 856.7509.6509.3509.5009.6009.6009.60057.300
10. Shamugiya
Qual: 1256.2259.4009.3009.5009.7509.5009.60057.050
11. Molnár
Qual: 1156.3259.3509.6509.3009.6509.5009.60057.050
12. Honma
Qual: 1355.9009.5009.1509.3009.5009.3009.50056.250
13. Safronov
Qual: 1755.6259.5009.0509.4009.7009.4009.40056.450
14. Gienger
Qual: 1555.8259.5009.4509.3009.5508.5509.70056.050
15. Magyar
Qual: 2055.9009.4009.8508.4009.0509.3509.30055.350
16. Hanschke
Qual: 1855.5009.5509.3509.4508.9009.1509.55055.950
17T. Mössinger
Qual: 2155.3509.5009.4509.3009.5508.5509.70056.050
17T. Grecu
Qual: 1655.8009.5508.9009.7509.4509.3009.50056.450
19. Rohner
Qual: 1855.5009.4509.3509.3009.1509.2509.40055.900
20. Netušil
Qual: 2355.2759.1009.3009.2009.2009.5509.45055.800
21. Jäger
Qual: 1056.4509.4009.5009.5009.2009.5009.70056.800
22. Mack
Qual: 2355.2759.5009.0009.3009.7009.1509.30055.950
23. Donáth
Qual: 2555.1259.2009.5509.3009.3509.2009.50056.100
24. Boério
Qual: 2954.9759.4008.6509.3509.3009.2008.85054.750
25. Young
Qual: 2555.0759.3009.2509.3509.4009.3009.45056.050
26. Hug
Qual: 2855.0009.3009.3009.3509.0009.3009.50055.750
27. Grosse
Qual: 3254.4259.1008.3509.4009.5008.8009.35054.500
28. Jorek
Qual: 3554.5009.3509.1509.2009.4509.2008.90055.250
29. Bretscher
Qual: 2755.0509.3009.3009.4509.5009.3009.50056.350
30. Spiess
Qual: 3354.6758.7509.4509.1508.9008.9509.60054.800
31. Vock
Qual: 3154.7009.1009.2509.1009.2009.2009.40055.250
32. Kiss
Qual: 3754.3759.0009.2509.2009.2509.2009.30055.200
33. Tannenberger
Qual: 3154.7008.8009.3009.3509.4509.3009.55055.750
34. Klotz
Qual: 1355.9009.2509.2009.5509.2509.2509.50056.000
35. Oprescu
Qual: 3054.7259.4508.8509.3009.5009.1009.30055.500
36. Arnaboldi
Qual: 3654.4509.2509.1009.1509.5009.1009.20055.300
*Both Olympische Turnkunst and Neues Deutsches Turnen list Mikaelian’s total for compulsories as a 56.55. However, when you add up his scores listed in both publications, they come to 56.500. Based on the team apparatus totals printed in both publications, my best guess is that he actually scored a 9.600 on high bar.

**When you add up Magyar’s scores in Olympische Turnkunst, his all-around total is 110.800, making his COA a 55.400. On October 25, 1974, Nesport, the major Hungarian sports newspaper, listed his all-around total as a 110.800, which would make his COA a 55.400.

However, all all-around results list Magyar’s COA as a 55.900. My best guess is that a scorer incorrectly gave Magyar a 9.400 on rings during competition 1b instead of an 8.400. During competition 1b, he lost his grip on the rings. Here’s what Nesport reported: “Magyar fell out of the rings with one hand and due to this even Laufer’s 8.95 score counted. Molnár got 9.3.” If the reporting is correct, there is no way that Magyar could have gotten a 9.400 on rings.


Kasamatsu was the favorite, according to Endo Yukio.

— Our team doesn’t have an easier time than in Ljubljana [at the 1970 World Championships] or at the Olympics, especially if we take into account that Nakayama, the engine of our team has retired. It is easier to make guesses about the individual competitions. I vote for Shigeru Kasamatsu, whose build and competition approach no longer follows the traditional Japanese school.

Népsport, October 20, 1974

— Csapatunk helyzete semmivel sem könnyebb, mint legutóbb Ljubljanában vagy azolimpián volt, különösen, ha aztis figyelembe vesszük, hogy közben a csapat motorja, Nakajama visszavonult. Könnyebb jósolni az egyénire, Kaszamacut,rá szavazok, akinek felépítése, versenyzői felfogása már nem a hagyományos japán iskolát követi.

Here’s how Sovetsky Sport described what happened in the first rotations of the competition:

It resembled a stayer’s race, a thrilling competition where the leader steadily kept his first position, while the third runner was intermittently overtaking the second, who in turn responded with bursts of speed, closely trailing the leader, who began to falter from fatigue. Nikolai Andrianov displayed remarkable courage, transforming from the perky blond cockerel we knew into a determined fighter, maintaining his composure while contending with four Japanese athletes simultaneously. As Kasamatsu surged ahead, Andrianov chased, with Kenmotsu hot on his heels, followed by Kajiyama and Tsukahara. Meanwhile, Mikaelyan maintained a steady sixth position. Despite his recent recovery from a serious injury, Edward completed the distance with confidence, though his scores (9.6 – 9.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 9.45 – 9.55) were limited by his physical condition. This dispelled various gloomy predictions, including my own, regarding the Japanese gymnasts’ invincibility. Kolya could have claimed the all-around title were it not for three circumstances, which I will address later.

The trio of leaders were in the same group, kicking off their performance with high bar. Their display on this apparatus exuded a distinct gymnastic aesthetics – like a graceful flight of majestic white birds, seamlessly transitioning into a whirlwind rotation of a dismount. Following the high bar routine, Andrianov trailed Kasamatsu by 0.725, while leading Kenmotsu by a slim 0.075.

Moving on to floor exercise, Andrianov and Kasamatsu both earned 9.55, Kenmotsu – 9.6, he was now a mere 0.025 behind.

Next up, pommel horse. Andrianov secured a score of 9.65, while Kasamatsu and Kenmotsu matched each other with identical scores of 9.7. Kenmotsu makes a step forward earning additional 0.025 points.

Rings. As per the draw, Kenmotsu followed Andrianov throughout, keeping a keen eye on him with his narrow gaze, this impeccably precise gymnast who does not forgive his opponents’ errors. However, fate played a cruel hand. Andrianov was powerful and swift on the rings, confidently standing after executing the “moonshot”,* earning a score of 9.8 that “broke” the Japanese gymnast. This solid athlete could barely manage his handstands. 9.55. He is behind again and will no longer get ahead. Kolya now is chasing Kasamatsu, 0.675 points between them.

[*Reminder: A full-twisting double back was originally called a “moon salto.”]

Moving to the vault, Andrianov secured another 0.05 advantage, executing a nearly flawless handspring front tuck, while his opponent responded only with an inaccurate 360-degree twist.

Sovetsky Sport, no. 254, 1974

..Это походило на стайерский забег. Это была удивительная гонка, в которой лидер все время бежал первым, а третий на миг обходил второго, а второй отвечал спуртом и уже на пятках сидел у начавшего спотыкаться от усталости лидера. Это был мужественный поединок Николая Андрианова, которого мы знали задорным белобрысым петушком, а увидели бойцом, не теряющим присутствия духа, сражавшимся сразу с четырьмя японцами. Ведь он преследовал Касамацу, его догонял о Кенмоцу, дальше дружно шли Кадзияма и Цукахара, и лишь шестым ровно держался  Микаэлян. Эдвард уверенно прошел дистанцию (9,6 — 9,5 — 9,6— 9,6 — 9,45 — 9,55), но он недавно оправился после тяжелой травмы и большего сделать не мог. И это все, наконец, было опровержением всяческих печальных прогнозов, в том числе моего, собственного — относительно недостижимости  «золота», японцы не оказались непобедимыми. Коля мог стать абсолютным, если бы не три обстоятельства, к которым я вернусь в конце.
Три лидера были в одной труппе, начинали с перекладины, и в их работе на этом снаряде сквозила особая гимнастическая эстетика — плавный полет больших белых птиц, переходящий в вихревое вращение соскока. После перекладины Андрианов на 0,725 позади Касамацу и на 0,075 впереди Кенмоцу.
Вольные. У Андрианова и Касамацу — по 9,55, у Кенмоцу — 9,6, и он позади только на 0,025. На шаг.
Конь. у Андрианова — 9,65, у Касамацу. и Кенмоцу — по 9,7. Кенмоцу выходит на шаг вперед — тоже на 0,025.
Кольца. По жеребьевке Кенмоцу пока все время следует за Андриановым, он держит его на прицеле своих узких глаз, этот безукоризненно правильный гимнаст, не прощающий соперникам ошибок, Но т жребий сыграл с ним злую шутку. Андрианов был, на кольцах могуч и стремителен, отчетливо встал после «лунного», и его оценка 9,8 «сломала» японца. Литой крепыш едва карабкался в стойки. 9,55. Теперь он снова позади и больше впереди не будет, теперь Коля гонится за Касамацу, 0,675 между ними.
В прыжке Андрианов отыгрывает еще 0,05, почти безукоризненно исполнив двойное сальто вперед в группировке, на что соперник ответил лишь неточным «винтом» на 360 градусов.

Interesting tidbit: During Andrianov’s high bar routine, Arthur Gander intervened.

The judging panel for the high bar, led by Spaniard E. Gonzalez, gave Andrianov a score of 9.45. However, our team filed a protest: admittedly, Andrianov’s landing following a unique triple somersault was shaky; 0.3 points were deducted from his score. However, FIG rules strongly advocate for innovation, and it seems unjust to punish both Andrianov and Kasamatsu equally rigorously. Kasamatsu, too, lost his balance and touched the platform with his hands while executing a double pirouette, a move that has become rather mundane. The members of the appeal jury headed to the console. Then FIG President Arthur Gander entered the hall, visibly unsteady on his feet.

Typically, the president does not watch the competitions, and I see no reason to conceal what the entire gymnastics community has long known: it is not easy to watch when everything seems to sway and blur before your eyes. Some time ago, Gander’s compatriot, the renowned coach Jack Günthard, who mentored Olympic champion Franco Menichelli, confided in me during a private conversation (in the presence of witnesses): “We, the Swiss, are ashamed of Gander’s moral character.”

In a word, Gander stepped in, and the protest was rejected.

Sovetsky Sport, no. 254, 1974

Судейская бригада на перекладине, возглавляемая испанцем Э. Гонзалесом, поставила Андрианову 9,45. Наша команда подала протест, мотивированный примерно так: да, Андрианов не устоял на ногах в приземлении после уникального тройного сальто. Сбавка здесь — до 0,3. Однако правила ФИЖ настоятельно рекомендуют поощрять новаторство, и нелогично одинаково высокой  сбавкой карать Андрианова и Касамацу, который тоже потерял равновесие, коснулся руками помоста, но выполнил  набивший оскомину двойной пируэт. Члены апелляционного жюри направились к пульту. Но тут неверной походкой возник в зале президент ФИЖ Артур Гандер:
Соревнований президент обычно неё смотрит, и я совсем не собираюсь скрывать того, что давным-давно знает весь гимнастический мир: трудно смотреть, когда перед глазами все плывет и качается. Несколько лег назад соотечественник Гандера знаменитый тренер Жак Гюнтхард, воспитавший олимпийского чемпиона Франко Меникелли, говорил мне в личной беседе (при свидетелях): «Нам, швейцарцам, стыдно за моральный облик Гандера».
Словом, Гандер вмешался, и протест отклонили.

Setting the scene: Going into the final rotation, Andrianov trailed Kasamatsu by 0.625, and it seemed like Kasamatsu would win easily.

After HB67.65066.925
After FX77.20076.475
After PH86.90086.125
After SR96.60095.925
After VT106.350105.725

But then, Kasamatsu got a 9.15 on parallel bars, and Andrianov needed a 9.80 to win.

Here’s a quick summary of what happened, according to the East German gymnastics press:

After the team competition, the course for Shigeru Kasamatsu seemed set for victory in the all-round competition. But even he was not spared from a terrible blunder. On parallel bars, he set the Diomidov too diagonally, immediately went into the glide swing on a single bar and then could no longer prevent the interruption of his exercise during the subsequent kip to support. Score: 9.15 points! Now the decision was completely open and Andrianov saw a real chance to win the title. His optional parallel bars routine was also flawless at the beginning, but after the back toss into the support he had to press a bit and at the end, he couldn’t get the double salto completed. Evaluation: 9.65. Thus, Kasamatsu was the new all-round champion! Andrianov had once again put everything in one basket in the all-round final. On floor, he went even with Kasamatsu, was able to beat him on rings and vault and again attempted the triple back on high bar, which he could not stand this time either. Andrianov is a worthy runner-up world champion who deserves full credit for his risk-taking effort.

Neues Deutsches Turnen, No. 12, 1974

Nach dem Mannschaftskampf schienen für Shigeru Kasamatsu die Weichen für den Sieg im Mehrkampffianale [sic] gestellt. Doch auch er blieb von einem argen Patzer nicht verschont. Am Barren setzte er den Diomidowkreisel zu schräg an, ging sofort in den Außenschwebehang an einem Holm über und konnte dann beim anschließenden Kippaufschwung in den Stütz die Unterbrechung seiner Übung nicht mehr verhindern. Wertung: 9,15 Punkte! Nun war die Entscheidung noch einmal völlig offen und Andrianow sah eine echte Chance für den Titelgewinn. Seine Barrenkür lief auch anfangs makellos, doch nach der Luftrolle in den Stütz mußte er ein wenig nachdrücken und brachte schließlich auch den Doppelsalto-Abgang nicht in den Stand. Wertung: 9,65. Damit war Kasamatsu neuer Mehrkampf-Weltmeister! Andrianow hatte im Mehrkampffinale noch einmal alles auf eine Karte gesetzt. Am Boden zog er mit Kasamatsu gleich, vermochte ihn an den Ringen und im Sprung sogar zu übertrumpfen und wagte abermals am Reck den dreifachen Salto, den er jedoch auch diesmal nicht zu stehen vermochte. Andrianow ist ein würdiger Vizeweltmeister, der für seinen risikovollen Einsatz volle Anerkennung verdient.

Yuri Titov’s take: Kasamatsu’s score was unjust.

On the final apparatus, parallel bars, Kasamatsu couldn’t bare the pressure. He faltered in the exit to the side, his foot touching the floor. To continue his routine, the Japanese gymnast had to come to a complete stop. Such a mistake was expected to be severely punished. The competition stopped for a full 12 minutes as the judges discussed what happened. Then a score of 9.05 was announced (a score we see as too high). However, V. Lehmann from Switzerland, the head of the judging panel, pressured the judges to increase the score to 9.15. It was very much unjust.

Next up was Andrianov’s turn to step onto the platform. He needed to get 9.775 points to surpass Kasamatsu. Nikolai’s performance was precise and confident, yet the scoreboard displayed no more than 9.65. As a result, Kasamatsu secured the title of all-around world champion. Andrianov was awarded with a big silver medal.

Titov, Gudok, No. 254, October 29, 1974

И вот на последнем снаряде, на брусьях нервы Касамацу не выдерживают. Он «сорвал» выход в сторону и коснулся ногой пола. Чтобы продолжить комбинацию, японскому гимнасту пришлось даже остановиться. Такая ошибка должна караться судьями очень строго. На целых 12 минут были прерваны соревнования. Наконец, судьи выставляют оценку 9.05 (на наш взгляд, и это слишком много). Но возглавлявший бригаду швейцарец В. Леман буквально заставляет судей повысить оценку до 9.15. Явная несправедливость. 

Настал черед выхода на помост Андрианова. Теперь ему надо получить 9,775 балла, чтобы обойти Касамацу. Свою комбинацию Николай выполнил четко и. уверенно. Но на табло только 9,65. Итак, Касамацу завоевал титул абсолютного чемпиона мира. У Андрианова большая серебряная медаль.

The Swiss press reported that the head judge, Lehmann, refused to give Andrianov a better score.

There was a lot of discussion among the judges. The Swiss Walter Lehmann, who was the head judge, did not let himself be distracted from his conviction by the stormy demands for a better score and did not play the judge’s game, which had caused quite a bit of mischief in this world championship.

Die Tat, 28 October 1974

Wohl gab es ein grosses Palaver im Kampfgericht. Der hier als Oberkampfrichter waltende Schweizer Walter Lehmann Hess sich aber durch die stürmischen Forderungen nach einer bessern Note nicht von seiner Ueberzeugung abbringen und machte das Kampfrichterspielchen nicht mit, das in dieser Weltmeisterschaft etliches Unheil gestiftet hatte.

Sovetsky Sport suggested that Gander should have intervened — just as he had intervened with Andrianov’s high bar.

Much later, when Kasamatsu fell on the bars, the Swiss referee E. Lehmann assembled a team, although the scores showed no discrepancies – everyone had given him a score around “nine” or slightly lower. For 12 minutes banging his fist in front of the whole audience, he insisted on raising the score. And raise they did – 9.15, which was enough. Gander did not even approach the judging panel.

I hold nothing against Shigeru Kasamatsu; he is an exceptional gymnast, though it seems his nerves weren’t the steadiest. Naturally, I am not inclined to excuse Andrianov’s missteps in the compulsories either, or any other gymnasts’ mistakes for that matter. Nevertheless, justice is justice.

Sovetsky Sport, 254, 1974

А значительно позже, когда Касамацу сорвался на брусьях, швейцарский арбитр Э. Леман собрал бригаду, хотя расхождений з оценках не было — все вывели «девятку» и чуть ниже. И 12 минут на глазах зала, буквально стуча кулаком, заставлял повысить оценку. И повысили — до 9,15, и этого хватило. Гандер к пульту не подошел.
Я ничего не имею против Сигеру Касамацу, он великолепный мастер, хотя, как выяснилось, и у него нервные волоконца не из легированной стали. И, конечно, я не склонен оправдывать ошибки Андрианова’ в обязательной программе. И вообще какие бы то ни было ошибки гимнастов. Но просто — справедливость есть справедливость.

Note: Andrianov had several major errors during compulsories. You can read about them here.

Kajiyama did his triple twist dismount on floor.

Speaking of highlights, the fourth round brought us Kajiyama’s remarkable triple twist on the floor.

Népsport, Oct. 27, 1974

A negyedik forduló szenzációja egyébként Kadzajama tripla csavarja volt talajon.

Reminder: Kenmotsu had attempted a triple twist on floor at the 1970 World Championships.

Kajiyama, Floor Exercise, Event Finals

Note: Paata Shamugia also did a triple twist in 1974. Here’s what happened during the men’s team optionals (competition 1b):

Shamugia too… Had he not flown off the mat after his triple twist… and had his saltos been more precise… We will talk about it later though.

Sovetsky Sport, no. 252, 1974

И Шамугия (если бы он, правда, не вылетел с ковра после тройного пируэта)… И если бы еще были точные доскоки. Впрочем, к этому вопросу мы еще вернемся.

And here’s a video of Shamugia’s triple in podium training:

Note: Paata Shamugia, Triple Twist, Floor Exercise, Podium Training

The highest score of the day did not go to the medalists. Instead, it went to Magyar for his pommel horse routine.

Meanwhile, Zoli Magyar delivered a standout performance on the pommel horse, earning the highest score of the day with a 9.85.

Népsport, October 27, 1974

Közben Magyar Zoli a lovon a nap legmagasabb lólengés-pontszámát, 9.85-öt érdemelt ki.

More on 1974

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.