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Kohei Uchimura leads Sam Mikulak in World Gymnastics Championships qualifying

Kohei Uchimura

Japan’s Kohei Uchimura competes on the pommel horse during a qualification session at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. The competition event will take place from Monday, Sept. 30 until Sunday, Oct. 6. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

AP

Kohei Uchimura‘s bid for a fourth straight world all-around title is looking pretty favorable after the first day of qualifying at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Monday.

The Japanese Olympic champion led his closest competitor -- U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak -- by more than two points after three of four groups of men. The last group goes Tuesday. The top 24 from qualification (maximum two per country) advance to the final Thursday (2 p.m., Universal Sports).

Uchimura, 24, scored 91.924 points in qualifying, bettering Mikulak’s 89.532. But those scores are wiped out for the final, where everyone starts from scratch. Uchimura aims to become the first gymnast -- male or female -- to win four world all-around titles.

Several U.S. men are currently in qualifying position for event finals, which pit the top eight qualifiers for each apparatus (maximum two per country) and are split over Saturday and Sunday.

Brandon Wynn had the top score on still rings (15.7). Jake Dalton is fifth on floor exercise and sixth on vault. John Orozco is sixth on parallel bars. Mikulak is near the bubble on floor and parallel bars (seventh) and likely safe to make top eight on high bar (fourth). They all must wait for the final qualification group to go Tuesday.

Full standings can be found here.

World Gymnastics Championships broadcast schedule

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