Japan distanced the other medal favorites in men’s qualifying at the world gymnastics championships in Liverpool, England, on Monday.
Wataru Tanigawa and Olympic all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto posted the top two all-around scores.
Japan totaled 260.695 points, 7.902 points ahead of Great Britain. For perspective, that’s greater than the margin separating Great Britain from eighth place South Korea, the last team to make Wednesday’s final.
The U.S. qualified third with China in fourth. In all team and individual finals, scores are reset from qualifying.
In a surprise, 18-year-old Asher Hong was the top American in all-around qualifying in sixth place. Hong, the youngest U.S. male gymnast at a worlds since 2009, outscored two-time reigning U.S. all-around champion Brody Malone by .668.
Malone, considered an…