April 16, 1993|From Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, England — Picking up where he left off at the Olympics, Vitali Scherbo won the men's all-around final Thursday at the World Gymnastics Championships.

Scherbo, who won six gold medals at the Barcelona Games, has five more events to go at the World Championships, which end Sunday.

The 23-year-old from Belarus totaled 56.174 points to win the gold in the all-around. Sergei Charkov of Russia took the silver with 55.625 points and Andreas Wecker of Germany earned the bronze with 55.450.

Scherbo received his gold medal from Princess Anne and waved to the 6,000 fans at the National Exhibition Center.

Scott Keswick of Las Vegas, a former UCLA gymnast, was the only American among the final 24 competitors and wound up in ninth place, his highest finish in international competition. He had the top score on the high bar at 9.450, his final event.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Keswick said. "It was a great way to finish the competition."

Although Keswick had a great finish, Scherbo did not have the best of starts.

On his first apparatus, the rings, he scored a modest 9.125 to place eighth in that discipline and was 12th overall. Dmitri Karbonenko of Russia led the field and was still ahead after the second round with Scherbo up to third.

Scherbo's score on the second discipline, the vault, was the second best of the round, 9.537. He then got to first and was never in danger of losing his lead.

He scored 9.462 on the parallel bars, 9.375 on the high bar, 9.325 in floor exercises and 9.350 on the pommel horse.

Charkov came storming through after a poor start that left him 10th at the halfway mark. The Russian moved up to fourth after a 9.450 on parallel bars in round five and clinched second with a 9.375 on the high bar in the final round.

Wecker, who won a silver and two bronze medals in Barcelona, stayed in contention throughout.

He slipped to fifth when he made a big jump forward on landing after a dull high-bar routine in round four, but took the bronze after his pommel routine earned him 9.275.

Ivan Ivankov of Belarus finished fourth with a total of 55.425. Karbonenko was fifth with 55.275, and Valeri Liukin of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijani Valeri Belenki shared sixth with 55.225.

Igor Korobchinski of Ukraine was eighth at 55.100, meaning seven of the top eight were former Soviet gymnasts who would have been on a single Unified Team at the Olympics.

Gil Su Pae of North Korea finished last among the finalists but had the highest individual apparatus score, 9.762 on his specialty, the pommel horse.

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