Three days earlier, there was misery for gymnast Svetlana Khorkina. Her fall from the balance beam cost Russia a likely world championship.

Today, Khorkina was spectacular, maintaining a four-year unbeaten streak on the uneven bars at major competitions after two Chinese gymnasts posted high scores.

The 20-year-old Khorkina said this would be her last world championships, and that she would announce just after midnight on New Year's Eve whether she would compete in the 2000 Olympics.

Since 1994, in Olympic, Goodwill Games, world or European championships, Khorkina missed gold only once on the bars, finishing second in the 1994 world championships.

Her triumph today was one of four Russian gold medals.

Alexei Nemov won the floor exercise and the pommel horse, showing no signs of a back injury he said was so bad last month he could hardly walk. It was decided only in Tianjin that he would compete in all events.

Elena Zamolodchikova, the all-around bronze medalist, beat 1997 vault gold medalist Simona Amanar of Romania 9.718 to 9.631 for the women's vault title.

Khorkina praised recent rule changes making the minimum age 16 for women gymnasts in major senior competitions.

"Now at the age of 17 or 18 you're capable of showing not only a high level of difficulty, but in a way more femininity, more grace. A few years ago, before the change, gymnasts used to give up at 17 or 18. . . . My presence at this championship just proves that someone who has got the will might compete for a longer time."

China has won four consecutive men's team world titles, but no Olympic golds.

The Romanian women, who also won their fourth straight world team title, took silver with Amanar in the vault and a bronze by 17-year-old Maria Olaru, the all-around champion. She scored 9.593. China's Dong Zhen won the rings with 9.775.