Women’s Gymnastics Team Wins Gold (News21USA): Simone Biles led the US women’s gymnastics team to another team gold medal at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Wednesday.
This victory marks the seventh consecutive world championship victory for Team USA and the 26th world medal for Biles.
The competition started on a difficult note for Team USA, with Joscelyn Roberson, who trains alongside Biles at the World Champions Center in Spring, Texas, suffering an injury in warmups and being removed from the podium before the first rotation. Roberson appeared to land at a low angle as she warmed up to a difficult jump called «Cheng,» which Biles also performs.
Her teammate, Leanne Wong, was replaced by Roberson on vault and floor. Initially, Wong planned to compete in only one event, the balance beam, and she performed clutch routines in Roberson’s place in no time.
Despite competing with only four gymnasts instead of five, Team USA finished more than two points ahead of the silver medal-winning team, Brazil. This is the first world medal for Brazil, led by the current world champion, Rebeca Andrade. Team France took bronze for their first team medal since 1950.
Shilese Jones, the 2022 world silver medalist, started Team USA with a strong double-twisting Yurchenko on vault. Wong performed the same jump after a very brief warm-up, cementing her place on the team as a reliable athlete in a pinch. Biles did not compete on her new Yurchenko double top vault, but she opted for a Cheng (the same vault Roberson fell on in warmups) and scored a 14.800.
After a stellar beam rotation for Team USA, Wong fell off the balance beam, resulting in a full point deduction. The routine scored a brutal 11.700, but Jones and Biles’ hit routines kept them in first place heading into the fourth and final rotation.
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Biles anchored the team’s effort on floor, solidifying her victory with a huge 15.166.
The Great Britain team, which entered the team final as the favorite for the silver medal, recorded three falls in a performance that kept them away from the podium. The other teams in contention for the medal (Brazil and China) suffered falls on the beam and floor respectively, which opened the door for France to compete for a medal. They were the only team that didn’t have any falls today.
«No one wants these medals,» NBC commentator and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Samantha Peszek joked on the Peacock broadcast.
The team’s victory came after the American women dominated the qualification round, with two athletes qualifying for each final. Biles qualified in first place for the all-around, vault, floor and balance beam finals and fifth for the uneven bars final, which is considered her “weakest” event.
Jones will join Biles in the floor, uneven bars and balance beam finals. Roberson also qualified for the vault final, but his injury status has yet to be announced.
The reigning Olympic champion in the team competition, Russia, was banned from competing in the world championships for the second year in a row due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. This was the last chance to qualify a team for the 2024 Olympics, and the Russian team’s absence here makes it ineligible to compete in Paris as of now.
In Sunday’s qualifying round, Biles became the first woman to perform a new jump, the Yurchenko double pike, successfully achieving the skill named after her in the points code. She has been awarded a difficulty score of 6.4, the highest of any vault in women’s gymnastics, and she will be called «Biles II» as she is the second original skill of hers on the apparatus.
These championships are held in the same city and the same place where Biles made her international debut and won her first world title 10 years ago, at age 16. Sunday’s qualifying round marked her return to international competition after struggling with «spins» and pulls. of multiple events at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.
«I think we have to be a little more cautious about the way we do things,» she said in a recent interview with NBC’s «TODAY» show. “Everything we are doing before [Paris 2024] is very intentional. “This time we have been playing secretly, making sure that both mentally and physically are intact.”
Biles took a two-year break from the sport, during which she married NFL player Jonathan Owens, and focused on “being intentional, going to therapy and making sure everything is aligned so [she] can do better.” in the gym. being a good wife, a good daughter, a good friend, all good things.”
The all-around final, in which Biles and Jones will compete for individual all-around medals, will air live on Peacock on October 6. The individual vault and uneven bars finals are scheduled for October 7 and the balance beam and floor finals are scheduled for the last day of competition on October 8.