DOHA: Simone Biles led the US to the women’s team gold at the world gymnastics in Doha on Tuesday, as the Americans dominated the event to clinch victory for the fourth successive championships. They led the competition throughout and ended up winning by a comprehensive margin of almost 10 points, finishing on 171.629. In contrast to the night before in the men’s event which went down to the very final gymnast, this felt like a victory parade from start to finish by the peerless American team.
“I’m really proud, it’s been a long year,” Biles said afterwards. “I think it shows how strong we are but we still have little things to work on.”
She added: “We are going to keep trying to push ourselves harder but hopefully we get to celebrate a little bit and then get back to work.”
Russia took silver, amassing a score of 162.863, edging out China who took bronze on 162.396.
This triumph means that the last time the Americans failed to take gold in a world team event was back in 2010 in Rotterdam, when they finished in the silver medal position.
The margin of victory in Doha was the largest of their six world championship team golds.
As well as a team triumph it was yet another notable night for superstar Biles. This latest gold was her 15th medal at a world championships drawing her level with Romania’s Gina Gogean, to make her the joint second highest female medal winner in championship history.
She now stands just five behind the world-record holding Svetlana Khorkina of Russia. The 21-year-old has a chance to make history as she will compete in five more events this week.
Biles’ victory on Tuesday earned her an 11th world gold medal — a record for any woman. And if she claims two more gold medals in Doha it will make her the first gymnast, female or male, to win 13 world titles.
On Tuesday, she high-scored on several apparatus, including a mark of 15.500 on the vault.
Adding to her growing list of achievements, Biles also had a vault named after her this week and remarkably is performing despite a kidney stone problem which saw her rushed to hospital at the weekend.
As strongly as Biles performed, another of the night’s stars was her compatriot Morgan Hurd, which potentially points to a close competition when the individual events begin later in the week.
Canada and France were just a point behind China to finish in fourth and fifth places respectively. China have now finished in the top three at the past six world championships in this event. — AFP