2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships: Tingting Liu wins gold in women's beam final
Tingting Liu stayed calm under pressure to win the gold at the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Saturday evening. The 18-year-old watched a majority of her competitors struggle on the balance beam to go last and put down the cleanest routine at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar. Canada’s Anne-Marie Padurariu took the silver with Simone Biles holding on to win a bronze.
Biles stands one medal away from tying the record for most won at the world championships and is still competing in two events on the final day of competition. On friday, she took the silver medal finishing behind Derwael who brought home Belgium’s first medal in gymnastics at worlds.
It was her last event giving her one more chance to get another medal after tying for second best score during the women’s all-around. Biles' teammate would try to help keep her and the rest of the competition away from denying the 21-year-old her chance to succeed.
She started the final going first feeling a little bit of pressure and proved it with several balance checks but avoided big deductions. A great combination was stuck followed by a combination dismount where she had a big step. She got a 13.600 which wasn’t the best score to lead the competition with the door wide open for the other seven. Black put together a solid routine going second that somehow kept her behind the American with a 13.033.
Derwael went fourth putting together a very difficult balance beam routine that included a difficult mount followed by a number of combinations. She had one balance check during the routine before she finished things off with a great dismount. When it looked as if she would take the lead from Biles, the Belgian finished with a 13.466 just short of tying for first. Padurariu was the one to get well ahead in first scoring a 14.100 with the guarantee of winning a medal.
Kara Eaker wouldn’t help out the United States any further as she had trouble on her mount unable to hold her balance to fall off the apparatus. Her attempt to keep it together was troubling for her as she finished late earning a 12.833. The 2016 Olympic beam champion was second to last and had a fall off the beam killing her chance to secure a medal with her routine. The Dutch gymnast accepted a 12.666 clinching Biles a medal with one to go.
Liu kept herself well focused on the beam smoothly getting through her routine before putting down a great finish that was good enough to break onto the podium. She took the gold with a 14.533 that beat Padurariu by more than four tenths. The bronze for Biles gave her 21 medals tying her with Belarussian gymnast Vitaly Scherbo with 21 medals in championship history.