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Team USA finishes 1-2 in floor exercise at World Gymnastics Championship

Rudy Martinez
370   //    03 Nov 2018, 22:19 IST

2018 FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships - Day Ten
2018 FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships - Day Ten

The United States finished 1-2 to complete the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Saturday night. Simone Biles and Morgan Hurd took the gold and silver respectively in the floor exercise event final at the Aspire Dome.

Defending champion Mai Murakami of Japan held onto bronze by 33 hundredths to finish ahead of Russian Angelina Melnikova. Murakami attempted to defend her title from last year knowing the competition would be fierce in the last apparatus final of the year. After Bile’s bronze medal from earlier, the most decorated American would push herself to achieve the gold by any means to finish the year with a bang. Hurd would also play a factor into getting herself on the podium to make a statement for the United States.

The competition began with French gymnast Melanie de Jesus dos Santos and Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva who both had deductions from their scores and would not be a huge factor to the stronger competitors. The same went for Brooklyn Moors of Canada who didn’t have a high difficulty value and executed a 7.666 to finish with the lowest score of the event.

Setting the bar was the defending champion who put down two powerful tumbling passes showing tremendous energy. She finished strong earning a 13.866 that led the last three competitors. Melnikova followed that up with a beautiful routine showing every element of poise and accuracy to come out with a great result. Melnikova scored 13.833 just short of the Japanese gymnast.

The two Americans were next with Biles looking to surpass the top score. She had a great run until she took a big step out keeping the other one inside by the tips of her toes. With the difficulty of her skills, Biles scored a 14.933 putting her well ahead in first place with her teammate the only one that could come close to her result. Hurd kept her whole routine clean with no problems that put her in second with a score of 13.933.

Last to go was Lillia Akhaimova from Russia but she also didn’t have enough to bring a serious threat to the top three which remained that way to give Hurd three medals and Simone a perfect six of six. With Biles proving her return back to the sport, it would be time that stood between herself and making the team that would go to Tokyo 2020 for Team USA.