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World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 2019: Biles records fifth straight gold in all-around final

Rudy Martinez
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:43 IST

Simone Biles in action.
Simone Biles in action.

Simone Biles has showed once again why she is unbeatable in the sport of gymnastics. A well-focused run through the all-around final at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships gave her a fifth consecutive gold medal Thursday night. The American stood ahead through every rotation with China’s Tang Xijing finishing with the silver and Russia’s Angelina Melnikova with the bronze at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle

The American was out to earn her fifth world championship all-around title after taking last year's by a considerable margin. With help from her teammate Sunisa Lee, the 22-year-old would find the journey a comfortable one with no real threats from her rivals.

Biles started the competition on the vault and scored a huge 15.233 with her signature vault but took a hop on the landing. Belgium’s Nina Derwael followed right behind with a 15.200 after her performance on the uneven bars which she was defending champion of. Lee scored a 14.466 with a lower difficulty than her teammate and took a hop on the landing.

Canadian Elisabeth Black kicked off the second rotation with a solid beam routine scoring a 14.000. Lee lost control during the second rotation on the uneven bars going far on her opening release. She finished her routine only to score a 13.133 taking her completely out of running for a medal. Biles knew that without the support of her compatriot, she was going alone in the competition and put together a solid routine. Nailing a double-double on the dismount, the 22-year-old scored a 14.733 that kept her ahead of Derwael by more than a point.

Chinese challenge

China got into the hunt at the midway point of the event with Tang overtaking Melnikova by the smallest of margins. As the defending champion moved the balance beam to start the third rotation, she left her double-twisting double dismount out of the routine and scored a 15.401. Derwael doubled Biles' lead to more than two points as her 13.500 on the floor did not get any closer to taking the American away from another gold medal.

Tang moved ahead into second with a 14.600 which was just .033 off Biles' score on the apparatus. While she didn’t pose a threat to the American either, the 16-year-old moved into the last rotation with a .866 lead over Derwael who moved onto the vault to conclude the event.

Tang scored a 13.600 on the floor exercise that clinched the gold for Biles who started the apparatus last. A terrible moment for Black came when she quickly decided to add more difficulty to her vault. Coming down too hard on her landing, the Canadian injured her right foot and limped off the floor with help from her trainer. While it was a terrible finish, it somehow put her in third place with the Americans left to compete.

Lee completed a beautiful routine on the floor that gave her a 14.200 that put her in seventh place. In a slight surprise during Bile’s floor routine, the crowd watched her go out of bounds twice which was unheard of from the Olympic champion but despite the major deductions, she walked away with the title and an overall score of 58.999; two points ahead of Tang.


Published 11 Oct 2019, 01:22 IST
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