World Gymnastics Championships 2019: Simone Biles wins 24th medal in balance beam event final
Another gold medal sealed the 22-year-old in a place all by herself at the World Gymnastics Championships Sunday. Simone Biles overtook the competition with her routine on the balance beam to win the event final at Hanns-Martin Schleyer-Halle in Germany.
The American clinched her 24th world championship medal and surpassed Vitali Scherbo for the most won all-time by a gymnast (male or female). China’s Liu Tingting and Li Shijia finished with the silver and bronze trailing Biles by sixth tenths.
All three medalists from last year were back to fight it out with their routines on the beam in the second to last event final of the competition. China and the United States had the advantage of qualifying two apiece while no one else posed a threat to the respective country's best athletes.
Before either Biles or Tingting could compete, Canada’s Anne-Marie Paduariu went first and had fall after fall occur during her routine. Losing her composure on a sit spin and tumbling pass, the Canadian took herself out of the running for a medal but kept her head high with the 11.933 she achieved.
France’s Melaine De Jesus Dos Santos put together a strong clean routine that gave her a 13.666, putting her behind Shijia of China who held with a 14.300 at the start of the event. Shija's teammate was next and had a balance check during her opening tumbling pass. Keeping her composure, Tingting had a bigger check of balance but got through to earn a place at the top with a 14.333.
With three left and the Americans up, Tingting’s score wasn’t safe to keep her on the podium. Kara Eaker was first up for Team USA and did well with a small balance check followed by a bigger one that she recovered from. To finish strong, the 16-year-old kept it together to get a 14, sitting behind the two Chinese athletes in third. Biles was next and decided to start from the middle of the beam for her routine.
In a flawless run that had so many difficult skills, the reigning silver medalist scored a 15.066 moving her into first place with one competitor to go.
All that was left was the pint-sized Flavia Saraiva of Brazil who had a fall at the start of her routine. That was the point of making sure that Biles would win her 18th gold medal. Saraiva managed to finish in sixth with a 13.400 leaving compatriots Tingting and Shijia on the podium.