Once Again, Simone Biles Writes History At The 2018 World Championships

The first day of event finals at the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, was historic from start to finish. Simone Biles won her first World uneven bar medal to become the first American gymnast to win a World medal on every event. After winning vault, she now has a total 13 World gold medals to hold the most World titles of any gymnast. 

It was a fantastic day for smaller gymnastics countries, as well. Carlos Yulo of the Philippines, Alexa Moreno of Mexico, and Lee Chih Kai of Chinese Taipei won the first World medals for their countries. Nina Derwael is Belgium's first gymnastics World champion.

Event finals began with men's floor exercise where six hit routines were competed, but two of the best were saved for last. Yulo was second to last in the lineup and had a difficult but clean floor routine, including a great double front 1/2 to open. He received a 14.600 and was guaranteed a medal after his performance moved him into second, behind Kenzo Shirai of Japan, with one competitor to go. Reigning all-around Artur Dalaloyan of Russia was the final floor competitor and got a 14.900 to move ahead of Shirai, winning the floor title. Shirai led for most of the final, competing as the second gymnast and scored a 14.866 for his twist-filled routine. 

Following Dalaloyan, Yulo and Shirai in the final standings were USA's Yul Moldauer, Israel's Artur Dolgopyat, Russia's Nikita Nagornyy, USA's Sam Mikulak, Japan's Kaya Kazuma, and Turkey's Ahmet Onder. Full floor final results can be found on the FIG's website.

The competition then moved to the women's side with vault. Despite most of the vaulters earning an average in the 14.000 range, no gymnast could match Biles, even with her downgraded first vault. Biles competed her Cheng (15.266) and Amanar (15.466) for a 15.366 average. Shallon Olsen won Canada's first vault medal after an okay Cheng (14.600) and great double-twisting Yurchenko (14.433) to get an average of 14.516 for the silver. Moreno earned bronze for Mexico's first World medal after a front handspring Rudi (14.600) and Tsukahara double (14.416) with an average of 14.508.

The legendary Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan missed out on a medal and finished in fourth ahead of South Korea's Yeo Seojeong, China's Liu Jinru, Canada's Ellie Black, and North Korea's Pyon Rye Yong. Full vault final results are on the FIG's website.

The third event of the day was pommel horse, which did not begin well. The first three competitors all fell. Then Russia's David Belyavaskiy struggled with his routine, also receiving a low score. China's Xiao Ruoteng was up fourth and nailed his pommel set with great form to easily take the lead with a score of 15.166. Mikulak followed with a good routine of his own, earning a 14.333 to move into second. Chih Kai also moved into medal contention after a flare-filled routine that was very clean to score a 14.966.

It looked like pommel horse would go smoothly after two hit routines, but then Nagornyy fell after losing his rhythm. He got only a 12.533, so a medal was still possible for Mikulak. The final competitor was reigning Olympic and 2017 World pommel horse champion Max Whitlock, who could definitely put up a fight for a medal. He excelled on his signature event to tie with Ruoteng for first with a 15.166. The tiebreaker went to Ruoteng, who had a higher execution score. 

Following Whitlock in second were Chih Kai, Mikulak, Nariman Kurbanov of Kazakhstan, Nagornyy, Belyavskiy, and Cyril Tommasone of France. Full pommel horse results are posted on the FIG's website.

Last up for the women on the first day of event finals were uneven bars, where Biles won her first World medal on the event. Great Britain's Becky Downie was up first on the apparatus but fell over on a handstand and couldn't save it, dropping from the apparatus. USA's Morgan Hurd followed with a clean bar set but was short on her dismount. China's Luo Huan was up third and had a lovely routine with great pirouettes to earn a 14.500, moving her into first. Germany's Elisabeth Seitz competed a routine with a nice Maloney to straddled Tkatchev and piked Tkatchev to Pak salto for a 14.600 to take the lead.

Next was Derwael, who's known for her plethora of combinations on bars. In addition to her tricky connections and difficult skills, she stuck her dismount for a big 15.200 to move into first. Afterward, one of Sweden's best, Jonna Adlerteg, unfortunately had a big break during her routine and took her out of medal contention. Then came Biles with a great uneven bars set that earned a 14.700 to move into second. Last, but certainly not least, was Russia's Aliya Mustafina, reigning Olympic uneven bars champion. She had the lowest difficulty of the field but performed a clean, lovely routine for a 14.433. 

Derwael would take the title, followed by Biles, Seitz, Huan, Mustafina, Hurd, Downie and Adlerteg. Full results can be found on the FIG's website.

To conclude the first day of event finals was the still ring final. The competition began with a big routine from Eleftherios Petrounias, who hit a strong routine for a huge 15.366. Ukraine's Igor Radivilov struggled on a handstand at the end of his routine but was otherwise solid for a 14.133. Armenia's Artur Tovmasyan and Vahagn Davtyan were next and hit for a 14.766 and 14.733, respectively. Azerbaijan's Nikita Simonov was solid but not as strong as the others and earned a 14.266. Nagornyy followed with a good set that ended with a stuck double double dismount, but his 14.733 wasn't enough to stay in medal contention.

Italy's Marco Lodadio hit a great set for a 14.900, moving him into second behind Petrounias. Up last for the day was Brazilian star Arthur Zanetti, known for his ability on rings. Zanetti was excellent but not as good as Petrounias and earned a big 15.100 for silver to finish behind Petrounias and ahead of Lodadio. Tovmasyan, Nagornyy, Davtyan, Simonov, and Radivilov round out the finalists. Full rings results are on the FIG's website.

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“The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) issued a letter today to USA Gymnastics initiating actions pursuant to Article 8 of its bylaws, which could ultimately result in the de-recognition of USA Gymnastics as a National Governing Body (NGB). This action is in accordance with their bylaws, which grant the USOC the power to review all matters relating to the continued recognition of an NGB. USA Gymnastics is carefully reviewing the contents of this letter and is evaluating the best path forward for our athletes, professional members, the organization and staff."USA Gymnastics’ board was seated in June 2018 and inherited an organization in crisis with significant challenges that were years in the making. In the four months since, the Board has done everything it could to move this organization towards a better future. We immediately took steps to change the leadership and are currently conducting a search to find a CEO who can rebuild the organization and, most importantly, regain the trust of the gymnastics community. Substantial work remains — in particular, working with the plaintiffs and USA Gymnastics’ insurers to resolve the ongoing litigation as quickly as possible. We will continue to prioritize our athletes’ health and safety and focus on acting in the best interests of the greater gymnastics community.”

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