History was made once again at the World Gymnastics Championships Thursday night. American Simone Biles became the first gymnast ever to win three consecutive All-Around titles and did so at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Teammate Gabrielle Douglas finished second with Romania’s Larisa Andreea Iordache taking home the bronze.
The United States had athletes that were clearly the ones to beat in the All-Around Final. Biles and Douglas represented Team USA scoring the first and third best scores through qualifications. With their experience being on the world stage it is likely that one of them will likely be walking away with the gold medal. For Biles, winning a third World All-Around would leave her a legend in the sport.
Two others who are in the running for the podium are Canada’s Elsabeth Black and European champion Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland who qualified second overall. For the host nation, they had Amy Tinkler and Ruby Harrold going for the run of the four apparatuses hoping that they too make it to the top.
The Americans would start on the vault while the Brits took their skills to the uneven bars. Douglas got the lineup started and set the bar high with her Yurchenko double twist sticking it hard to the mat. The judges gave her a 15.300 that was more than a good star. Harrold was next on the uneven bars and showed an impressive transition from the high bar downward. With a solid finish to her routine, it scored her a 14.533.
Steingruber overtook Douglas on the vault scoring a 15.600 taking first place. She wouldn’t be there long as Biles was next to fly in the air. She went with her signature move of two and a half twists landing it blind with no further movement. It was good enough to get her a 15.833 moving her to the top.
Black was the last competitor on the vault and she did not disappoint. Her short hop on the landing of a tremendous move scored her a 15.033. She would remain in the top five with Chunsong Chang of China moving into fourth after scoring 15.166 on the bars.
The second rotation had the United States on the uneven bars while the British and their group took on the beam. The Swiss miss was first up and finished strong to score a 13.900. Biles was next and she had one hand release after another with each getting bigger. In the end she released with two full rotations before making the landing that bagged her a 14.9.
Tinkler continued to have a rough outing as her second apparatus didn’t go well. During her first tumbling pass, the Brit lost her footing causing her to slip off the beam. Although she finished with a huge dismount, it would give her a 12.233 taking her out of the running. Her teammate didn’t do any better scoring a 12.433 that would ultimately eliminate the team from winning a medal.
Black continued her run with the leaders with a great bars routine that had finishing it with her right leg assisting with the push off. It was good enough for a 14 only to rank at the bottom half of scores so far on the apparatus. Douglass closed out the rotation with a hard worked routine that was scored 15.033.
With the competition at its halfway mark, it was Biles and Douglas running 1-2 with identical scores. Shang stood in third with Steingruber in fourth, and Iordache rounding out the top five.
The beam was next for Team USA and Biles led the group scoring another 14.9 that gave her a small margin over the rest of the field. Black didn’t have a solid run as she took a fall during one of her tumbling passes that cost her dearly on the scoreboard. Judges gave her 13.300 that eliminated her from the podium.
Douglas continued to secure her way despite the balance check midway into her beam routine. She scored a 14.4 that had her trailing Biles by .600. After three it was Shang still holding third with Iordache giving Romania a chance and Japan’s Asuka Teramoto moving into fifth after a huge vault that gave her a 15.166.
The floor was last up for Americans while Shang took on the vault, Iordache the uneven bars and Teramoto to manage the beam. Shang was the first of the four to complete her All-Around as she ran for the vault but landed with her legs bending down that gave her a 13.866 setting the bar at 58.265 to be anywhere near the top three.
Douglas made her way onto floor where she enlightened the crowed with a solid dance routine with four stunning tumbling passes that gave her a 14.583. Iordache made a big statement for the Romanians as whole struggled since the start. She put together a well-rounded uneven bars routine that scored her a 14.800 securing her a medal of silver or bronze.
Biles was last to go for the competition and during her first run of tumbling, the American ended up way outside the mat stunning the crowd in the process. It didn’t stop her from completing the routine but her chances of being a three-peat champion were clearly under speculation with the deduction. It was not enough to take her out of history as the judges awarded her a 15.266 making her the 2015 All Around champion once again.
With the Americans dominating once again, it just might be a redundancy when the Olympics take over in nine months. Until then, Team USA and the rest of the qualifying nations will be in constant training to see if world champions sit where they stand in the future.