Despite a couple of minor hiccups, the US women were powerful enough to capture the World Championship title recently contested in China. Led by defending all-around champion and two-time national champion Simone Biles, and a member of the 2012 “Fierce Five” Olympic team, gold medalist Kyla Ross, the Americans literally left host China in the dust! The team was so strong that Simone only needed 8.682 points on her floor routine to capture the gold medal. She exceeded that goal by earning 15.375 points! Kyla, while delighted to be an Olympic gold medal winner, was pleased for the opportunity to add “world champion” to her resume.
The team, along with Simone and Kyla, included Alyssa Baumann, Madison Kocain, Ashton Locklear, Mykayla Skinner and alternate Madison Desch. The team started out with remarkably strong vault performances and continued its excellence in the vault and uneven bars events. While the balance beam rotation was a little weak, no other country even came close to matching the Americans’ performance!
On the individual side, Biles went on to break her own records. After capturing team and all-around golds late last week, she added two more on the final day – on balance beam and floor – to surpass Shannon Miller as the US woman with the most gold medals from worlds with six, one more than Miller. She also became the first US woman to win five golds at a single world championships. Between her four medals in Antwerp last year and her five in Nanning this year, her nine medals tie her with Miller and 2008 Olympic champion Nastia Liukin for second-most among US women. Only Alicia Sacramore has more, with 10 world medals in her career.
The USA won the World Championship team title in 2011 when the event was held in Tokyo. At the 2013 World Championships, Simone and Kyla finished 1-2 in the all-around competition. Is it too soon lay bets on the women having golden aspirations for 2016?