US women's gymnastics team wins historic gold medal at world championships in Liverpool
By Alasdair Howorth, CNNUpdated: Wed, 02 Nov 2022 11:52:14 GMTSource: CNNThe US women's gymnastics team has claimed a record-breaking sixth world championships gold medal in a row -- even withoutBy Alasdair Howorth, CNN
Updated: Wed, 02 Nov 2022 11:52:14 GMT
The US women's gymnastics team has claimed a record-breaking sixth world championships gold medal in a row -- even without Simone Biles.
The team was competing for the first time without the four-time Olympic gold medalist in over a decade, but blew away the competition in the English city of Liverpool with a final score of 166.564.
The victory automatically qualifies team USA, along with fellow medalists Great Britain (163.363 points) and Canada (160.563 points), for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Shilese Jones, the US' new top all-rounder, was "speechless" following a performance in which the US landed 11 of 12 routines.
"This is just the beginning of everybody's comeback career. Just wait and see. I'm super proud and I know we'll be able to hit something big in '24,'" Jones said after the victory,
The competition was missing Russia, which was banned from competing following the invasion of Ukraine, but last year's Olympic gold medalist would have struggled to compete with a US team that was a cut above
Without Biles, who is taking an extended break from gymnastics for her mental health, and Sunisa Lee, the US had to rely on some newer faces. Neither Biles nor Lee have taken part in elite gymnastics since the Tokyo Olympics.
Skye Blakely made her world championships debut and impressed. Despite coming off the beam and failing to complete one her routines, she recovered to score second in the team, only behind Jordan Chiles.
And it was Chiles who was the star of the show, nailing all four routines, but wowing the crowd with her floor routine that was set to a track featuring songs by Lizzo and Cardi B, among others.
After the scores were posted, Chiles bent over with the emotion of the result before taking to the podium with delighted screams.
It came after a couple tough years for the 21-year-old, who had fallen off her beam in qualifying both in Tokyo and in Liverpool.
"It just gives me the ability to know that no matter what's thrown at me, I can do anything," she said after the competition.
With that sixth world championship in a row -- taking the US past Romania's record of five -- and with Russia potentially missing out on the Olympics, the US will be the favorite in 2024 to reclaim the gold medal.
Elsewhere, there was a surprise second place finish for Great Britain. Performing in front of a boisterous crowd, the home team put out its best ever team performance at a major gymnastics event.
Like the US, the host managed 11 of its 12 routines to take silver and automatic qualification for Paris, where it will see be among the favorites.