Gymnastics World Championships: All Around

The Women’s All Around competition at this year’s World Championships proved to be even more interesting that the team finals. Twenty four of the World’s best All Around gymnasts performed their best routines trying to impress the judges and the viewers and hoping to win a World medal.

Simone Biles was expected to win today, defending her 2013 title and she did so by delivering four strong performances, the highlights of her competition being her Amanar vault, one of the most difficult vaults performed in women’s gymnastics and her powerful floor routine, both of which she executed cleanly. And if her dynamic tumbling wasn’t enough, her beautiful smile surely captivated the audience.

The silver medal was claimed by Romania’s Larisa Iordache, who also presented four strong routines. She presented a clean vault, and difficult beam and floor exercises. Larisa also posted the third highest score of the day on uneven bars, despite this being her weakest event. Iordache’s result is a triumph for the Romanian team, as she is the first Romanian to win an all around medal at the World Championships since Steliana Nistor, in 2007.

One of the biggest surprises of the day was USA’s Kyla Ross claiming the bronze medal. After qualifying in fifth place, she was not expected to make the podium, because of her lower difficulty compared to her rivals. However, mistakes from the other competitors and her consistency and clean execution helped Ross finish in third position.

One of the gymnasts that was expected to win a medal today was 2010 World All Around Champion, Aliya Mustafina. The Russian started her competition with a strong vault and a beautiful uneven bars routine, but missed connections on balance beam and a fall on her opening pass on floor were the reasons she ended up in fourth place.

China’s Yao Jinnan also had a change at winning an All Around medal, but a fall on floor exercise and a low execution score for her vault had her in fifth place. However, Yao presented an outstanding uneven bars routine which if performed the same in event finals, could bring her a gold medal.

Completing the top eight gymnasts in this year’s All Around competition is Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari in sixth place, Russia’s Alla Sosnitskaya in seventh place and Venezuela’s Jessica Lopez. Ferrari showed one of the best vaults she has ever performed and highly difficult floor routine that could earn her a medal in floor finals on Sunday. Sosnitskaya’s performances have much improved since her first major competition, this year’s European Championships in Bulgaria. She had upgraded her vault and worked on improving the execution of her floor routine. Lopez, who is 28 year old, impressed gymnastics fans all over the world by achieving such a great result and by being able to maintain herself on the elite stage for so long. Her best events today were uneven bars and vault.

The 2014 Women’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championships continue with vault and uneven bars event finals on Saturday, where some of the biggest names in artistic gymnastics will place their bid for a World medal.

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