The final day of the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha, Qatar was very eventful, starting off with a very surprising beam final and ending on floor with an extremely hard-fought competition.

The top two qualifiers into the balance beam final were the two Americans, Simone Biles and Kara Eaker. Biles started off the pack, staying on the beam but missing multiple connections and having several uncharacteristic wobbles, and scored just a 13.6, over a point under her qualifying score.

Ellie Black of Canada took herself out of contention with a missed leap series, while Zhang Jin of China, Eaker, and reigning Rio 2016 Olympic balance beam champion Sanne Wevers, all suffered surprising falls.

Nina Derwael hit her routine but had a few too many balance checks to pass Biles, and first year senior Ana Padurariu of Canada capitalized on the mistakes and hit a super-solid routine for a 14.1, moving her into first with just one competitor to go. That one competitor, Liu Tingting of China, finished off the competition with clearly the strongest routine of the day, vaulting into gold medal position with a 14.533, with Padurariu and Biles rounding out the surprising podium.

The women’s floor podium at the 2018 World Championships Photo: John Cheng

The floor final was close the entire time, with almost every gymnast nailing their routine and fighting for a spot on the podium. Flavia Saraiva of Brazil competed second, scoring a 13.766 after a very solid routine with one out of bounds error, staying in the lead until the fourth competitor, all-around silver medalist Mai Murakami of Japan, competed and just edged her out with a 13.866. Angelina Melnikova of Russia competed directly after, hitting a super-clean routine, but finished just behind Murakami with a 13.833 after not getting credited for her full difficulty score because of a few turn issues.

Simone Biles then stepped up and completed her incredibly difficult routine to easily clinch the gold with a 14.933 despite an out-of-bounds error, giving her a staggering 12th World title and a 20th overall World medal, making her the most decorated female gymnast at a World Championship of all time. Her teammate Morgan Hurd, the all-around bronze medalist, stepped up and completed a very clean routine to just edge out Murakami with a 13.933, and the podium ended up with Biles in first, Hurd in second, and Murakami in third to close out an incredible week of World Championships gymnastics in Doha.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,