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Simone Biles leads U.S. to a record 7th straight team title at world championships

Simone Biles of the United States competes on the beam during the women's team final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Wednesday.
Virginia Mayo
/
AP
Simone Biles of the United States competes on the beam during the women's team final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Wednesday.

ANTWERP, Belgium — Led by Simone Biles, the U.S. women won a record seventh consecutive team title at the gymnastics world championships on Wednesday night.

The American team of Biles, Shilese Jones, Skye Blakely and Leanne Wong combined for a total of 167.729 points to edge Brazil and France.

The U.S. team won by a margin of 2.199 points as the final proved to be a closer contest than anticipated after the Americans put up a dominant performance in qualifying.

The U.S. women have won gold in the team event at every world championship that included a team competition since 2011. Their victory in Antwerp broke a tie with the Chinese men for the longest streak of consecutive team titles and made Biles the most decorated female gymnast in history.

Biles now has 26 world championship medals, 20 of them gold, to go with her seven Olympic medals, including the 2016 Olympic title. Her 33 combined medals at the sport's two biggest events are one more than what Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union achieved.

The U.S team overcame an early scare as Joscelyn Roberson was forced out of the event even before it started after she seemed to hurt an ankle while warming up at the vault. She was helped off the mat and subbed by Wong.

Jones then kicked off the competition smoothly for the Americans with a Double Twist Yurchenko, with only a small hop. Wong responded to the last-minute call with a clean effort before Biles opted for the slightly safer 'Cheng' vault rather than the Yurchenko Double Pike she performed during qualifying on Sunday.

The Americans amassed 42.966 points and were second behind China after the first rotation following the Chinese gymnasts' excellent display on uneven bars.

Biles and her teammates then bested their Chinese opponents' performance on bars as they took the overall lead with a margin of 1.467 points. They increased it a bit further after the beam, as Biles made up for the modest 11.700 Wong received by scoring 14.300 with a solid routine.

Biles capped off a successful night for the U.S team with a spectacular floor routine rewarded by a 15.166.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press
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