Oct 10, 2014 11:51 AM

Biles keeps all-around title at gymnastics worlds

The Associated Press

NANNING, China (AP) Leading from start to finish, Simone Biles of the United States became the first woman in 11 years to win consecutive all-around gold medals at the gymnastics world championships on Friday.

Biles posted the top floor score of 15.066 to finish with 60.231 points and successfully defend the title she won last year in Antwerp, Belgium.

Larisa Iordache of Romania won silver with 59.765 points, and Kyla Ross of the United States took bronze with 58.232.

Biles held a 0.133-point lead over Iordache after three of four events. Iordache's title hopes took a hit when she stepped out during her floor routine.

Biles, who added to the gold she won in the women's team event on Wednesday, is the first woman to win successive titles since Svetlana Khorkina of Russia in 2001-03, and the first American to win two straight since Shannon Miller in 1993-94.

As the last gymnast of the competition, Biles turned in an energetic Latin-flavored floor routine that included plenty of crowd-pleasing, complicated tumbling.

"I just tried to have fun with it," Biles said. "My landings were a little crazy but I'm really happy with it."

Despite stepping out, Iordache turned in an elegant and graceful floor routine that earned her 14.733 points.

Ross, who was fifth going into the final rotation, scored 13.933 on the floor to move into third place. The 2013 silver medalist has been battling a hip injury.

"I was really proud to come out and push through some of the injuries that I've been dealing with," Ross said. "I just kind of fed off the excitement of the crowd."

Biles jumped into the lead from the start, scoring the highest apparatus score of the final, 15.866 points, on vault in the first rotation. She safely negotiated the uneven bars and maintained her composure on the balance beam in a cautious but efficient routine.

Iordache rose from fourth to second place in the third rotation, where her nimble routine on the balance beam earned the top score on that apparatus in the final, 15.100.

Aliya Mustafina of Russia, the 2010 champion, fell on her floor routine and finished fourth, and Yao Jinnan of China fifth. Vanessa Ferrari of Italy, the 2006 gold medalist, repeated her sixth-place finish from 2013.

Biles has chances at three more medals in event finals on Saturday and Sunday.


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