Oct 8, 2014 11:55 AM
US win women's team gold at gymnastics worlds
The Associated Press
NANNING, China (AP) World all-around champion Simone Biles led the United States to the gold medal in the women's team event at the gymnastics world championships on Wednesday.
The U.S. finished with a total of 179.280 points to defend the title it won at the 2011 worlds in Tokyo.
Host China was second with 172.587, followed by 2010 champion Russia with 171.462.
As the last gymnast of the competition, Biles needed just an 8.683 on the floor to take the team gold medal and tumbled and pranced to a score of 15.375.
"Overall today, it went really well for every single girl that competed," Biles said. "We had a couple of mistakes, at least I did, but other than that it went really well."
The U.S. led throughout, and their lead was big enough that wobbles on the balance beam in the third rotation by Biles and Kyla Ross made no impact on the final outcome.
Ross, who scored a 13.966 on the floor exercise, has been nursing a hip injury but was able to perform well in all four events for the U.S. team that also included MyKayla Skinner, Alyssa Baumann, Madison Kocian and Ashton Locklear.
"I'm glad to be able to compete in all four events and help the team," Ross said. "In London, doing only two adds a little more pressure because you have to do those two really well."
With the win, the U.S. is the first country to win back-to-back women's world team titles since Romania in 1999 and 2001. No team competition was held in 2000, an Olympic year.
Romania was fourth with 170.963 points followed by Italy (169.023) and Britain (168.495).
China rallied after a sub-par performance on uneven bars in the second rotation where Shang Chunsong over-arched a handstand and came off the apparatus, and Yao Jinnan fell on an aerial skill. The hosts moved into second place with the best team score of the final on balance beam.
Russia's hopes seemed to fade early when Ekaterina Kramarenko fell on the balance beam and Alla Sosnitskaya fell to her hands during her floor routine.
Romania led Russia heading into the last rotation but lost momentum when Alina Stanila fell on a tumbling combination. Larisa Iordache, Romania's last performer, made a gallant attempt to secure bronze but her score of 15.500 on the balance beam wasn't enough, and the defending bronze medalists settled for fourth.