Road To The Olympic Games

Gymnastics

Biles wins record 5th all-around title as Canada's Black limps away at gymnastics worlds

Simone Biles won her fifth all-around title at the gymnastics world championships Thursday, underlining her status as the clear favourite for next year's Olympic gold medal.

Canadian gymnast suffers high ankle sprain in vault, falls to 4th

USA's Simone Biles performs on the vault during the women's all-around final where she won her 16th gold medal at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Thursday. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images)

Simone Biles won her fifth all-around title at the gymnastics world championships Thursday, underlining her status as the clear favourite for next year's Olympic gold medal.

The U.S. gymnast scored 58.999 points to finish 2.1 points ahead of China's Tang Xijing, who was entered as a late replacement for a teammate.

Biles' margin of victory was her biggest at a world all-around event, and matched her winning margin at the 2016 Olympics, before she took a year off.

Angelina Melnikova of Russia was third on 56.399.

Canada's Ellie Black was in third place heading into her final vault routine, but landed awkwardly attempting the "Rudi" and limped away. The 24-year-old from Halifax finished fourth with 56.232.

Gymnastics Canada later said Black suffered a high ankle sprain.

WATCH | Ellie Black leaves on crutches:

Canadian gymnast Ellie Black injured herself during her vault attempt in the gymnastics world championships women's all-around final, but her performance was good enough to earn fourth place overall. 2:13

"It was honestly a really good day for me, and I'm really happy with it," Black said.

"At the end, with the vault, when I landed it, I just felt a little bit of pain in my ankle, but I was really happy because I haven't competed a front Rudi on vault in a really long time. It was just close to the end, so we needed to throw the harder vault just to see, but fourth in the world is still pretty incredible."

Black, who won silver in all-around at the 2017 worlds in Montreal to become Canada's first world medallist in the event, is hoping to improve on her fifth-place showing from the 2016 Rio Olympics at next year's Summer Games in Tokyo.

Black's Canadian teammate Brooklyn Moors, of Cambridge, Ont., placed 14th.

Biles' margin of victory was her biggest at a world all-around event, and matched her winning margin at the 2016 Olympics, before she took a year off.

She finished her floor routine with a mic-drop gesture.

"It wasn't my best routine but we just thought it would be fun," she said. "I feel like right now actually I'm pretty confident in my gymnastics and myself and the performances I put out there, so I feel like I'm probably more confident going in today than I was at the Olympics."

No other woman has won more than three all-around titles. Biles' victory makes it seven wins in a row for the United States in the women's all-around, matching the Soviet Union's record streak at world championships in the 1970s and 1980s.

WATCH | Biles racks up another win:

American Olympic champion Simone Biles extended her women's record by claiming her fifth all-around title at the gymnastics world championships on Thursday in Stuttgart, Germany. 5:04

Tang wasn't even meant to be competing Thursday but became China's first all-around medallist in eight years. She'd qualified third-best of China's gymnasts, with only two per country allowed in the final. However, Tang was drafted in to replace teammate Liu Tingting, who fell on two routines in Tuesday's team final.

Tang said she didn't know she was contending for a medal until after finishing her final routine.

"I hoped to do what I'm like in training, and didn't really think too much about the results," she said through a translator. "I didn't even watch the results myself, so it was really surprising."

Biles' U.S. teammate Sunisa Lee placed second in qualifying, but her hopes of a medal were dashed when she came off the uneven bars. She finished eighth.

"I feel like I kind of let the nerves get to me a little bit, but it's all part of the learning experience," Lee said. "There's going to be a lot more meets to come before the Olympics, so hopefully I can kind of get myself back together for that."

France's Melanie de Jesus dos Santos had qualified third-best but fell twice on uneven bars and placed 20th.

Biles has won the all-around title at every world championships she's competed in, starting in 2013. She skipped the 2017 season, when Morgan Hurd won the gold.

In a sign of the U.S. team's depth, Hurd wasn't named to the team for this year's worlds despite also winning bronze last year.

With files from the Canadian Press, CBC Sports

Broadcast Partners

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.