Simone Biles

Simone Biles, U.S. close World Gymnastics Championships with most medals (video)

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Simone Biles won two more gold medals to wrap the most successful Olympics or World Championships by an American woman ever Sunday. Biles also led the U.S. to top the overall medal standings in Nanning, China.

Biles, 17, won the vault and floor exercise finals Sunday. She finished her second Worlds with four gold medals and one silver medal. Biles is the first U.S. woman to win five medals or four gold medals at a single Worlds.

She now has nine career Worlds medals in two appearances, one behind the U.S. record of 10 by Alicia Sacramone, who competed in five World Championships. Biles should be expected to break Sacramone’s record at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Also Sunday, Americans Danell Leyva and Jacob Dalton added parallel bars silver and vault bronze medals, respectively.

The U.S. totaled 10 medals in Nanning and won the overall Worlds medal count for a second straight year. It bagged 12 medals in 2013. Its high before that was nine at the 2005 World Championships, where all of the medals were won by the women.

China led the medal count at every Worlds and Olympics (artistic gymnastics only) from 2006 through 2012.

In her first event Sunday, Biles won a balance beam final littered with falls and major errors with a contrastingly clean 15.1 routine. Biles upgraded her beam bronze medal from 2013. China’s Bai Yaiwen took silver this year with 15.033, followed by Russian Aliya Mustafina. U.S. Olympic team champion Kyla Ross was sixth.

Mustafina, whose routine lacked a required element that cost her a half-point, earned 14.166, the lowest score to win an Olympics or World Championships medal since the new code of points was implemented in 2006.

Biles came back to win floor exercise about 90 minutes later, repeating as World champion on the event. Romania’s Larisa Iordache took silver behind Biles, just as she did in the all-around Friday. Mustafina earned bronze, relegating American MyKayla Skinner to fourth.

Epke Zonderland earned a standing ovation with a high-flying high bar routine to repeat as World champion after winning 2012 Olympic gold as well. Japan’s Kohei Uchimura won silver, his third medal of the meet and 16th career Worlds medal.

Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev prevailed on parallel bars, ahead of Leyva, who won the World title on the event in 2011. Another American, Donnell Whittenburg, was seventh.

North Korea’s Ri Se Gwang won the men’s vault, dethroning reigning Olympic and World champion Yang Hak Seon of South Korea.

Dalton captured bronze, adding to his team bronze from Tuesday. Dalton also won team bronze at the 2011 World Championships and floor exercise silver in 2013.

Balance Beam
Gold: Simone Biles (USA) — 15.1 — 2013 World bronze medalist
Silver: Bai Yawen (CHN) — 15.033
Bronze: Aliya Mustafina (RUS) — 14.166 — 2013 World champion
4. Asuke Teramoto (JPN) — 14.1
5. Larisa Iordache (ROU) — 14.066
6. Kyla Ross (USA) — 13.866
7. Ellie Black (CAN) — 13.7
8. Yao Jinnan (CHN) — 13.366 — 2011 World silver medalist

Women’s Floor Exercise
Gold: Simone Biles (USA) — 15.333 — 2013 World champion
Silver: Larisa Iordache (ROU) — 14.8 — 2013 World bronze medalist
Bronze: Aliya Mustafina (RUS) — 14.733 — 2012 Olympic bronze medalist; 2010 World silver medalist
4. MyKayla Skinner (USA) — 14.7
5. Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) — 14.666 — 2013 World silver medalist; 2006 World bronze medalist
6. Larrissa Miller (AUS) — 14.233
7. Erika Fasana (ITA) — 13.9
8. Claudia Fragapane (GBR) — 13.1

Parallel Bars
Gold: Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) — 16.125
Silver: Danell Leyva (USA) — 15.933 — 2011 World champion
Bronze: Ryohei Kato (JPN) — 15.666
4. Deng Shudi (CHN) — 15.633
5. Yusuke Tanaka (JPN) — 15.041
6. Cheng Ran (CHN) — 14.866
7. Donnell Whittenburg (USA) — 14.366
8. Nikolai Kuksenkov (RUS) — 13.666

Men’s Vault
Gold: Ri Se Gwang (PRK) — 15.416 — 2007 World bronze medalist
Silver: Igor Radivilov (UKR) — 15.333
Bronze: Jacob Dalton (USA) — 15.199
4. Kenzo Shirai (JPN) — 15.062
5. Sergio Sasaki Junior (BRA) — 15.016
6. Shek Wai Hung (HKG) — 14.999
7. Yang Hak Seon (KOR) — 14.416 — 2012 Olympic champion; 2011, 2013 World champion
8. Denis Abliazin (RUS) — 14.116 — 2012 Olympic silver medalist

High Bar
Gold: Epke Zonderland (NED) — 16.225 — 2012 Olympic champion; 2013 World champion; 2009, 2010 World silver medalist
Silver: Kohei Uchimura (JPN) — 15.725 — 2011, 2013 World bronze medalist
Bronze: Marijo Moznik (CRO) — 15
4. Nile Wilson (GBR) — 14.766
5. David Belyavskiy (RUS) — 14.733
6. Nikolai Kuksenkov (RUS) — 14.533
7. Zhang Chenglong (CHN) — 14.366 — 2010 World champion; 2011 World silver medalist
8. Jossimar Calvo Moreno (COL) — 13.3

Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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