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

Cyclist in induced coma after Tour of Poland crash

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Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was put into an induced coma Wednesday after suffering injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour of Poland, organizers said.

A massive crash at the finish of the first stage resulted in Dylan Groenewegen‘s disqualification from the race.

Leading a bunch sprint, Groenewegen veered toward the right barrier, pinching countryman Jakobsen, who barreled into the barrier meters from the finish line.

Jakobsen went head over heels, his bike went airborne and the barriers exploded onto the road, causing more cyclists to crash.

Jakobsen was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition and was put into an induced coma, the Tour de Pologne press office said.

Groenewegen crossed the finish line first but was disqualified, giving Jakobsen the stage win, according to the stage race website.

Groenewegen, a 27-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider, owns four Tour de France stage wins among the last three years.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) “strongly condemned” Groenewegen’s “dangerous” and “unacceptable” behavior. It referred Groenewegen’s actions to a disciplinary commission for possible sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to a Russian media quote confirmed by Phil Hersh.

The ISU has not confirmed or denied Lakernik’s assertion.

Most, if not all, top-level U.S. skaters train in the U.S. or Canada. That makes the first two Grand Prix stops — Skate America and Skate Canada — likely destinations. Grand Prix assignments have not been published.

“I appreciate the ISU is open to adapting competitive formats and is working to give athletes opportunities to compete,” Evan Bates, a U.S. ice dance champion with Madison Chock who trains in Montreal, wrote in a text message to Hersh. “This announcement gives reassurance that the ISU is doing their best to ensure a season will still take place. Of course, it’s hard to predict what will happen, and we’re not sure about what country we would compete in. It would probably depend on what the quarantine rules are at that time.”

The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu, who cannot enter the senior Grand Prix until 2021.

Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement that it will have more details on the Grand Prix Series in the coming weeks after collaborating with an ISU-appointed group.

“This is a great example of the figure skating community coming together to ensure that the world’s premier figure skating series will continue during these challenging times,” the statement read. “Figure skaters want to compete and figure skating fans from all around the world want to see their favorite athletes skate, and this format will ensure just that.”

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