Simone Biles and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team finished qualifying at the world championships in the same familiar position — in first place by a comfortable margin.
Biles had the highest all-around scored by 2.266 points over countrywoman Sunisa Lee. Biles and Lee led the U.S. to a team score of 174.205, which was 5.044 points ahead of second-place China.
“I’m pretty pleased,” Biles said. “I feel like I have a lot of pressure being put on me.
“My main goal going into tonight was to not be great, but just to do well. … It’s always nerve-racking because qualifications qualifies you into everything. Waking up, it’s just like, oh gosh, what’s going to happen tonight.”
GYM WORLDS: Women’s qualifiers into team, individual finals
Biles also got two more skills named after her into the Code of Points, giving her four total. The latest were her triple-double on floor exercise and her double-double dismount off the balance beam.
Biles, competing at likely her last world championships, had the highest qualifying scores on floor and beam but was outscored on vault by countrywoman Jade Carey. Biles also slid into the final on her weakest apparatus, uneven bars, in seventh place out of eight qualifiers.
Scores are wiped clean for finals — team (Tuesday), all-around (Thursday) and individual apparatuses (Saturday, Sunday).
The U.S. eyes its seventh straight Olympic or world team title, the longest dynasty since the Soviet teams of the 1970s. Biles goes for her sixth straight Olympic or world all-around title, not counting the year break she took in 2017.
Other notable happenings in qualifying: Romania, which earned a team medal at every Olympics from 1976 through 2012, failed to qualify a full team for a second straight Olympics. The Romanians, beset by injuries to some of their top gymnasts, were outside the top 10 in qualifying.
Oksana Chusovitina, the 44-year-old Uzbek gymnast, appears to have qualified for her eighth Olympics. She failed to do so outright after missing the all-around and vault finals, but due to a lack of athletes from non-qualified Olympic nations in event finals, she should get in via her all-around qualifying standing.
Chusovitina, who has been competing at the senior elite level for 30 years, already holds the record for Olympic gymnastics appearances.
Sanne Wevers, the Dutchwoman who beat Laurie Hernandez and Biles for Rio Olympic balance beam gold, failed to qualify for next weekend’s beam final. Wevers also missed the 2017 World beam final and was seventh last year.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported that Chusovitina failed to qualify for Tokyo in worlds qualification.
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