Oksana Chusovitina

Simone Biles wins record 13th world title, completes medal set

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Simone Biles is the most decorated world champion in gymnastics history. And the only American to earn world medals in every event.

Biles earned her first world title on vault and her first world medal (silver) on the uneven bars on Friday, checking off two of the (relatively) biggest holes on her résumé. They came exactly one year after the four-time Rio Olympic champ returned to training following a 14-month break.

Biles, unable to pass a large kidney stone in Doha, passed retired Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo for most career world titles with her 13th gold.

Biles cruised to it on vault — after two silvers and a bronze in previous years — despite taking out difficulty. She chose not to perform her signature vault, the one she sat down in Thursday’s all-around final.

“You can’t change what happened yesterday,” Biles said of one of her two falls in Thursday’s all-around, which she still won convincingly due to her huge edge in difficulty.

She took out a half-twist, and though Biles had a big step on the landing, she still scored 15.266. She nailed an Amanar on her second vault for a 15.466. None of the other seven finalists cracked 15 points on either vault.

Also in the vault final, 43-year-old Oksana Chusovitina finished fourth, missing a medal by .208. The Uzbek who debuted at worlds for the Soviet Union in 1991 already holds the Olympic record of seven gymnastics appearances. At Tokyo 2020, she can become the oldest Olympic gymnast in 100 years.

An hour and leotard change later, Biles took second to Belgian Nina Derwael on bars, five tenths behind. Biles was 14th on bars in Rio and had previously made one bars final at worlds, finishing fourth in 2013.

“[2013] is when I wanted to chainsaw every bar in the country and the world,” Biles told media in Doha.

When she returned to training last year under a new coach known for his bars workers, Laurent Landi, Biles set out to improve her weakest event. What if you had told her then that she would put in the work necessary to become a world medalist in 365 days?

“I would have probably said I’m quitting,” she said, laughing. “To even work and put that much effort into bars, I probably would have been like, no, no thank you.”

If Biles earns medals on balance beam and floor exercise Saturday, she will become the first woman to make the podium in every event at worlds since Soviet Yelena Shushunova in 1987. She would also tie retired Russian Svetlana Khorkina for the most world medals for a woman with 20.

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In other events, two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak‘s bid for a first individual Olympic or world medal was foiled yet again. Mikulak, a five-time U.S. all-around champion, finished fourth on pommel horse and seventh on floor exercise.

On Wednesday, Mikulak was in third place going into the last rotation of the all-around, erred and dropped to fifth. He also finished fourth in high bar finals at the 2013 Worlds and 2016 Olympics. Mikulak has two more medal chances Saturday on parallel bars and high bar.

The pommel horse title came down to a tiebreaker. Xiao Ruoteng, who on Wednesday lost his all-around repeat bid via tiebreak, this time took gold over Olympic champion Max Whitlock of Great Britain, though both had the same score of 15.166. Xiao had a higher execution score, keeping Whitlock from a third world title on the event.

Russian Artur Dalaloyan added floor gold to his all-around title from Wednesday. Dalaloyan unseated three-time world champion Kenzo Shirai with a 14.9-point routine, despite having six fewer tenths of difficulty. Shirai scored 14.866.

Carlos Yulo earned the Philippines’ first gymnastics worlds medal, a bronze, .034 ahead of fourth-place Yul Moldauer. Moldauer, the 2017 U.S. all-around champion, earned floor bronze last year.

Greek Eleftherios Petrounias put off shoulder surgery to win his fourth straight Olympic or world title on still rings, beating 2012 Olympic champ Arthur Zanetti by .266.

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MORE: Why Simone Biles can win with two falls

Oksana Chusovitina makes world championships vault final at age 43

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Make it 17 Olympic or world championships vault finals for Oksana Chusovitina. The 43-year-old Uzbek mom can become the oldest Olympic gymnast in 100 years in Tokyo.

Chusovitina, who competed in a gymnastics record-breaking seventh Olympics in Rio, qualified fifth into Friday’s eight-woman vault final at worlds in Doha.

While Simone Biles is the clear favorite, Chusovitina is a medal threat. She was fifth last year, and the 2017 World gold and silver medalists are not competing in Doha this week.

The 2017 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee made her 14th world vault final overall, highlighted by a 2003 World title. She also reached the last three Olympic vault finals with a silver at Beijing 2008.

MORE: Full women’s finals qualifiers

Chusovitina is already the oldest female Olympic gymnast.

She debuted at the world championships in 1991, winning gold with the Soviet Union, and at the Olympics in 1992 with the Unified Team.

She also represented Germany from 2006 through 2012. She had moved there to seek treatment for son Alisher’s leukemia. Alisher turns 20 next year.

Chusovitina has long focused on vault, where she has won nine world medals, the most recent in 2011.

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Oksana Chusovitina, 43 years old, earns vault silver medal at Asian Games

Oksana Chusovitina
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Oksana Chusovitina, a 43-year-old who could go for her eighth Olympics in 2020, earned silver on vault at the Asian Games in Indonesia on Thursday, missing gold by one tenth of a point.

That came two years after the Uzbek great broke the gymnastics record with her seventh Olympic appearance in Rio and one year after she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

If Chusovitina makes Tokyo 2020, she would be the oldest Olympic gymnast in 100 years. She is already the oldest female Olympic gymnast.

Chusovitina debuted at the world championships in 1991, winning gold with the Soviet Union, the Olympics in 1992 with the Unified Team and the Asian Games in 1994 with Uzbekistan.

She also represented Germany from 2006 through 2012. She had moved there to seek treatment for son Alisher’s leukemia.

Chusovitina has long focused on vault, where she won 10 Olympic or world medals, the most recent in 2011. She finished fifth on vault at the 2017 World Championships, matching her best Olympic or worlds result since a silver medal in 2011.

Chusovitina shared the Asian Games podium with gold medalist Yeo Seojeong of South Korea and bronze medalist Pyon Rye Yong of North Korea, who are both younger than her son.

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