The all around final of the 2018 World Championships was held in Doha, Qatar on 1 November.
Simone Biles won, of course she did, despite two falls on vault and beam. It was an uncharacteristic performance for the Olympic champion, who looked a bit rattled across all four pieces, but in the end the best gymnast won. Is this what matters? I guess it is. Simone scored a 57.491, almost two points ahead of second-place finisher Mai Murakami of Japan. It is not exciting to see a gymnast win with two falls, and Simone was very disappointed with herself too. But Biles is one of a kind, and I personally believe that it would be wrong to adapt the code of point to a super human gymnast, who, on one day, proves to be human after all. Simone is now the only female gymnast to have ever won four world championships all around titles.
The real excitement, however, came behind Biles, in the fight for the silver and bronze medals. Five gymnasts ended within two tenths of each other, a fantastic competition that came down to very little technical details – gymnastics as it should be.
In the end, Mai Murakami of Japan won the silver medal (55.798). She was elated after last year’s fourth-place finish. Mai had a very solid performance throughout, which started with probably the best DTY of the competition and ended with a very strong floor performance. Tears of tension and joy at the end her floor routine showed how much this meant for Mai. At the end of the competition, she climbed the stands and flew into her mother’s arms, who was in tears herself. One of the most touching moments of the championships!
The 2017 all around world champion and Florida commit Morgan Hurd won the bronze (55.732), thanks to a focussed floor routine, which compensated for an underwhelming beam performance, where Morgan grabbed the beam on her aerial cartwheel. She looked delighted with her bronze medal, she showed such good sportsmanship throughout these championships, she really has become a role model.
Nina Derwael of Belgium finished fourth, you guys (55.699)!!!!! Nina had an incredible performance, topped by an outstanding 15.100 on bars. She kept her composure through beam, and finished her competition on floor with a stunningly-choreographed floor routine. For me, all floor routines should be able to tell a story and be as expressive as this one!
0.001 behind Nina finished Russia’s Angelina Melnikova (55.698), who had probably the best all around performance of her senior career. Angelina was solid throughout, but for me her best performance came on beam, where she finally held her nerves and scored a high (for her) 13.466. She was disappointed with her fifth place, and I can see why, but if she thinks of herself back one year ago, when she had a disastrous Worlds, and many fans thought that her career was over, she cannot but be proud of herself and her improvement. I hope one day she will win what she deserves on the world stage though!
Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos of France also had a brilliant performance (55.599), so close to a medal you want to cry. She finally hit her beam routine though, and scored a big 13.800 on floor. Well done, Mélanie!
Among other highlights for me, Chen Yile of China, who finished seventh, FINALLY hit her beam routine for the highest score of the day on that apparatus, a 14.166. Plus, she may not have great difficulty on floor, but those pointed toes of her double back are gorgeous! Ellie Downie of Great Britain improved significantly from qualifications to finish eleventh, and Ellie Black of Canada would have been among the medal contenders, had it not been for a fall on bars. The U.S. team mimicking Simone’s floor choreography on the stands should also be seen more!