After the world qualification, Simone Biles was in the lead, Shilese Jones in second place

ANTWERP, Belgium – Simone Biles reached every individual final at the World Gymnastics Championships and earned the highest qualifying score in the all-around and on three of the four apparatus.

Biles, a five-time world champion in the all-around, has also won gold medals at world championships on floor (five times), beam (three times) and vault (twice) during his career. With the United States the heavy favorite to win the team event on Wednesday, Biles could finish this world championship with as many as five gold medals. Bars is Biles’ weakest event and the only final in which she is not expected to challenge for the title, but she still advanced with the fifth-best score.

In 2019, the last time Biles competed at the World Championships, she won five gold medals and placed fifth on parallel bars. The 2018 World Championships was the only time she won six medals – gold in the team, all-around, vault and floor finals, then silver on parallel bars and bronze on beam.

Shilese Jones will compete alongside Biles in the all-around final and both Americans could finish on the podium. Biles led the field in the qualifying round with an impressive score of 58.865. Jones, the 2022 all-around silver medalist, moved into second place with a score of 56.932, nearly two points behind Biles. While Biles has room for error, Britain’s Jessica Gadirova and Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade could threaten Jones in the final. Andrade, the reigning all-around champion, scored 56.599 points in the qualifying round, and Gadirova, last year’s bronze medalist, finished just ahead with 56.766.

Results from qualifications do not carry over to the finals, therefore medals are determined solely by each gymnast’s upcoming performances. No more than two athletes per country can advance to each final, and the U.S. team qualified the maximum number of gymnasts for each medal event.

This is how the US women fared against the other athletes in the apparatus final:

Biles performs the hardest jump in women’s gymnastics – the Yurchenko double pike, now known as Biles II after she successfully debuted that element at an international competition on Sunday. That gives her a significant lead, even if she would lose half a point if her coach stood on the mat as an observer, as he has done on every other jump attempt this season.

In the final, each gymnast will perform two different jumps and these results will be averaged to determine the results.

As long as Biles stays on her feet on both jumps, she will likely win gold. Her two-jump average (14.949) was three tenths of a point higher than that of Andrade, whose performance in the qualifying round was so outstanding that it would be difficult to improve on it significantly. Biles’ dungeons have a difficulty level of 6.4 and 5.6; The Brazilian star performs the same jump as Biles’ jump at a lower difficulty level, but her other jump is only worth 5.0.

Joscelyn Roberson, a 17-year-old American, reached the vault final at her first world championships. She has the same jumps as Andrade, but her execution is not as strong. Given these minor form issues, she would likely rely on others making mistakes to win a medal. Roberson had the sixth best average in the qualifying round and reaching the final is an achievement for her.

Bars will be the only apparatus final where Biles is not the headliner. Instead, Jones will be a medal contender. She qualified in second place, less than a tenth behind China’s Qiu Qiyuan, who excels on parallel bars and scored a 14.900 despite failing to combine two elements as planned.

Kaylia Nemour of Algeria has the most difficult routine and could challenge Qiu and Jones for gold. Jones, the reigning silver medalist on the apparatus, practiced an improved dismount – adding a half-twist to the end of her usual double front tuck – but did not perform that element on Sunday. Adding it to her routine in the finale would give her a little boost.

Biles’ parallel bars difficulty level (6.0) is the lowest of all qualifiers, but she sticks with her relatively easy set. In order to win a medal, some of her competitors would probably have to make mistakes.

Fellow American Skye Blakely had a chance to join Jones in the parallel bars competition, but Biles was less than three-tenths ahead of her. Despite having a high enough score, Blakely failed to qualify for the final because Jones and Biles had better grades.

Biles packs the difficulty into an efficient beam routine that ends with a full-twist double tuck dismount. In the qualifying round, Biles had no wavering or moments of uncertainty and posted the best mark of the field with a 14.566.

But China’s Zhou Yaqin (14.500) wasn’t far behind and his teammate Zhang Qingying qualified third. Given China’s excellent performance on the apparatus, Biles could have a solid routine, but not enough to win gold. Medals on this apparatus may depend on slight differences in each gymnast’s execution and who can perform under pressure.

Jones will also take part in this final as the fifth seed qualifier. Ashikawa Urara, the 2021 beam world champion, qualified seventh. Similar to Blakely on parallel bars, China’s Ou Yushan had a good score to advance, but didn’t make it because two of her teammates got better scores.

Gadirova is the reigning world floor champion, but Biles is back, and the 26-year-old American has won gold on floor every time she has competed in this final at the World Championships or Olympics.

In the qualifying round, Biles had a difficulty score five tenths higher than Gadirova’s and six tenths higher than Andrade’s. Despite Biles’ lead, Gadirova finished just 0.233 points behind due to her strong technique and artistry. Both Biles and Andrade possess powerful drops that sometimes cause them to leave the court. Such a mistake could be costly in this final.

Jones posted the fifth-best result of the qualifying round but isn’t quite struggling to keep up with the top three, Biles, Gadirova and Andrade. After the world qualification, Simone Biles was in the lead, Shilese Jones in second place

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