GYMNASTICS: U.S. men & women advance to World Champs Team Finals

The teams who entered the 2018 FIG World Championships in Doha (QAT) had one goal above all others: qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

With the fields now set for the men’s and women’s Team finals coming up on Monday and Tuesday, Russia and China look set, with the U.S. dominating the women’s events and the U.S. men fourth after the qualifying round.

Russia and China went 1-2 in the men’s qualifying, with Japan third and the U.S. fourth. The American women, led by the incomparable Simone Biles, lead the women’s events by a mile, with Russia and China trailing. The top three teams in both events will qualify for Tokyo.

In the individual All-Around, defending champion Ruoteng Xiao (CHN) leads with 87.332 points, slightly ahead of Russia’s Nikita Nagornyy (87.098) and Sam Mikulak (USA: 86.598). The U.S. also qualified Yul Moldauer, 17th with 80.365, for the All-Around final on Wednesday.

Mikulak will compete in the individual finals later in the week on Floor, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar. Moldauer qualified for the individual final on Floor.

There’s no contest in the women’s All-Around, with Biles routing the field in the qualifying with 60.965 points, ahead of fellow American and defending World All-Around Champion Morgan Hurd (56.465) second and Riley McCusker of the U.S. in eighth at 54.765. Biles also qualified for all four event finals, with Hurd in Uneven Bars and Floor and Kara Eaker on the Beam.

Not everything was perfect, however, as Biles had a scare from a kidney stone that was diagnosed after she went to the emergency room of a Doha hospital on Friday night! The USA Gymnastics post on the incident noted:

“Maybe I need to go to the hospital,” Biles mused aloud, meaning it as a joke. Nellie Biles, a trained nurse who isn’t used to hearing that kind of complaint from her daughter, took the idea seriously and packed Biles off to the ER. After tests ruled out appendicitis, Biles was told she had a kidney stone and might need to spend the night in the hospital.

“Yeah, I discharged myself,” Biles said Saturday. “I’m like, sorry, but I have to compete so I’m leaving, but thanks for letting me know I have a kidney stone. I’ll deal with the pain later.”

The U.S. announced its men’s line-up for the Team finals, and all three scores will count:

∙ Floor Exercise: Colin Van Wicklen, Yul Moldauer, Sam Mikulak
∙ Pommel Horse: Moldauer, Alec Yoder, Mikulak
∙ Rings: Akash Modi, Moldauer, Mikulak
∙ Vault: Moldauer, Van Wicklen, Mikulak
∙ Parallel Bars: Modi, Moldauer, Mikulak
∙ Horizontal Bar: Van Wicklen, Modi, Mikulak

The women’s line-up will be announced on Monday. The remaining schedule:

29 October: Men’s Team final
30 October: Women’s Team final
31 October: Men’s All-Around final
01 November: Women’s All-Around final
02 November: Apparatus finals
(Men: Floor/Pommel Horse/Rings; Women: Vault/Uneven Bars)
03 November: Apparatus finals
(Men: Vault/Parallel Bars/Horizontal Bar; Women: Beam/Floor)

The NBC Olympic Channel has continuing Worlds coverage from Doha. Summaries so far:

FIG World Artistic Championships
Doha (QAT) ~ 25 October-3 November 2018
(Full results here)

Men

Team Qualifications (top 8 qualify for Final): 1. Russia, 258.402; 2. China., 257.836; 3. Japan, 253.312; 4. United States, 250.362; 5. Great Britain, 249.836; 6. Brazil, 246.961; 7. Netherlands, 245.663; 8. Switzerland, 245.186.

All-Around Qualifications (top 24 qualify for Final): 1. Ruoteng Xiao (CHN), 87.332; 2. Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), 87.098; 3. Sam Mikulak (USA), 86.598; 4. Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), 84.572; 5. Wei Sun (CHN), 84.007; 6. Kenzo Shirai (JPN), 83.864; 7. James Hall (GBR), 83.198; 8. Kazuma Kaya (JPN), 82.915. Also: 17. Yul Moldauer (USA), 80.365.

Women

Team Qualifications (top 8 qualify for Final): 1. United States, 174.429; 2. Russia, 165.497; 3. China, 165.196; 4. Canada, 163.897; 5. Brazil, 162.529; 6. Japan, 162.180; 7. France, 161.629; 8. Germany, 161.071.

All-Around Qualifications (top 24 qualify for Final): 1. Simone Biles (USA), 60.965; 2. Morgan Hurd (USA), 56.465; 3. Mai Murakami (JPN), 55.632; 4. Nina Derwael (BEL), 55.564; 5. Angelina Melnikova (RUS), 55.465; 6. Ellie Black (CAN), 54.999; 7. Melanie de Jesus dos Santos (FRA), 54.798; 8. Riley McCusker (USA), 54.765.

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