by Anna Rose Johnson
Montreal 2017 was a truly memorable World Championships—from the unexpected triumphs of newcomers to the glorious victories of veterans. But some of the most unforgettable routines of all came from these six women who rose to the occasion and produced some of their strongest performances when it mattered most.
After the disappointment of falling off beam in the all-around final, Japan’s Mai Murakami returned to claim the floor exercise gold with this stunning performance. Murakami’s power was unparalleled in Montreal, and she demonstrated her immense strength and energy in the final.
Knowing that a medal hinged on her ability to hit a strong floor routine, Ellie Black delivered magnificently in the all-around final. Praised for her creative tumbling and connection to her music, Black has been a fan favorite for years and continues to dominate as a renowned veteran for Canada.
One of the brightest stars for Belgium, Nina Derwael put together one of the most innovative bars routines of the year, and her finesse and virtuosity were more than enough to secure her the bronze in the bars final. Check out our new Q&A with Nina!
Longtime Russian star Maria Paseka defended her 2015 World vault title this year, landing a beautiful Amanar that earned a score of 15.000.
The only gymnast to score above 8.0 in E-score on beam at Worlds was Germany’s Pauline Schaefer, who brings gracefulness and originality to the sport with her fast-paced elegance and eponymous skill (see 1:00 in the video). This routine gave her the gold in the beam final with a 13.533.
Often applauded for her elegant work on beam and floor, USA’s Morgan Hurd needed to hit a strong bars routine in order to contend for the World all-around title. Her tidy, flowing work on this apparatus paved the way for her solid routines to come.