History Made Day 1 of Event Finals in Antwerp

History Made Day 1 of Event Finals in Antwerp

Inside Gymnastics will be on the scene in Antwerp, Belgium bringing you all the action from the 2023 World Championships! Make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube Channel  and following our social media pages (XFacebookInstagram & Threads) for news and highlights throughout the weekend.

UP NEXT: Event Finals!

Oct. 8 – Event Finals Day 2 | 8:00 a.m. ET | Peacock

Event Finals Day 2: Men’s Vault, Women’s Beam, Men’s Parallel Bars, Women’s Floor, Men’s High Bar

The action resumed in Antwerp at the 2023 World Championships with Day 1 of Event Finals. 

The day started with the men’s floor final where Artem Dolgopyat (ISR), the reigning Olympic Champion on floor grabbed his first World title (14.866) after winning silver in 2017 and again 2019.

Minami Kazuki (JPN) won silver with a 14.666, which is the first individual World medal of his career. Milad Karimi (KAZ) won the bronze, the first World medal for Kazakhstan on floor, with a 14.600.

There was a lot of uncertainty heading into the women’s vault final beginning with the most fundamental question of all: who is actually competing?

Joscelyn Roberson (USA) was originally slated to compete after qualifying in 6th, but withdrew the morning of the competition due to the injury she sustained in warmups right before Team Finals, and was replaced by the first reserve Ellie Black (CAN). 

“On the Team Finals I landed short on a vault and a freak thing happened,” Roberson wrote in a statement on Instagram. “I had hopes of returning but I need this time to rest and recover.” 

About one hour prior to the competition, the FIG put out a statement to the media that Jessica Gadirova (GBR) would also be withdrawing from the competition and would be replaced by Csenge Bácskay (HUN) despite the FIG’s own rule that states: “If a qualified gymnast withdraws from the final, they may be replaced by another gymnast from the same NOC if that gymnast is ranked higher than the nominated reserve gymnasts.” 

This rule should have given Leanne Wong (USA) the nod automatically since Wong finished ahead of Bácskay, who was the second reserve, after Qualifications. Following several inquiries regarding procedures, an updated announcement went out that Wong and Bácskay would both be competing. 

Following the increased confusion on how the decision was made, USA Gymnastics put out an additional statement on the FIG vault final mistakes: “We recognized that there appeared to be an error in finalizing the vault field. USA Gymnastics immediately filed an appeal, and the error was corrected.” 

2023 World All-Around Champion Simone Biles (USA) led off the rotation and took her Yurchenko double pike to the sky but couldn’t land this one – the power and the height were extraordinary – but she overrated the vault to her back. Her second vault, a Cheng, had a slight hop back, giving her a 14.549 average and the silver medal when all was said and done. 

2020 Olympic vault bronze medalist Yeo Seojeong landed two vaults cleanly (14.416) to grab the bronze – the first World medal of her career. 

In the end, Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade was golden once again! The reigning Olympic champion on vault reclaimed the World vault title (which she first won in 2021 and then in 2022 she missed the finals after an uncharacteristic mistake on her second vault). Andrade closed out the event – needing a big number to surpass Biles despite her mistake (thanks to Biles’ difficulty). Andrade delivered, nearly sticking her Cheng for a 15.000. A clean Yurchenko twist for her second vault was enough to lock in the gold medal (14.750 average). 

“I didn’t expect Simone to fall, so I feel sad for her because I know how much we train for this,” Andrade said. “I’m very happy with another gold medal for Brazil. I didn’t expect this, of course in my head I always want to win but the principle goal is to do my thing. I don’t know if I can believe it, but it was something that I really wanted.”

For the American’s, Leanne Wong posted an average of 13.466 and while she didn’t win an individual medal here, what a year it’s been for Wong, balancing NCAA, Elite, school and her own business. She’s nothing short of inspirational!

Up next was the men’s pommel horse final, where Rhys McClenaghan (IRL) defended his title from Liverpool last year (15.100) and officially locked in his Paris 2024 Olympic berth. 

“I feel good,” McClenaghan said. “I feel like the preparation for this competition has paid off. Two time world champion, but what I am most relieved for is to be qualified for the Olympics.”

It was a story of redemption for Khoi Young (USA) after a disappointing fall in the Team Final. Young, who was smiling before his feet even hit the ground, came away with the silver medal here (14.966). Ahmad Abu Al Soud (JOR) won the bronze (14.633). 

In the uneven bar final, China’s Qiu Qiyuan was stunning from start to finish to win the gold medal (15.100). Kaylia Nemour, the former French national champion on the event from 2021 who now represents Algeria, made history with her silver medal (15.033). It’s not only the first medal for Algeria but the first medal for an African country at a World Championships. Shilese Jones, who won the silver medal last year, put up a beautiful effort (14.766) to win the bronze. The fifth and final event of the day was the still rings. China’s Liu Yang, who is the reigning Olympic champion on the event, won his first World title on rings since 2014 (15.233). Eleftherios Petrounias (GRE) grabbed the silver (15.066) and You Hao (CHN) won the bronze (14.833).

Photos by Ricardo Bufolin for Inside Gymnastics

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