By Jessica Taylor Price

The women’s all-around competition was a heart attack in the form of a gymnastics meet. We saw Simone fall (yup, twice), and an extremely close battle for second and third. Overall, it made for a great competition, but it was also a health hazard.

Here’s what went down in the desert:

Feature Photo by Grace Chiu


Simone won with falls

Simone Biles had an unfortunate day, falling on “the Biles” on vault and her Barani on beam, but she finished strong on floor. She still won by over a point and a half (her largest margin of victory yet) and broke the record for most world all-around titles (#SimoneThings), but she couldn’t hide her disappointment.

Derwael dazzled

Nina Derwael made a name for herself as the highest-placing Belgian gymnast ever in the all-around, coming in fourth with her action-packed bars routine.

Mai hugged her mama

Japan’s Mai Murakami came in second place, a record finish for her country. After the meet, she found Mama Murakami in the stands and gave her a hug, and then my allergies started acting up.

Hurd took third

Morgan Hurd had an error on beam, but besides that it was a hit day—including this gorgeous bars routine—to take the bronze. She also gets props for taking time out of her busy competition schedule to touch-up her lipstick.

Melnikova hit four-for-four

Angelina Melnikova came in fifth after a hit competition, where she performed beautifully, especially on beam. She also won the Longines Prize for Elegance, and I think we can agree that it’s all due to the pep talk she gave to her ankle before the final.

Rotation rhythms

A variety of rotation songs are all the rage in Doha, keeping gymnasts moving to the beat between apparatus. Maybe this will become a competition trend? Will gymnasts move from vault to bars in conga lines? Time will tell.


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