U.S. women win historic 7th consecutive World title, France and Brazil make history

U.S. women win historic 7th consecutive World title, France and Brazil make history

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Oct. 5 – Men’s All-Around Final | 1:30 p.m. ET | Peacock
Oct. 6 – Women’s All-Around Final | 1:30 p.m. ET | Peacock

U.S. women win historic 7th consecutive World title, France and Brazil make history

The Dynasty. 

2011 Tokyo.

2014 Nanning.

2015 Glasgow.

2018 Doha.

2019 Stuttgart.

2022 Liverpool.

2023 Antwerp.

In the end passion, determination, and emotion told the story of the Women’s Team Final in Antwerp. 

Nothing sweeter than seven! With depth and determination on their side, Team USA was golden once again, winning a record seventh World team title in Antwerp at the 2023 World Championships (167.729) – breaking its tie with the Chinese men who won six in a row from 2003 to 2014. Brazil won the silver (165.530), its first-ever team medal at a World Championships and France took the bronze (164.064), which was the country’s first World team medal in 73 years. 

The evening got off to a dramatic start when first-year World team member Joscelyn Roberson went down on her Cheng in the warm up just moments before the competition was set to begin. Getting the call as her replacement on both vault and floor was 3-time World medalist Leanne Wong who was quick to jump in and get the team a respectable score (14.066) with her clean Yurchenko double twist. Post-meet Wong described the moment as “chaotic” but she knew she was prepared. 

“I definitely couldn’t do it without my teammates and these coaches who kept reminding me that I was trained for this and that I could do this,” Wong said.

Shilese Jones added a 14.100 while Simone Biles opted for a Cheng instead of the Yurchenko double pike for a rotation high score of 14.800. 

Uneven bars was solid in the second rotation, with Skye Blakely opening the rotation with a 14.166. Biles followed with a 14.466 and Jones rounded things out with a 14.633! 

If the team showed any signs of nerves it came in the third rotation on beam. The team put up Wong in the leadoff spot, who came off on her aerial when she missed her foot, and then downgraded her dismount to just a double twist. However, Jones (13.600) and Biles (14.300) came through to save the rotation with solid, difficult sets they made look easy.

The final rotation was arguably one of the most thrilling we’ve ever seen in Worlds history with the silver and bronze medals up for grabs and a shot at history on the line. Biles locked in the United States’ historic seventh consecutive gold medal with perhaps one of the best routines she has ever done in an international competition (15.166) – staying in bounds and sticking nearly every landing. It’s Biles’ sixth World team title and 20th World gold, with five more medal opportunities still ahead of her in Antwerp. 

“Each and every time you are crowned World Champion it feels a little bit different,” Biles said. “I’m still surprised I’m still going. I’m 26, I’m a little bit older. It feels just as good as the first one just because we broke records, we came together, and we had fight.”

Brazil was electric from beginning to end, starting strong on bars (which has historically been a weaker event for the team) and setting the tone for how their night would go. The only real hiccup came from Julia Soares who fell in the leadoff position on beam (12.200) but the team rallied the rest of the way through, building anticipation heading into the final rotation. Would this finally be the year they’d reach the world championships podium? Better believe it.  In the last rotation, they went lights out on vault with Flavia Saraiva bringing back her Yurchenko double twist (13.833), Jade Barbosa going a tenth higher with a 13.933, and Rebeca Andrade nearly sticking her Cheng (14.900) to make Brazil’s historic moment official. Their passion never wavered and now they’ll head to the 2024 Olympic Games as world silver medalists.

Also, earning their place in the history books, France had a spectacular day – the only team to hit all 12 routines. 

Just days after locking in a team berth to their home Olympics next year, Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos stepped up to the beam in the final rotation knowing a team medal was within their reach and the opportunity to clinch France’s first World team medal since 1950 when the team won a silver medal was ultimately up to her. She needed a 13.098 to seal the deal and under the highest amount of pressure and  she delivered brilliantly, capping off her routine with a stuck dismount (14.000) to solidify France’s podium finish and create a World Championship memory to last a lifetime.

Photos by Ricardo Bufolin for Inside Gymnastics

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