|Team USA a Success at Worlds
|By Sally Haase
October 13, 2013
ANTWERP, BELGIUM-- The United States gymnastics team had reason to be confident
when they arrived in Antwerp Belgium for the World Gymnastics Championships. It was the
most successful Worlds for US gymnastics ever with a total of 12 medals won between the
men and women. To start, the women reach maximum qualification for all four apparatuses
plus the all-around. And if it wasn’t for the two gymnasts per country rule, they could have had
a third compete in the all-around; McKayla Maroney did qualify for the all-around, but
teammates Simone Biles and Kyla Ross finished ahead of Maroney and made the all-
around. Maroney was expected to contend on floor, but there was a snafu with the length of
her music and was disqualified from the event. Ross has a lower start value on floor than
many of her competitors, giving her an uphill battle to even reach the podium. Maroney on
the other hand is the US champion on floor and if it wasn’t for the music issue, Team
USA could have left Antwerp with 13 medals.
Biles and Ross took gold and silver respectively in the all-around, with the duo in a virtual tie
going into the final rotation. Biles ended up taking home a complete set of medals with a
silver on vault, another gold on floor and a bronze on balance beam. Ross added two more
silvers with second place finishes in balance beam and uneven bars. Maroney was at
Worlds for the apparatus that made her famous and infamous. This year there was no “not
impressed” face. Maroney defended her 2011 world title on vault with the gold medal.
Maroney is the first US gymnast to successfully defend her title on vault.
As for the men, there were no gold medals, but plenty of silver and bronze with Jake Dalton
winning silver on floor, Brandon Wynn with a bronze on still rings, Steven Legendre with a
silver on vault, and John Orozco with a bronze on parallel bars.
This much success at Worlds is a good sign for USA gymnastics in the years to come. Ross
and Maroney look like they will be contenders for spots on the 2016 Olympic team, both
have improved greatly in the past year in both gymnastics and maturity. Biles looks to be the
spark plug every team needs and will likely be at the top of her game in 2015-16. Orozco
looks to have matured in the past year as well and looks stronger than ever. The rest of the
men seem to have put their Olympic disappointment behind them and are looking to the
future as well.