Saturday, November 27, 2021

Melnikova won the all-around final at the World Gymnastics Championships

KITAKYUSHU, Japan (NWN) – Angelina Melnikova of Russia won the women’s all-around final on Thursday, winning the first gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championships.

Melnikova, bronze medalist of the 2020 Olympic Games in all-around, confidently led the way, showing high scores in the vault and parallel bars, and finished with 56.632 points.

With reigning champion Simona Biles and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Sunisa Lee of the United States not participating, it was all set for a new generation of gymnasts to emerge.

Lynn Wong of the United States finished second with 56.340 points, followed by teammate Kyle DiCello with a bronze medal with 54.566 points.

Melnikova, 21, a gold medalist for the Tokyo Olympic team, won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships. She has won four medals in past world championships but never claimed a world title until Thursday.

Melnikova will also compete in all four finals on the apparatus over the weekend, becoming the first woman to qualify in all five individual finals since Biles in 2018.

Wong was a traveling alternative to the American team at the Tokyo Games, but was forced to spend most of her time at the Olympics in quarantine after her roommate Kara Iker tested positive for COVID-19.

DiCello is the 2019 World Junior Vault Champion.

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None of the six women who represented the United States in the Olympics are in Kitakyushu. Lee participates in Dancing with the Stars before starting his first year in Auburn, while Biles and other 2020 Olympians take part in the national tour.

Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, who won silver in the all-around at the Tokyo Olympics, decided not to compete on Thursday due to concerns about injury, but will compete in other events.

Hitomi Hatakeda of Japan was forced out of the all-around final after falling in training on Wednesday. Hatakeda, who made it to the finals on Thursday, was diagnosed with a central spinal cord injury after falling during a bar training session.

Vladislava Urazova from Russia finished fourth with 53.598 points, followed by Naomi Visser from the Netherlands with 52.832 points.

The World Gymnastics Championships is the first major international sporting event held in Japan since the Olympic Games. Unlike the Tokyo Games, spectators are admitted to the Kitakyushu General Gymnasium.

Men’s all-around – on Friday. The World Championship will conclude with individual finals on Saturday and Sunday. There are no team competitions at the World Championships immediately after the Olympics.

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