UCLA’s Jordan Chiles, USA Win Gold at World Gymnastics Championships
The Bruins’ standout sophomore was one of only two gymnasts to contribute three scores of 14.0 or higher in Liverpool.
The United States is once again on top of the gymnastics world, and a Bruin played a major part in lifting them back to those heights.
Team USA secured the gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, England, on Tuesday, making it six in a row for the American women. UCLA gymnastics sophomore Jordan Chiles was one of the stars in the rotation, competing in the all-around and posting the second-highest overall score in the entire field with a 55.833.
After winning team silver at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, this marks Chiles’ first gold medal at the World Championships. Chiles had missed out on qualifying for Worlds the last three times she made the attempt, but she ultimately made the most of her chance when she broke through the fourth time around.
Chiles was joined on the team by Oregon State star and Olympic teammate Jade Carey, as well as Florida gymnast Shilese Jones. The three of them did most of the heavy lifting in the team final Tuesday, and their hot start helped put Team USA up early on vault.
Carey posted the best score on the team with a 14.800, followed by Chiles’ 14.400 thanks to her Yurchenko double full. Jones went for 13.933 and helped give Team USA a 0.434-point lead through one rotation.
The Americans extended their lead to over two points after two rotations, led by Jones’ 14.333 on the uneven bars. Chiles once again added her team’s second-highest score with a 14.100 in the leadoff position, and Leanne Wong wrapped things up with a 13.766 in her only routine of the night.
Chiles led Team USA with a 13.333 on beam – a departure from her performance in the qualifiers when she fell twice. Skye Blakely scored a 13.266, while Carey posted a 12.800, keeping them up 124.731-122.531 on the United Kingdom heading into the final rotation.
Jones led off on floor with a 13.733, then Carey rebounded with a 14.100. Chiles came in to anchor, needing only an 11.000 to lock up gold.
On her fourth routine of the day, Chiles cruised her way to a 14.000 final score, along with one of the most coveted gold medals in the world.
Chiles posted the third-best score on vault, fourth-best score on floor, sixth-best score on bars and seventh-best score on beam out of the 24 athletes who competed in each discipline. That type of all-around performance was good enough for the second-highest score of the night, behind only Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, who won silver in the all-around and gold in vault at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The United Kingdom won silver and Canada won bronze to wrap up the team finals Tuesday, but there is still more competition on the slate in England.
Chiles will take part in the individual vault finals Saturday at 6:30 a.m. PT after being the No. 2 qualifier for that event, as well as the individual floor exercise finals Sunday at 5:30 a.m., entering that as the No. 4 qualifier.
UCLA’s season starts Jan. 15 at the Wasatch Classic in Utah, pitting Chiles and the Bruins against Minnesota, Boise State and Washington.
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