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Great Britain women finish sixth as Simone Biles inspires USA to gold

GB women finish sixth as Simone Biles inspires USA to gold
Great Britain's women's team finish sixth at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships as Simone Biles inspires the USA to a seventh successive gold.

Great Britain could only muster a sixth-placed finish in the women's team final at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, as the returning Simone Biles inspired the USA to a seventh consecutive title.

One day after the men agonisingly missed out on a medal with a fourth-placed finish, the quintet of Jessica Gadirova, Alice Kinsella, Ondine Achampong, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Ruby Evans totalled 161.864 owing to a couple of errors.

While world floor champion Gadirova unsurprisingly dazzled on the apparatus with 14.533, she took a fall on vault, while Fenton made costly mistakes on her beam and uneven bars routines.

GB had qualified for the final in second place before falling behind the leading pack on Wednesday, but Kinsella believes that there are plenty of positives to take forward into the Paris 2024 Olympics.

"It obviously didn't go the way we wanted it to, but we just wanted to go out there, enjoy it and get the experience, which we did. I'm super proud of the girls," BBC Sport quotes Kinsella as saying.

"It's given us a lot of confidence going into next year and Paris, so I'm super excited to see what happens next year."

Simone Biles pictured on October 4, 2023© Reuters

At the top of the leaderboard, USA's perennial dominance in women's gymnastics continued thanks in no small part to a dream return for Biles, who had taken a two-year break from international competition following the Tokyo Olympics.

After suffering from a psychological block during the delayed Games, Biles took time away from the sport to protect her mental health, but she needed no hesitation to wow the Antwerp crowd with her customary acrobatic excellence.

Last up on the floor for her country, Biles thundered across the surface and executed a spate of hugely complex skills, including double straight back somersaults with a half twist and full twist.

The 26-year-old also nailed a full-twisting front somersault step out into a double-twisting double tucked back somersault, helping the USA score a total of 167.729, while Leanne Wong, Skye Blakely and Joscelyn Roberson all played their part in yet another team gold for the USA.

Brazil - led by all-around world champion Rebeca Andrade - scored 165.530 for the silver medal, while France ended a 63-year wait for a World Championships medal by taking bronze with 164.064.

China placed fourth with 163.162 on the board, while Italy also pipped GB to a spot in the top five, scoring 162.997 after four pieces of apparatus.

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Jessica Gadirova celebrates becoming floor world champion on November 6, 2022
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