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Jessica Gadirova withdraws from World Championships

Jessica Gadirova withdraws from World Championships
© Reuters
Great Britain's Jessica Gadirova withdraws from the remainder of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships after pulling out of the all-around final on Friday.

Great Britain's Jessica Gadirova has withdrawn from the remainder of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp due to injury.

The reigning European all-around champion and world floor champion was a part of GB's five-strong women's troupe for Wednesday's team final, competing in all four pieces of apparatus as her nation placed sixth.

Gadirova had qualified for the all-around final in third place behind Simone Biles and Shilese Jones, but she surprisingly pulled out of the competition shortly before the start in what British Gymnastics described as a "precautionary" measure.

In Gadirova's place, reserve Alice Kinsella stepped in for Friday's all-around final and finished in seventh place, while Ondine Achampong placed 13th for GB as Biles won her 21st world title.

Gadirova was due to compete in the women's floor, vault and beam finals over the weekend, but in a fresh update on Saturday morning, BG announced that the 19-year-old would miss the rest of the Championships, having experienced pain while warming up on vault for the all-around competition.

"Jess felt some pain after her final training on vault in the warm-up hall before yesterday's all-around competition," a statement read. "Immediately the precautionary decision was made for her not to compete and she was attended to by the British Gymnastics medical team.

Jessica Gadirova pictured at the European Championships on August 14, 2022© Reuters

"As a further precaution - and with her longer-term aspirations in mind - she and the team have made the difficult but sensible decision for her to withdraw from her remaining finals as she is further assessed."

Gadirova admitted that her withdrawal was 'heartbreaking', but the teenager knows that prioritising her recovery for the Paris 2024 Olympics is the correct decision.

"I feel so gutted that I won't be able to compete for the rest of these championships - representing my country means the world to me," Gadirova said.

"It breaks my heart that I can't perform again in front of the amazing crowd having had such a brilliant time here in Antwerp. I know though that my long term gymnastics has to come first and this is the right decision.

"I'll be cheering on the rest of the team this weekend and look forward to starting my recovery and continuing my journey towards Paris. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has reached out to me and sent me so many nice messages, it really means a lot."

GB will still have two representatives in Saturday's apparatus finals, as Max Whitlock bids to win his fourth world title in the pommel horse, while Harry Hepworth will compete in the rings and floor finals.

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Simone Biles in action on October 6, 2023
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