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Simone Wins Second World All-Around Title, Gets Attacked By A Bee

For the second year in a row, Simone Biles of the USA was named the World All-Around Champion, she is the first woman to win back to back world titles since Svetlana Khorkina in 2002 and 2003. Simone is the first US woman since Shannon Miller in 1993 and 1994.

Following Simone was Larisa Iordache of Romania, who managed to snag herself her first medal of this world championships after the Romanians failed to medal in the team finals. Finishing off the podium was Simone's teammate, Kyla Ross who has been struggling with a hip injury this week. Sadly, Aliya Mustafina did not medal during the all-around final, after a fall on her first tumbling pass on the floor exercise.

Simone started off strong with her Amanar on vault which gives her a huge leg up on the competition scoring a 15.866. She kept it up the entire competition. From vault, she moved to the bars, not her best event, but she's certainly not weak. She struggled a little bit in qualification, but she had no problems here, 14.533. Simone went to beam and put up another solid routine with her super tumbling on the beam and her full in dismount scoring a 14.766. She sealed the deal for herself on floor, by that point, Simone was so far ahead she only needed a 14.600 to win. Really, unless she fell, she was going to win. She opened her floor routine with a double double tuck, then went into her namesake skill, the double layout half out and ended with a full twisting double back. She knew she had it in the bag and before one of her tumbling passes, she turned into the camera and gave a huge grin. She scored a 15.066 on her floor routine, finishing with an all-around total of 60.231, which was a 0.732 improvement over her qualifying score.

Larisa Iordache decided she was going for broke and go for broke she did. Her vault was a pretty standard double twisting Yurchenko, which was pretty clean, no weird ugly legs and it was nice and high, and scored a nice 15.066. Bars is not her best event, but it was clean, she had a leg separation on her Pak Salto and some minor form breaks, but it was pretty good still. But really, the Romanian girls aren't known for their extraordinary bar ability. They mainly get the job done. Larisa does just that, get's the job done and moves on to the next event. Beam are Larisa's magnum opus, she pulls out all the stops. She pulled out her back hand spring tucked full for her first series and her back handspring two foot layout. Once again, she didn't add in her laid out full, which would give her start value a good bump. But it's not something she does consistently, so it's understandable that she didn't put that in her routine. Floor is no different, she opens with a double double and then does a full in for her next pass. She finished with the best triple twist I've seen her do. Interestingly enough, Larisa's start value on floor was two tenths higher than Simone's was. Per the final results, Larisa has a 6.5 start value to Simone's 6.3. She went out of bounds on her full in, so she lost a tenth in execution due to that neutral deduction. She scored her first medal of this world championships with a 59.765

Kyla Ross clawed her way onto that medal podium by sheer will, or she just lucked out. She's known for being super consistent and her consistency is what won her that bronze medal. Since she injured her hip and has been dealing with a multitude of other minor injuries all year, her routines were really watered down. It's most noticeable on bars. Where she had a Komova half transition, she's using a the toe on Shaposhnikova (Maloney) instead. It's a really small difference, but we're talking 0.20 in lost start value as those are rated "E" transitions for 0.5 versus it's toe on cousin which is a "D" skill only rated 0.40, not to mention the lost connection bonus she loses. What she loses in start value, she makes up for in execution. That's how she rolls. She got that medal by staying on when everyone else had issues. So in the end, her bronze medal was won with a total of  58.232.

Then there is my poor Queen Aliya Mustafina, sitting in fourth.  Her first two events vault and bars.  Vault, she does a double twisting Yurchenko, gets a 15.100. She does it as clean as she can, some twisting form with one bent leg and crossed ankles. (I really don't want her to ever do an Amanar again, because her DTY is scary enough) Her bars are of course, amazing. She finishes all of her elements in handstand perfectly, she floats from one bar to the other, gets great height on her piked Jaeger and lands a stuck full in. It's a difficult routine, but it's not as difficult as she is capable of, but it is in no means watered down. I wish she'd just gone all out  like she did last year.  She still got a hefty 15.041.Beam, she had some issues, a wobble here and there, and just not as sure of herself and she looked tired. She scored a 14.341. On floor, right off the bat, she sits down her double Arabian which just frickin' killed her medal chances. The rest of the routine when smoothly, but she just looked pissed and rightly so. Aliya's all-around total was a 57.915.

Behind Aliya was China's Yao Jinnan. Last year's worlds, she fell on beam, this year, she fell on floor.   On her last tumbling pass, a double back, she bounced out and tried to disguise it with a cartwheel out. Clever girl. She didn't seem too upset afterwards. She just kind of smiled and shrugged and walked off the podium. Ehh, what can you do? She was doing very well despite this snafu. She removed the Mo Salto from her routine (thank goodness) which makes me hold my breath everytime she does it.

Aliya's teammate, Alla Sosnitskaya placed seventh just ahead of Venezuela's Jessica Lopez. Alla did a great job and she had some very solid performances.  She has her cute little "Pretty Woman"/Grease floor music, nice tumbling, maybe not super difficult, but there is room to improve and grow.  I do like her on beam. She has a round off to two foot layout, an aerial walkover to Sissone, and an unusual illusion turn.  She's got a lot of talent and a lot of promise and it would be nice to see the Russian federation cultivate and develop her talent instead of relying so heavily on Aliya and the other veterans.

Vanessa Ferrari, who was a world champion in 2006 and is still competing at 23. She's looking pretty fierce and she looks better than she did last year. She's incredible on floor, she's doing super tumbling passes, a double double tuck, and a full in to a back tuck. On beam, Vanessa doesn't have super difficulty, but she's got some unique skills, including her planche mount.

It was amazing to see Jessica Lopez in the top 8 and it's awesome that at 28 years old, she's still competing, not only that, she's competing with people half her age. The live feed did't show any of her routines, whatever.

Some final notes-

The bee attack during the medal ceremony, pretty entertaining.  Not entertaining for the girls, but, it broke up  the monotony of the ceremony,

The top four all around finishers wore hot pink. This hot pink trend started by the USA has now spread to Romania and Russia.

The leo the ladies of team USA wore looks very similar to Sleeping Beauty's dress that her fairy godmothers can't decide whether it should be blue or pink.


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