Simone Biles and the United States women’s gymnastics team earned their fourth straight world title on Tuesday and secured a spot in the Toyko Olympic Games in 2020 in the process.
With a commanding score of 171.629, Team USA was able to take home the gold medal at the world gymnastics championships in Doha, Qatar, with an 8.766 point lead over second place Russia. The United States has won every Olympic and world team title since 2011, and this is their largest lead at a major competition in that time, the team announced following their victory. China, who earned a 162.396, came in third.
This year, the team is made up of Biles, Morgan Hurd, Grace McCallum, Ragan Smith, Riley McCusker and Kara Eaker. Biles — who was battling a kidney stone during the competition — helped the team dominate by coming in first in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise programs.
Aly Raisman, the former gymnast who spoke out about abuse from Team USA doctor Larry Nassar earlier this year, tweeted about the team’s convincing performance.
“CONGRATS!!!!!! ??? ?,” Raisman wrote on Tuesday morning. “USA women’s gymnastics team continues to dominate ?”
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Team USA’s massive win comes amid a time of upheaval for the organization. On October 16, the interim president of USA Gymnastics, Mary Bono, stepped down after she came under fire for a tweet she posted in September that showed her blacking out a white Nike logo on her shoes, which was an apparent attempt to show her disdain for the company’s choice to use former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
Biles played a major role in Bono’s departure by calling attention to the tweet over social media.
“Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything,” Biles wrote on October 13, in a tweet that was liked more than 35,000 times.
Bono had replaced former president and CEO Kerry Perry after she resigned in September as a result of the backlash to the news that Nassar was accused of assaulting more than 150 women and girls, including gymnasts Biles, Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas.
While the United States has already taken home gold, there are many programs left at the world championships — leaving the team with little time to relax before the competition comes to a close this weekend.
Both Biles and Hurd are going for the all-around title on Thursday and the uneven bars title on Friday, Team USA says. Biles will also compete for her first vault world title on Friday, a floor exercise medal and a balance beam medal on Saturday.
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