Biles helps U.S. blow away rivals for team gold

Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:42pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

GLASGOW (Reuters) - Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas showed that the United States will be the team to beat at the 2016 Rio Olympics as they blew away the opposition to land a third straight team title at the world championships on Tuesday.

While the Americans exchanged high fives after winning by a commanding margin of 5.174 points, fans at the Hydro Arena celebrated when a spectacular final vault by Ellie Downie ended Britain's century-long search for a team medal at the worlds.

It was a bronze behind China but for Britain's Ruby Harrold, sisters Ellie and Becky Downie, Amy Tinkler, Kelly Simm, and Claudia Fragapane the medals could not have glistened brighter.

Russia's misfortune on the balance beam allowed China to snatch silver with a total of 176.164.

The Americans let the host nation lap up the accolades because they knew for them it was already mission accomplished.

So majestic was their performance that the U.S. led by 0.899 of a point at the end of the first rotation, 2.458 after the second and by the time they compiled a total of 135.530 points in the third, their lead was 4.599 points.

Only the most unexpected of meltdowns on the floor exercise would have denied them gold but, with twice world all-around champion Biles leading the way with her sassy moves and electrifying tumbles, that was never remotely on the agenda.

The final rotation turned into a lap of honor for the Americans as they completed their victory charge with a total of 181.338.   Continued...

Aug 15, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Simone Biles competes in the on floor exercise during senior P&G gymnastics championships at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports