Americans primed to carry domination into Olympics

Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:39pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

GLASGOW (Reuters) - There are still more than nine months to go before the start of the Rio Games but it seems no amount of blood, sweat and tears shed by their rivals in training will be enough to topple the U.S. women's gymnastics team from the top of the Olympic podium.

Last beaten in 2010, the American women have since won three world titles and the 2012 Olympic gold.

Anyone in the chasing pack hoping to catch a glimpse of weakness in a team that features twice all-around world champion Simone Biles and Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas and Alexandra Raisman was left sorely disappointed on Tuesday.

While the Americans were the only competitors not to suffer a mishap on any of the four apparatus, their rivals slipped up.

China's Wang Yan fell off the balance beam, Britain's Ellie Downie ended up on her hands and knees after losing her grip from the asymmetric bars, while Russia's three gymnasts suffered crash landings on the balance beam.

Amid the chaos and commotion at Glasgow's Hydro Arena, the Americans were a picture of single-minded focus as they stuck one landing after another.

“The girls did their jobs. We went out there and had fun with it. It comes from all the practices we’ve done. We’re so prepared for this," said Biles as she collected her seventh gold medal in her third world championships.

"We came into it mentally stronger. We were like, ‘OK, we’re actually really prepared for this, maybe even over-prepared, so let’s go and have some fun.’ I think that’s what we all did."   Continued...

The U.S. team celebrates after winning gold in the women's team final at the World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro arena in Glasgow, Scotland, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble