By James Reid
USA created history by storming to an unprecedented sixth consecutive women’s team gold medal at the World Artistic Gymnastic Championships in Liverpool.
The American quintet were imperious throughout all four rotations, banishing beam-based demons from qualifying to lead from start to finish.
They were pushed all the way by Great Britain, roared on by the vociferous home crowd, but edged ahead on each apparatus to eventually clinch gold by over three marks.
The absence of Simone Biles and Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee had posed the question of whether this more inexperienced team could continue America’s dynasty in the team event but they were answered in some style by Jordan Chiles, Leanne Wong, Jade Carey, Shilese Jones, and Skye Blakely.
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) November 1, 2022
“It honestly feels amazing,” said Chiles.
“It’s been a very long journey. Even getting to this point, this is my fourth time trying to even get to a world championships and coming back with a gold medal is definitely an ambition.
“I’m really excited and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.”
If anyone typified the USA’s victory it was Chiles, who left qualifying in tears after a fall on beam, dashing hopes of a tilt at the all-around title, but bounced back like a true champion.
Chiles produced a huge 14.400 on vault before holding her nerve on beam – the apparatus that had proven her downfall at both the Olympics and worlds - to score 13.333 and put USA in control of the contest, after Blakely’s fall had temporarily looked to put Great Britain back in with a chance of gold.
And the 21-year-old finished off the night with another thrilling floor routine with gold all but sewn up, lapping up the applause that was only bettered by that given to the home favourites.
“I feel like during qualifications I got into my head what happened at qualifications in the Olympics, and that kind of brought me down,” she added.
“Then I realised I’m more than that.
“In the practices between qualifications and now I told myself ‘just do your thing, just do Jordan, because you’re more than what happened’.
“I stayed confident and trusted my gut, and everybody trusted me.”
The team is event is defined by it being about more than one person and Chiles was not the only star as Carey and Jones in particular once more stood out with big performances when it mattered across vault, bar, beam, and floor.
Carey produced a superb 14.800 on vault before extinguishing any doubts around USA’s romp to gold with a 14.100 on floor, the apparatus in which she won Olympic gold last summer.
Gold in Liverpool also secures the USA a quota place for Paris 2024 and Jones believes there is still more to come from this exciting young team.
She said: “We’re all capable of doing big things and more.
“This is the beginning of everybody’s comeback career. Just wait and see.
“I’m super proud and I know we’ll be able to hit something big in 2024.”
The World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 will be one of the largest international sporting events ever to be held in the city. Over 500 gymnasts from more than 70 countries will compete at the M&S Bank Arena from 29 October to 6 November 2022. Tickets are available at www.2022worldgymnastics.com/tickets