(AP) US women takes double in vault; Shirai wins floor
By RAF CASERT
AP Sports Writer
The United States won a second gold-silver double in as many days at the gymnastics world championships on Saturday, with defending champion McKayla Maroney beating all-around champion Simone Biles in the vault.
Earlier, 17-year-old Kenzo Shirai of Japan twisted his way to the floor gold medal, becoming the first athlete to perform a quadruple twist at a major event final.
The U.S. women kept up their dominance as Maroney performed two daring vaults with poise and elegance to edge Biles in the final. Maroney received 15.724 points, with Biles finishing at 15.595. Hong Un-jong of North Korea took bronze with 15.483.
On Friday night, Biles edged teammate Kyla Ross for a 1-2 finish in the all-around competition. Biles has two more chances at gold in the final of the floor and balance beam on Sunday.
Shirai’s routine included some two dozen twists, and he kept the groundbreaking quadruple for last. After he nailed it, the teenager broke into a broad smile and pumped his fist in jubilation, knowing it was enough to move past leader Jacob Dalton of the United States.
All-around champion Kohei Uchimura took bronze, but was all smiles and applause after watching teammate Shirai come up with gold.
Shirai scored 16 points with an extremely high degree of difficulty, with Dalton second at 15.6. Uchimura had 15.5.
Ross had to settle for silver again when she was beaten by Huang Huidan of China on the uneven bars. Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia took bronze.
Japan’s Kohei Kameyama won the pommel horse. In the rings, Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti of Brazil added the world title to his Olympic gold, edging Russian Aleksandr Balandin and American Brandon Wynn.
In the provisional medal table ahead of Sunday’s final five events, Japan has three gold and five medals overall, while the United States has two gold among seven medals.
The rest of the teams lag far behind, with Russia the only other with more than one medal. Mustafina led the effort with two bronzes and Balandin added silver.