Simone Biles of the United States earned her fifth medal – four golds, one silver – of the 2014 World Championships with her gold medal floor exercise on Sunday, easily defending her title by a half point.
The 17-year-old Biles now has nine World Championship medals in just two years of competition, including six golds, which broke Shannon Miller’s record of five. Miller is also the only other American gymnast to win two consecutive World Championship titles.
“That actually blows my mind,” Biles said. “It is just a great honor, and I am really happy.”
“It feels just amazing to win gold on beam and floor today,” she told the press. “It is an honor to get here representing the United States. I just wanted to show up today and hit all of my routines…that’s about it. And I wanted to have fun.”
Just two years into her senior career, Biles has a lot of gymnastics left in her, and hopes to make it to World Championships next year as well as the Olympic Games in 2016. When asked how many medals she wants to win in Rio, she responded “I don’t know. I just need to get there first.”
After missing the beam podium due to a fall on her back handspring tuck full series, Larissa Iordache of Romania was happy to win the silver medal after a very strong performance on floor, though says her feelings are somewhat conflicted.
“My experience was good, but also not good. It’s like in the middle. I made a few mistakes in the all-around, I lost the beam medal, but I got a silver on floor…so it’s like, not bad, but not good for me.”
She said she was slightly disappointed in only getting a silver medal, but it was definitely better than nothing. “After I lost on beam, it was so difficult for me to come back. It was fortunate that I came back well on floor, and I was happy to finally perform my routine without mistakes.”
In the future, she wants to improve enough to challenge Simone Biles. “I want to practice and practice so I can hit all of my elements and add difficulty. Time will tell if I am able to someday beat her. It’s hard to say what the future will bring. Next year is next year…we will see then. But I will try my best.”
Aliya Mustafina of Russia, who earned a bronze medal on floor to add to her beam bronze, immediately said “I am so happy it’s all over!” after finishing her final performance at World Championships in what was a very exhausting week for her.
When speaking about her surprises this week – missing the podium in the all-around but making it on beam and floor – she said, “I have learned the hard way not to expect anything from this competition. I just wanted to finish it off with a clean performance on floor. I had nothing to lose, so I thought I might as well bet the ranch…and it all worked out.”
Article by Lauren Hopkins