Alexa Moreno, Mexico’s first world medalist in women’s artistic gymnastics
A total of 19 countries broke or tied records at world championships in Doha this year.
Some of the most exciting moments in competition for me are when athletes are able to push the boundaries for their teams and help move their countries even further along in their international gymnastics journeys.
Some gymnasts, like Alexa Moreno of Mexico, earned their country’s first ever world championships medals in women’s artistic gymnastics, while others, like Simone Biles of the United States, became legends by beating their own records and continually pushing the bar higher and higher.
Here’s a list of every country with history-making performances in Doha.
4th all-around (Nina Derwael)
1st uneven bars (Nina Derwael)
4th balance beam (Nina Derwael)
Nina Derwael beat some of her own records here in Doha, records she set in 2017 when she placed 8th in the all-around final and won the bronze medal on bars. Additionally, she became the first Belgian woman to make the balance beam final at world championships, where she placed an impressive fourth.
2nd vault (Shallon Olsen)
2nd balance beam (Ana Padurariu)
This was an incredible year for the Canadian program, which is looking strong enough to potentially take down some top teams in the near future. In 2015, the women tied their best team final finish by finishing sixth, a record originally set in 1989. This year, Canada topped that by jumping up two spots in the rankings to finish fourth.
Individually, Shallon Olsen became the first Canadian woman to win a medal on vault, topping Ellie Black‘s fourth-place finish set in 2017, and first-year senior Ana Padurariu set the record for the country on beam with her silver medal. Prior to her effort, the only beam medal to come for the Canadians was Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs’ bronze in 2006.
136th all-around (Raegan Rutty)
Raegan Rutty’s solid all-around performance this year catapulted a huge 114 spots up from the country’s previous record, which was 250th place, set by Morgan Lloyd in 2015.
1st balance beam (Liu Tingting)
Today, China picked up its sixth beam gold in history, with Liu Tingting the first to win the title in seven years. Sui Lu last topped the worlds podium for the country in 2011, and the first Chinese gymnast two win gold on beam was Mo Huilan in 1995.
This is the first year the Costa Rican women registered a full team at world championships.
The Egyptian women on the 2014 team finished a respectable 36th place, but this year, the ladies jumped up considerably to finish 25th, just missing out on a full team spot for the 2019 World Championships, though they will serve as the first reserves if a qualified team has to withdraw.
126th all-around (Anna Subbotina)
In 2015, Nato Dzidziguri set the record for Georgia at the country’s second year participating at worlds when she finished 174th. This year, Anna Subbotina is taking over, bringing the country up by nearly 50 spots.
3rd uneven bars (Elisabeth Seitz)
In the years following the unification of East and West Germany with the end of the Cold War, three gymnasts managed to finish fifth on bars, including Marie-Sophie Hindermann in 2007, Sophie Scheder in 2013, and Elisabeth Seitz last year. In Doha, Seitz broke the fifth-place curse with a bronze medal to earn her country’s top result on the event in modern history.
Note that because Germany was split into East and West Germany for the world championships held from 1962 through 1989, the records for Germany only include 1954 through 1958 and 1991 to present. Both East Germany and West Germany existed as separate countries from Germany itself, and their records cannot be broken, as neither country exists any longer.
57th all-around (Rifda Irfanaluthfi)
After setting the record for Indonesia in 2015 when she finished 126th in the all-around, Rifda Irfanaluthfi went home and began training bigger and better routines. This year, she returned with a fantastic competition in Doha to break her own record when she finished 57th in qualifications last week.
This is the first year the Jamaican women registered a full team at world championships.
2nd all-around (Mai Murakami)
Last year, Mai Murakami broke records for her country when she became the first Japanese woman to win a gold medal on floor. This year, she set the bar even higher when she became the first Japanese woman to win a silver medal in the all-around, besting the bronze medal record set by Keiko Ikeda in 1966, which Koko Tsurumi tied in 2009.
113th all-around (Ruba Al Daoud)
This was Jordan’s second appearance at a world championships, following Yasmeen Khair’s 152nd-place finish in 2003. With her 113th-place finish in Doha, Ruba Al Daoud moves the country further up the rankings.
This is the first year the Malaysian women registered a full team at world championships.
3rd vault (Alexa Moreno)
Alexa Moreno made history in Doha when she became the first Mexican woman to win a world championships medal with her bronze on vault. Prior to Moreno, the country’s best finish on the event was Denisse Lopez in sixth place back in 1999.
121st all-around (Aleksandra Rajcic)
In 2015, Aleksandra Rajcic set the record for Serbia’s top finish when she placed 127th all-around. This year, she moved up six spots in the rankings to break her own record.
5th vault (Yeo Seo-jeong)
Yeo Seo-jeong‘s fifth-place finish on vault in Doha is not only the country’s best vault ranking, but also the highest ranking any South Korean gymnast has reached on any event in history!
The Syrian gymnast, Areej Al Khayat, competed only one vault in Doha and therefore doesn’t fit into any standings, but in doing so, she made history as the first gymnast from her country to compete on the world stage. This was a monumental step for Syria and for Middle Eastern gymnastics as a whole and we’re thrilled to welcome her and her country to the international community.
This is the first year the Turkish women registered a full team at world championships.
1st all-around (Simone Biles)
1st vault (Simone Biles)
1st floor exercise (Simone Biles)
The U.S. has already placed first on every event multiple times, so it’s all about continuing the tradition for them. This year was the sixth team gold medal for the U.S. women after they first won it in 2003. Additionally, Simone Biles earned her fourth all-around and floor gold medals here in Doha, and she became the fourth U.S. woman to win a gold medal on vault, her first title on this event at worlds. All six medals Biles picked up in Doha make her the most decorated athlete in women’s artistic gymnastics world championships history.
79th all-around (Tienna Nguyen)
With her 79th-place finish in qualifications this year, Tienna Nguyen bumps Phan Thi Ha Thanh‘s 80th-place record (set in 2009) by just one spot to become Vietnam’s top all-arounder in history.