Athletes competing in women’s artistic gymnastics from 14 countries set, matched, or broke records for their nations at the world championships in Antwerp, Belgium, making history in the sport and inspiring future generations of athletes to follow in their footsteps.
View the complete list of world ranking records.
When French junior standout Kaylia Nemour changed her affiliation to Algeria, it was clear she was going to put this North African country on the map for the sport, which she did by winning the first worlds medal for both her country and for the entire African continent when she took silver in the uneven bars final.
She broke Farah Boufadene‘s previous 97th-place record on that event, and also broke all three of Boufadene’s other records from 2015, including finishing eighth all-around (an improvement from 70th place), 21st on beam (an improvement from 96th place), and 48th on floor (an improvement from 96th place).
Olivia Kelly made history as the first gymnast to represent Barbados at worlds last year, where she finished 78th all-around, and she narrowly beat her own record this year by finishing 75th. She also broke her record on bars by finishing 104th (an improvement from 134th place last year) and on beam by finishing 85th (an improvement from 93rd place).
Rebeca Andrade has been breaking individual program records all quad, and continued the trend here when she won the bronze on beam, the first beam medal in program history! Prior to this, the best for the team on this event was sixth place, which Andrade became the second to achieve in 2021 after Flavia Saraiva set that record in 2019. Andrade also won her second world vault title here, matching her record set in 2021.
In addition to her individual success, Andrade and the rest of the Brazilians became the country’s first team in history to win a team medal at worlds with their silver medal win, breaking their fourth-place record that they set in 2022.
With medals in the beam and team finals here, Brazil has now medaled in every possible final at worlds, joining an exclusive club that had previously included China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, the Soviet Union, Ukraine, and the United States!
Remember when Ellie Black said she wasn’t allowed anywhere near the uneven bars at the Olympic Games back in 2012? Well, a decade later she became the first Canadian gymnast to make the worlds final on this event, and she also set the program record by finishing eighth, breaking Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs 10th-place record from 2005.
First-year senior Qiu Qiyuan kept the bars gold in the family this year, winning China’s 11th title on this event to follow in the footsteps of Ma Yanhong in 1979, Fan Di in 1989, Luo Li in 1994, He Kexin in 2009, Huang Huidan in 2013, Yao Jinnan in 2014, Fan Yilin in 2015 and 2017, and Wei Xiaoyuan in 2021 and 2022.
Though she unfortunately had to withdraw from the final due to an injury, Jessica Gadirova became the first British gymnast to qualify to a beam final at worlds with her seventh-place finish in qualifications, breaking the 11th-place record set by Alice Kinsella in 2019 and matched by Becky Downie in 2021.
Lynnzee Brown is the first gymnast to represent Haiti on the world stage, setting the program’s all-around record with her 82nd-place finish.
Her performances here also established the program records on bars (125th place), beam (123rd place), and floor (98th place).
Rifda Irfanaluthfi broke her own 57th-place all-around record from 2018 by finishing 52nd here, locking down the very last available spot to qualify for the Olympic Games as a bonus!
The Mexican women tied the program’s team record here, finishing in 14th place to match their record set in 2014.
Though she didn’t even initially qualify to worlds as an all-arounder, Hillary Heron was able to get in through a loophole by qualifying on all four apparatuses individually, and she ended up making history by finishing 41st, breaking Isabella Amado‘s 86th-place record from 2014 to also qualify a spot at next year’s Olympic Games. Additionally, on floor she finished 29th to break teammate Karla Navas‘ 88th-place record from 2022.
Navas made some history of her own here, finishing 43rd in the all-around to break Amado’s all-around record alongside Heron, currently making her Panama’s second-best all-arounder in history. She also matched her own record on vault with a 16th-place finish for the second year In a row, and broke her own record on bars by finishing 53rd, an improvement from 105th in 2022.
Just like Algeria, the Philippines saw every single record broken with the nation change of former U.S. gymnast Aleah Finnegan, who finished 32nd all-around to break Jerra Cordova’s 79th-place record from 1997, 18th on vault to set the program record, 73rd on bars to break Cintamoni de la Cruz’s 99th-place record from 1997, 38th on beam to break Cordova’s 68th-place record from 1997, and 34th on floor to break Corinne Bunagan‘s 85th-place record from 2018.
After winning bronze at the Olympic Games to break that record for South Korea two years ago, Yeo Seojeong is now the first South Korean vault medalist at worlds after winning the bronze medal in Antwerp, breaking her own fifth-place record from 2018.
This is also South Korea’s first medal in WAG world championships history!
Milka Gehani broke her own 114th-place all-around record from 2019 by finishing 109th here, and she also saw an improvement on bars by finishing 150th, breaking her 156th-place record also from 2019.
Simone Biles returned for the first time this quad to match several of her and the United States’ first-place records. In the all-around competition, she won her sixth and the program’s 14th title; on beam, she won her fourth and the program’s ninth title; and on floor, she won her sixth and the program’s 10th title.
The U.S. also won its seventh-straight worlds gold medal here, and ninth team title overall, after previously winning in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2022. No other program in history has won seven straight team titles.
Article by Lauren Hopkins