Hurd Wins Gold in Historic World Final
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

American Morgan Hurd captured the women's all-around title Friday at the world gymnastics championships in Montreal, winning the gold medal over Canadian Ellie Black and Russian Yelena Yeryomina.

American Morgan Hurd captured the women's all-around title Friday at the world gymnastics championships in Montreal, winning the gold medal over Canadian Ellie Black and Russian Yelena Yeryomina.

Hurd edged Black, 55.232-55.132, while Yeryomina nabbed bronze with 54.799, one-tenth ahead of top qualifier Mai Murakami of Japan.

Hurd, who was born in China and adopted as an infant by an American family, is the first full Asian female to ever win a world all-around title. (1979 world champion Nelli Kim of the Soviet Union is of part Korean descent.) Black also made history as the first Canadian gymnast, male or female, to win an all-around medal at a world championships or Olympic Games. Her silver is also the second world medal in history for the Canadian women, following Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs' bronze medal on beam in 2006.

The competition began with the shock withdrawal of U.S. champion Ragan Smith, who came to Montreal as one of the favorites to win the title. Smith, second in qualification, suffered an ankle injury on vault in warm-ups and left the arena on crutches. Smith was the third all-around favorite injured in Montreal: six-time defending champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan suffered a severely sprained ankle on vault Monday in qualification, and Romanian Larisa Iordache tore her Achilles' tendon during warm-up on floor exercise Wednesday in qualification.

Hurd, a first-year senior who turned 16 on July 18, continues the U.S. women's streak of all-around titles going back to 2011. She is also the youngest world champion since Russia's Aliya Mustafina, who took gold in 2010 three weeks after her 16th birthday. Coached by Slava Glazounov at First State Gymnastics in Delaware, Hurd finished only sixth at this year's U.S. championships in August, following elbow surgery this spring. The world championships are only her third international competition.

Hurd balances difficulty with execution and grace, and stayed consistent while others made mistakes. After high scores of 14.533 (vault) and 14.300 (uneven bars), Hurd fought to stay on beam despite several wobbles, and dismounted with the only full-twisting double back in the competition. Her score of 12.666 was still the fourth-best score of the night on balance beam, which is the harshest-scored event in Montreal. Hurd fell on floor in qualification, but she was on her game on Friday, clinching the gold medal on floor exercise with 13.733 for a beautiful routine, where she even points her toes on her tumbling (gorgeous double-double mount).

Black, a two-time Olympian, had the third-best scores on vault (14.600) and balance beam (12.866), and the fifth-best on uneven bars (14.233). Tied for first with Hurd after two events, Black led Hurd by .2 going into the final rotation on floor exercise. Needing 13.534 to beat Hurd, Black earned 13.433, coming up one-tenth short of taking the title but still making history for Canadian gymnastics. The Nova Scotian already owned the previous all-around records for a Canadian gymnast, with her fifth place at the 2016 Olympics and seventh at the 2015 World Championships.

Yeryomina, also a first-year senior, lost the title with a goof on uneven bars in the second rotation. Yeryomina, whose 15.100 on bars was the top score in qualification, broke after her Nabiyeva (toe-on layout Tkatchev)-Pak-Stalder combination, which she was supposed to connect into an immediate Shaposhnikova-half transition back to the high bar. She tucked her legs as she barely made the Stalder all-around before doing an extra kip-cast and improvising with a Van Leeuwen (toe-on, Shaposhnikova-half) back to the high bar. In addition to the break, she lost .2 in D score for the missed connection, resulting in 14.200. She recovered well on balance beam with the second-best score of the day (13.133), one of only two scores on beam above 13, and ended strong with 13.600 on floor exercise.

Murakami was tied with France's Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos at the halfway point of the competition, with her two best events to come. But Murakami fell off balance beam on her double turn in the third rotation for 12.000. The final competitor, she needed 14.767 to top Hurd, a tall order, and 14.334 to take third. Murakami was fantastic on floor and her 14.233 was the top score of the night on the event, but just not enough to take a medal.

De Jesus Dos Santos finished fifth (54.132), achieving her goal of a top-five finish in her first world championships. She also tied the world championships record for a French female gymnast in the all-around, matching the fifth place finishes of Youna Dufournet in 2009 and Émilie Le Pennec in 2005.

Japan's Aiko Sugihara was sixth (53.965) ahead of Giulia Steingruber (53.666), whose 14.700 on vault was the highest score of the day. European uneven bars champion Nina Derwael finished eighth (53.498) with the top mark on bars (14.966). German veteran Elisabeth Seitz was ninth (53.465) over teammate Tabea Alt (53.399), whose 13.300 on beam was the best of the day.

Smith, who was replaced in the all-around by first alternate Lee Eun Ju of Korea, was taken to the hospital for X-rays. If Smith is forced to withdraw from the floor exercise final on Sunday, Ellie Black, as first alternate, will take her place.

Following the competition, Japan's Kenzo Shirai and Canadian Brooklyn Moors were awarded the prestigious Longines Prize of Elegance.

The competition continues in Montreal on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. with the first day of apparatus finals, featuring men's floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings, and women's vault and uneven bars. Head to IG's Facebook page for live commentary from the Olympic Stadium!

Read complete coverage of the 2017 World Championships in the November issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe at the special world championships rate, click here.

2017 World Gymnastics Championships
October 6, Montreal, Canada

Women's All-Around
1.Morgan Hurd5.414.5335.814.3005.412.6665.513.73355.232
2.Ellie Black5.414.6005.914.2335.812.8665.013.43355.132
3.Yelena Yeryomina5.013.8666.114.2005.413.1335.213.60054.799
4.Mai Murakami5.414.6665.513.8005.612.0005.814.23354.699
5.Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos5.414.4665.414.0005.412.4335.313.23354.132
6.Aiko Sugihara5.014.0335.113.5335.412.5665.613.83353.965
7.Giulia Steingruber5.814.7005.212.9335.312.4005.513.63353.666
8.Nina Derwael4.613.5336.314.9664.711.6335.113.36653.498
9.Elisabeth Seitz4.613.7006.114.5664.812.4334.412.76653.465
10.Tabea Alt5.413.8665.513.6005.713.3004.812.63353.399
11.Rune Hermans4.613.3005.313.9005.212.0334.913.06652.299
12.Lara Mori4.613.4335.213.4665.312.2665.413.00052.165
13.Georgia Godwin4.813.2665.413.5005.512.3665.412.90052.032
14.Diana Varinska4.613.4336.014.5004.611.3665.012.70051.999
15.Brooklyn Moors5.412.9664.713.2005.312.2665.013.53351.965
16.Angelina Melnikova4.613.7335.713.7755.412.4335.411.40051.341
17.Amy Tinkler5.414.4005.211.0005.012.1665.613.33350.899
18.Filipa Martins4.613.1665.313.5335.312.2334.711.93350.865
19.Wang Yan5.614.2335.313.3665.410.2005.212.63350.432
20.Ana Pérez5.412.8335.713.7334.910.1005.012.60049.266
21.Marine Boyer4.613.7664.812.0665.510.5665.212.83349.231
22.Lee Eun Ju4.613.2335.013.2004.811.5004.511.26649.199
23.Ioana Crişan4.613.5664.710.7664.911.6005.013.03348.965
24.Thais Santos4.613.5335.111.0665.510.6005.513.56648.765

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