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Derwael On Title Defense: ‘Hopefully It Will Be Enough For Gold’
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Belgium’s Nina Derwael said her fifth-place finish in Thursday’s all-around final has given her an extra jolt of fortitude as she prepares to defend her title on uneven bars at the World Championships in Stuttgart on Saturday.

“I always have a little pressure, but mainly the pressure I put on myself to do well,” said Derwael, who qualified first to the uneven bars final. “(The all-around final) gave me a lot of confidence for the final, and I hope that will help me do my best routine there.”

When told that five-time world all-around champion and fellow uneven bars finalist Simone Biles of the U.S. considers her unbeatable on the apparatus, Derwael quickly dismissed her own or any gymnast’s invincibility.

“In the final everyone starts from zero, and everyone needs to hit their routine,” she said. “(When) I do my exercise, we’ll see. Hopefully it will be enough for gold. I still need to do my routine.”

Derwael’s admiration for Biles, who finished second to her on uneven bars at the 2018 Worlds in Doha, is mutual.

“I look up to her incredibly,” said Derwael of Biles, who on Thursday earned her fifth world all-around title. “She’s such an amazing gymnast, how she goes out there every time and hits her routine. It’s just amazing to see how keeps getting better and better. Even when you think she’s already the best in the world, then she proves us wrong, that she can do more.”

Derwael said vying with Biles for the same titles in the all-around and on uneven bars is its own thrill and reward.

“It’s amazing to be able to compete with her and do finals with her,” Derwael said.

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