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Nina Derwael, Olympic uneven bars champion, to miss gymnastics worlds

Nina Derwael

DERWAEL Nina (BEL) UB during the Gymnastics Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - Apparatus Womens and Mens Finals on November 05, 2022 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, United Kingdom (Photo by Filippo Tomasi/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Olympic uneven bars gold medalist Nina Derwael will miss this fall’s world gymnastics championships in her home nation of Belgium after dislocating a shoulder.

“I’ve done everything I could but faith has decided something else,” was posted on her social media this past weekend. “Past Friday I dislocated my shoulder on bars, as a result I will have to experience this world championships in our own little country from the stands just as in 2013. It’s a childhood dream that falls apart and for right now it’s difficult to comprehend.”

Derwael, 23, is Belgium’s lone world artistic gymnastics champion and lone Olympic gymnastics gold medalist.

She won bars titles at worlds in 2018 and 2019, then took Tokyo Olympic gold with three tenths more difficulty than the rest of the field.

Derwael did not compete at the 2021 post-Olympic worlds (as did many top gymnasts), then took bronze on the apparatus last year behind repeat gold medalist Wei Xiaoyuan of China and American Shilese Jones.

Wei, 19, is not on China’s current roster for worlds in Antwerp with three weeks until qualifying at worlds begins.

Overall, China may not send its best gymnasts to worlds and instead prioritize the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, whose gymnastics competition ends Sept. 29, two days before women’s qualifying begins at worlds.