Daily guide to the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships
A day-by-day look at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium ...
Sat., Sept. 30: New-Look U.S. Men Debut
The American men are up on the first day of qualifying, and they are without injured two-time national all-around champion Brody Malone. The top three from August’s nationals were 19-year-old Asher Hong, 20-year-old Khoi Young and 19-year-old Fred Richard. Yul Moldauer is the lone man on the roster of five with Olympic experience (or a world medal). Qualifying into Tuesday’s eight-team final — and the Paris Olympics — should be no problem.
Sun., Oct. 1: U.S. Women vs. Themselves
Yet again, an anticipated competition in women’s qualifying should be the one within the U.S. team. A nation can qualify no more than two women into each individual final. Simone Biles, who is expected to debut her Yurchenko double pike vault internationally and get it named after her, should take one of the two U.S. all-around spots and could make all four apparatus finals.
Shilese Jones, last year’s world silver medalist, is the favorite for the other all-around spot, but she could be challenged by a third American to do the all-around in qualifying — Skye Blakely or Leanne Wong.
Mon, Oct. 2: Rebeca Andrade Begins Title Defense
The gymnast to watch on the last day of qualifying is Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, who last year became the first South American man or woman to win a world all-around title. See how her all-around score stacks up to Biles’ from Sunday, though those scores are wiped out for Friday’s final.
Tue., Oct. 3: Can U.S. Men Return To Podium? (1:30 p.m. ET, Peacock)
The American men last won an Olympic or world team medal in 2014, making this their longest podium drought since 1984 to 2001. While Japan and China are expected to go one-two, the bronze appears up for grabs.
Russian gymnasts won the Tokyo Olympic title, but they’ve been banned from international competition since shortly after the invasion of Ukraine. Great Britain was third last year, but appears vulnerable after being outscored by Italy and Turkey at April’s European Championships.
Wed., Oct. 4: U.S. Women Eye Record (1:30 p.m. ET, Peacock)
The American women should be heavily favored in the team final. The U.S. can become the first nation to win seven consecutive world team titles for either gender, breaking its current tie with the Chinese men (2003 through 2014). The U.S. women won last year’s title by a comfortable 3.201 points (to put that into perspective, a gymnast loses one point for a fall), and that was without Biles.
Brazil, which didn’t qualify a team for the Tokyo Olympics, has a shot to win its first team medal.
Thu., Oct. 5: Japan’s New King (1:30 p.m. ET, Peacock)
Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto, the reigning Olympic and world all-around champion, competes in the absence of Chinese rival Zhang Boheng, who is at the Asian Games instead.
Two years ago, Hashimoto became the first teenage man to win the Olympic all-around. Last year, he became the youngest man to pair a world all-around title with the Olympic gold. This year, he can become the first man to repeat as world all-around champion since countryman Kohei Uchimura won six in a row from 2009 through 2015.
Fri., Oct. 6: Simone Biles’ All-Around (1:30 p.m. ET, Peacock)
In August, Biles competed for the first time in two years and posted the world’s top three all-around scores in this Olympic cycle, according to the Gymternet. That sets her up to go for a sixth world all-around title to match Uchimura’s record. At 26, she can become the oldest woman to win an Olympic or world all-around title since 1962.
Sat., Oct. 7: Biles Takes Flight (8 a.m. ET, Peacock)
The first of two days of apparatus finals includes women’s vault and uneven bars. Biles is favored to win her third world title in the former and match China’s Cheng Fei for the most women’s vault world titles. Jones is the lone returning medalist on uneven bars and can become the first American to win that title since Madison Kocian was part of a four-way tie for gold in 2015.
The men’s highlight could be a pommel horse duel between two-time Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock of Great Britain and reigning world champion Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland.
Sun., Oct. 8: No. 30 For Biles? (8 a.m. ET, Peacock)
Biles will start the meet with a record 25 career world medals. If all goes to plan, she’ll be at 28 going into the last day of the meet (possibly 29 if she wins a bars medal). Biles could be in both the balance beam and floor exercise finals, giving her a shot to reach 30 career medals. Note second place on the career list is Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo, who won 23.
The U.S. could be represented in each of the eight-man finals: vault (Hong may be the best hope), parallel bars (Moldauer) and high bar (Richard).