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Shilese Jones, Olympic medalists lead U.S. women’s team for gymnastics worlds

Shilese Jones

Shilese Jones and Tokyo Olympic medalists Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey headline the U.S. women’s gymnastics roster for the world championships that start next week.

Jones won the all-around at a selection camp to clinch her spot on the six-woman traveling team to worlds in Liverpool, England. She’s set to make her global championships debut, one year after placing 10th at the Olympic Trials and mulling quitting elite gymnastics.

“This has been my biggest dream for a long time now and my biggest goal since I came back,” Jones said after Friday’s all-around.

Chiles and Carey were second and third in Friday’s all-around in Katy, Texas. They were among four gymnasts chosen for the world team by a committee after the second and final day of selection camp competition Saturday night.

The team is rounded by Tokyo Olympic alternate and 2021 World all-around silver medalist Leanne Wong, plus Skye Blakely, set to compete at her first worlds. Lexi Zeiss is the traveling alternate.

Full selection camp results are here.

The U.S. won all seven Olympic and world women’s team titles between 2011 and 2019, then took silver behind a team of Russians at the Tokyo Olympics. Russian gymnasts are barred from these world championships due to the war in Ukraine.

The U.S. could still be tested in the team final, most likely by Brazil or China. The Americans lack Olympic all-around gold medalists Simone Biles and Suni Lee, who are on indefinite breaks from elite competition (Biles might not come back at all). Konnor McClain, who won the U.S. all-around title in August, is out due to a back injury.

That Chiles, Carey and Wong decided to continue elite careers while in college -- rare before the NIL era -- turned out to be a huge benefit to the U.S. team.

Jones, who led the all-around at the U.S. Championships before falling on her last skill of the meet, is a contender for the world all-around title.

An American won all ten Olympic and world all-around titles from 2011 through the Tokyo Games (with Biles accounting for six) before Russian Angelina Melnikova snapped the streak at last October’s worlds.

Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, who didn’t do the all-around at last year’s worlds after taking a close second to Lee in Tokyo, could be Jones’ biggest competition.

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