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U.S. gymnasts Jade Carey, Brody Malone cap worlds with gold medals

U.S. gymnast Jade Carey (right) celebrates winning the gold medal with silver medalist Jordan Chiles at the gymnastics world championships. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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American gymnasts Jade Carey and Brody Malone capped their world championships with gold medals in the apparatus finals, highlighting the U.S. squad’s strong run through the last two days of competition. In addition to the golds from Carey on vault and Malone on high bar, the U.S. team won four other medals this weekend during the final stage of the event in Liverpool, England.

Shilese Jones, the silver medalist at nationals this summer, had a standout showing in her world championships debut. She won a silver in the all-around and another silver on bars to go with her gold in the team competition. In the bars final Saturday, she delivered an excellent routine to score a 14.766, behind only China’s Wei Xiaoyuan and ahead of Olympic gold medalist Nina Derwael of Belgium. Consistency had been an issue for Jones in the past, but her clean performances in Liverpool affirmed her status as one of the country’s top gymnasts.

Jordan Chiles and Carey each added two individual medals to their team gold, with Carey taking the gold on vault and Chiles winning the silver. Carey had been projected to win an Olympic medal on this apparatus last summer, but she slipped on the runway in the final and had to bail out of her difficult vault.

At the world championships, all-around champion Rebeca Andrade of Brazil would have been the gold medal favorite on vault, but she didn’t advance to the final after a fluke, similar to Carey’s trouble in Tokyo, in the qualifying round. Carey and Andrade on Sunday tied for the bronze on floor, with Britain’s Jessica Gadirova winning gold.

Chiles, a Tokyo Olympian, had a strong performance in the team final as the only American to contribute on all four apparatuses. She then won silver medals on vault and floor.

Skye Blakely, a 17-year-old, has a difficult beam routine and fell in the final, finishing fifth with a 13.300. Without the one-point deduction for the fall, Blakely would have had the top score ahead of gold medalist Hazuki Watanabe of Japan.

Malone earned the only medal for the American men with his gold on high bar, the first for the United States on the apparatus since Kurt Thomas in 1979. Malone’s score of 14.800 edged Japanese star Daiki Hashimoto (14.700), the Olympic all-around and high bar champion.

Malone, the 2021 world bronze medalist on high bar, is the two-time defending U.S. all-around champion and will lead this team for years to come. The 22-year-old finished fourth in the all-around in Liverpool, narrowly missing a spot on the podium.

Behind Malone, 18-year-old Asher Hong had a strong debut at his first worlds, placing sixth in the all-around. It was the first time two American men have finished in the top 10 at world championships since 2003.

The U.S. men had a disappointing showing in the team final, finishing fifth despite medal hopes entering the competition. With Russia banned because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the Americans had a better chance than usual to win a medal, but they had a handful of major mistakes in the final.

The other U.S. men in the apparatus finals did not medal. Stephen Nedoroscik, the pommel horse world champion in 2021, placed fifth on that apparatus, and Donnell Whittenburg finished eighth on rings.