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Sloan beats Bross to World gold

WORLD ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 13-18 October Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, the red button and BBC Sport website (UK only)

Bridget Sloan

Highlights - Sloan edges all-around gold

By Ollie Williams
BBC Sport at the O2 Arena, London

United States star Bridget Sloan won the all-around title at the World Gymnastics Championships as team-mate Rebecca Bross cracked under pressure.

Bross finished on 57.775 points to Sloan's 57.825, thanks to an error in her last move of the competition.

Britain's Becky Downie disappointed, falling on the uneven bars and on the balance beam to end the final 16th.

Nottingham gymnast Downie, 17, had been expected to beat her 12th-place finish at last year's Olympic Games.

Fellow Briton Rebecca Wing performed well, but the relative lack of difficulty in her routines ensured she finished down in 18th.

"I did the best I could but didn't quite pull it off," Downie told BBC Sport.

"There are plenty of opportunities still to come. It's all part of the learning process.

"I was happy with the floor and vault, and even with the fall, my bars routine was better. I just happened to fall off twice in the beam."

606: DEBATE

The women's all-around final rewards consistency from gymnasts across four events - the floor, balance beam, vault and uneven bars.

Downie had been tipped to produce Britain's best finish at a women's all-around final since Beth Tweddle came fourth at the World Championships in Melbourne four years ago.

But her fall on the uneven bars cost her valuable points, dropping her score on the apparatus to 13.600.

She earlier hit all her tumbles in the floor routine to start in fine form, then got a good contact in a solid vault performance.

Falling on the bars removed any chance of a top-six finish, and she lost her way in her final event, the beam, falling twice more.

Wing began nervously on the floor but raised her game on the other sets of apparatus, though her scores reflected the ease of her routines compared to some of the stars on show.

"I woke up yesterday with a bad cold and I was suffering today - I've been through a whole box of tissues," she said.

"But I came out here and the crowd were so supportive.

"I enjoyed every minute - I just need to improve my difficulty."

Becky Downie

Downie falls twice on beam

Bross and Romania's Ana Porgras, both just 16, had dominated in qualifying, but Porgras showed she is not yet the finished article as she struggled under the spotlight of the final.

Porgras fell off the beam in front of a crowd far larger than that which saw Daniel Keatings win silver for Britain on Thursday, and her weak score in the vault ensured she placed outside the medals in seventh.

Bross, who excelled on the bars and beam, looked odds-on to take gold as she began her floor routine, with Sloan having already completed all four sets of apparatus.

But she misjudged the landing on her very last tumble, handing the gold to 17-year-old Sloan.

Sloan herself conquered the beam after a disappointing display in qualifying, and produced the best floor routine of the night, scoring 14.200 with a stunning finish.

Japan's Koko Tsurumi, who led the final in its early stages, took the bronze medal after superb displays on the bars and beam.

Australia's Lauren Mitchell finished fourth, with French gymnast Youna Dufournet fifth and China's Yang Yilin sixth.

There are still two strong chances for British gymnasts to earn medals at the World Championships, the first to be held in the UK since the 1993 event in Birmingham.

Louis Smith competes in the pommel horse final on Saturday, and Tweddle, who missed out on the uneven bars final, could yet be crowned world champion in the floor event on Sunday.

Tweddle, 24, no longer competes in the all-around, hence her absence from Friday's final.

Becky Downie

Downie and Wing perform in World final



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see also
Keatings secures historic silver
15 Oct 09 |  Gymnastics
Shock fall for Tweddle at Worlds
14 Oct 09 |  Gymnastics
Impressive Smith through to final
13 Oct 09 |  Gymnastics
World Gymnastics gets under way
13 Oct 09 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics on the BBC
05 Oct 11 |  Gymnastics
Get involved in gymnastics
23 Sep 10 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics results
23 Aug 05 |  Gymnastics


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