ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — Sixteen-year-old Simone Biles made everyone forget the United States came to the world championships without the defending and Olympic champions, beating teammate Kyla Ross in a nail-biting finish to win the all-around gold medal on Friday.
Biles and Ross were neck-and-neck throughout the evening, with Ross matching Biles' athleticism and power with grace and elegance, leaving it to the concluding floor exercise to separate the two.
Biles jumped, twisted and strutted at will, and it turned into a victory dance in front of the many thousands clapping to her music in the Sports Palace.
Aliya Mustafina of Russia, the 2010 champion, took bronze. Defending champion Jordyn Wieber and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas skipped the event.
Biles also qualified for all four apparatus weekend finals.