Led by Olympic and NCAA stars Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey, as well as breakout star Shilese Jones, the U.S. women's gymnastics team won their sixth straight world team title on Tuesday.
The squad has now won every world championship gold medal since 2010 -- or, in other words, since current team member Skye Blakely was five years old.
After earning the top score during Saturday's qualifying rounds -- and more than 2 1/2 points ahead of second-place Great Britain -- the Americans were the clear favorites entering the final. The team more than lived up to the billing, starting the meet with the best event score of the day (by any team and on any apparatus) with a 43.133 score on vault.
While several teams seemed to struggle with nerves -- including costly falls in the opening routines for contenders China and Italy -- the U.S. appeared to have no such issue and held over a two-point lead at the halfway mark.
In fact, Chiles, who fell twice on beam during qualifying, showed her incredible resilience with a strong, lead-building routine on that very event. And she celebrated accordingly.
Ultimately, the Americans finished with a combined final score of 166.564 -- more than three points ahead of home team Great Britain. The second-place result marked the best-ever finish for the British team, who looked thrilled with the end result.
While there was little drama for the gold and silver medals, the battle for bronze was chock full of it. Japan held the position entering the final rotation, but a devastatingly error-riddled routine on bars by Kokoro Fukasawa opened the door for Canada. Moments later, three-time Olympian Ellie Black anchored the Canadians on beam and sealed the first-ever team medal for her country at worlds.
Her reaction immediately after her dismount, and all of her happy tears soon after, truly said it all.
With their podium finishes, the U.S., Great Britain and Canada all automatically qualify as a team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Russia, the 2020 Olympic champion, was banned from the world competition due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The American women will look to continue their medal-winning ways later this week, starting with Jones and Carey in Thursday's all-around competition. And before that, the U.S. men will compete in Wednesday's team final and attempt to secure their first world medal in the competition since 2014.