The world’s two best gymnasts last year, Simone Biles and Kyla Ross, will lead the U.S. at the World Championships in Nanning, China, from Oct. 5-12.
Biles, Ross and four women who have never competed at an Olympics or Worlds are charged with winning a third straight global gold, something no nation has done since the Romanian dynasty of the late 1990s. The Americans, then led by Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, won the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics.
There was no team event at the 2013 World Championships. This U.S. squad is far different from the Fierce Five of the London Games. For one, there are six gymnasts on a World Championships roster.
In Nanning, the U.S.’ biggest competition should be Russia, which won silver at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics.
The Russian team pillar is Aliya Mustafina, who led the nation to team gold at the 2010 Worlds, tore an ACL in 2011, won Olympic all-around bronze in 2012 and World all-around bronze in 2013.
Viktoria Komova, the 2011 World and 2012 Olympic all-around silver medalist, could miss a second straight World Championships. She wasn’t on Russia’s nominative team and has dealt with injury since the London Games.
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