DOHA: Chinese teenage gymnast Liu Tingting was the surprise winner in the beam competition at the world gymnastics championships in Doha on Saturday, pushing Simone Biles into the bronze medal position.
Tingting, 18, was the clear winner of an error-strewn competition, with Canada’s Ana Padurariu, 16, in second and, veritable veteran 21-year-old Biles, in third.
However, Biles’ bronze, her fifth medal of the week following three golds and a silver, means she is still in position to match two long-held records.
If she takes a medal in the last competition — the individual floor exercise — she will become the first gymnast since the Soviet Yelena Shushunova in 1987 to win a medal in every single event at a world championships.
It would also mean she ties Svetlana Khorkina’s all-time high of 20 world championships medals.
Tingting, the last gymnast to go on the beam, scored 14.533 finishing clear of Padurariu on 14.100.
A nervy-looking Biles was first to compete and set a mark of 13.600 despite some uncharacteristic wobbles.
In the first event of the day, North Korea’s Ri Se-gwang took gold in the men’s vault.
In contrast to the women’s beam where teenagers took the main prizes, Ri, 33, won despite being the oldest competitor in the competition.
The other main star of the week in Doha, Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan, took silver to claim his fourth medal of the competition.
Kenzo Shirai of Japan took bronze.–AFP