10/30/2018 7:07:49 AM (GMT+3)

USA women’s team favoured for fourth consecutive win

USA women’s team favoured for fourth consecutive win

DOHA: An inopportune kidney stone isn’t rattling Simone Biles, in performance or ambition, as her heavily favoured USA squad heads into the team final at the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at Aspire Dome on Tuesday.

“Team is number-one priority,” said three-time all-around champion Biles after she led the USA romp in qualifications, where it easily outscored second-ranked Russian Federation and third-ranked China to qualify first to the final.

“Going into World Championships, that is what we focused on the most, so we’re really putting our heart into that.”

Like team-mate Biles, defending all-around champion Morgan Hurd put the USA gymnasts’ collective success above all. The USA won gold in the team final at the previous three worlds.

“I think we have a pretty strong running,” said Hurd, who ranked second to Biles in all-around standings in qualifications. “I just want all of us to achieve our absolute personal best.”

Having watched the USA’s routines in qualifications, Russian Federation gymnast Irina Alexeeva said her team has its own realistic priority.

“They’re amazing,” said Alexeeva of the USA gymnasts. “As long as they hit, they’re amazing, so we’re just trying to do our best.”