The United States women’s gymnastics team is off to a great start at this week’s FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, leading the team portion of the event after Sunday’s qualifying competitions.
A warmup for next year’s summer Olympics, the event begins with two days of qualifying rounds to determine who will advance to the finals later in the week.
The U.S. team, consisting of Shilese Jones, Skye Blakely, Leanne Wong, Joscelyn Roberson, and seven-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles, currently holds a 5.265 lead over Great Britain after the event’s first day.
Wednesday will see the top eight teams advance to the team final.
Biles also leads four of the five individual women’s competitions and is second behind teammate Jones in the uneven bars. Jones and Biles are among the top five in most competitions, and each country can only send a maximum of two gymnasts to an individual final.
Biles has 25 previous medals (19 gold) from the world championships, while Jones won three medals during last year’s championships (one gold and two silver).
“I feel more confident with my skills,” Jones told the media on Sunday. “Like everyone says, the older you get, the more responsible and better you get. I’m just paying more attention to details. Details will get you far and not just the big skills. It’s each and every turn. I’ve really been focusing on that from the last worlds to now, and I feel stronger. I am just happy that I am out here, confident again, so why not just give it all?”
Most individual competitions will send eight gymnasts to the finals later this week, while the all-around final will feature 24 gymnasts.
The all-around final will take place on Friday, while the rest of the individual finals will happen on Saturday and Sunday.
The U.S. men’s gymnastics team also competes in the men’s competition at the event and sits in second place behind Japan.