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    Nina Derwael, world champion on the uneven bars

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Belgium’s Nina Derwael on Friday became world champion on the uneven bars at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha. Derwael scored 15,200 points, ahead of American Simone Biles (14.700) and Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz (14,600). She now enters the history books as the first female Belgian gymnast to win a world title.

    In Montreal last year, she had become the first Belgian woman to win a medal at a world gymnastics championship.

    Two-time European champion on the uneven bars and a bronze medalist at last year’s Montreal games, 18-year-old Nina Derwael entered Friday’s event with the best qualifying score, 15,066 points.

    In the absence of China’s Fan Yilin and Elena Eremina of Russia, gold and silver medallists in Montreal last year, Derwael was the favourite in Doha. She confirmed her status with a performance that earned her 15,200 points, more than her qualifying score and her 2017 bronze-medal tally.

    Overall competition leader and winner of the Vault, Simone Biles, had to make do with second place, ahead of Seitz.

    Fourth in the overall competition on Thursday, Derwael will compete on Saturday in the final of the balance beam, an event at which she won silver this summer in the Euro in Glasgow.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times