Rebeca Andrade of Brazil claimed her second World vaulting gold on Saturday, October 7, at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. In a hotly contested event, she narrowly outperformed American gymnastics sensation Simone Biles, who faced difficulty during her first vault.
Rebeca Andrade’s Major Titles:
Andrade, a 24-year-old Brazilian gymnast and the reigning Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion in the vault exhibited her extraordinary skills by scoring an average score of 14.750 to claim the gold medal. Biles, a highly decorated athlete with 28 World Championships medals and a total of 35 major career medals got a score of 14.549, claiming the silver medal.
Andrade’s remarkable performance transpired as the final contender of the tournament. She executed her first vault, a Cheng (which involves a round-off into the board, a front handspring, and a front layout one-and-a-half twist off), nearly flawlessly, receiving a phenomenal score of 15.000. Needing to reach a score of 14.098 to claim the gold, she followed up with a double-twisting Yurchenko, achieving a remarkable 14.500.
As the anticipation mounted, Andrade and Biles sat side by side, engaged in conversation. When the final scores were announced on the Sportpaleis’ immense scoreboards, Andrade and Biles clasped hands in a display of sportsmanship. Andrade then celebrated her victory by racing to her coach, Francisco Porath, who joyfully raised a Brazilian flag.
I am really delighted about this for Brazil, it’s another gold medal, Andrade said with Olympics.com after her victory. I don’t know if I expected it in my head. Of course, we always try to win, but the primary goal is to do my part.
Yeo Seo-jeong, the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, scored her first World Championships medal in the vault, earning the bronze with a score of 14.416. This feat also marked a notable milestone for the Republic of Korea, since it was their first medal on the vault at a World Championships event.
Simone Biles, a trailblazing gymnast known for her daring routines, opened the final as the first contender with her ambitious Yurchenko double pike vault. Despite fighting with overwhelming strength during her landing, causing her to crash on her back, she still managed to obtain a score of 14.433. Her second vault, a Cheng with a considerable hop, gave her a score of 14.666.
In the end, Rebeca Andrade’s remarkable performance and consistency gained her the gold medal, highlighting her status as a world-class gymnast and adding another coveted title to her long list of achievements.