By Raf Casert
The Associated Press
ANTWERP, Belgium — Kenzo Shirai of Japan twisted his way to the floor gold medal, becoming the first athlete to perform a quadruple twist at a major event final. He passed former University of Oklahoma Gymnast Jacob Dalton, who settled for silver.
The United States won a second gold-silver double in as many days at the gymnastics world championships on Saturday, with defending champion McKayla Maroney beating all-around champion Simone Biles in the vault.
The U.S. women kept up their dominance as Maroney performed two daring vaults with poise and elegance to edge Biles in the final. Maroney received 15.724 points, with Biles finishing at 15.595. Hong Un-jong of North Korea took bronze with 15.483.
“Team USA is doing great,” Maroney said.
On Friday night, Biles edged teammate Kyla Ross for a 1-2 finish in the all-around competition. Biles has two more chances at gold in the final of the floor and balance beam today. Shirai’s routine included some two dozen twists, and he kept the groundbreaking quadruple for last. After he nailed it, the teenager broke into a broad smile and pumped his fist in jubilation, knowing it was enough to move past leader Dalton.
“I didn’t know how many twists I counted, but I was sure about the title,” Shirai said through a translator.