Sloan on top of the world

American Bridget Sloan was crowned all-round world champion at the World Gymnastics Championships in London on Friday.

Sloan edged out her American team-mate Rebecca Bross at the O2 Arena to claim gold after a tense finish to the competition.

Heading into the final rotation, the battle for gold looked an all-American with Bross ahead of Sloan.

But Bross’ chances were blown on the very final move of her competition – the 16-year-old making a mess of a tumble on the floor to finish with an apparatus score of just 12.875.

That left Sloan to take gold with a total from the four diciplines – beam, uneven bars, floor and vault – of 57.825.

Bross took silver with 57.775, while the bronze went to Japan’s Koko Tsurumi.

Romanian Ana Porgras, the second best qualifier and only 15, blew her chance with a fall from the beam.

There was disappointment for home hope Becky Downie who missed out on a place in the top 10 after falls on both the bars and the beam.

A tearful Downie, 12th in last year’s Olympics, went off the beam twice and finished down in 16th with a score of 53.775.

Great Britain’s other final qualifier, Rebecca Wing, like Downie just 17, was 18th with 53.400.

Downie said afterward she hoped she had got all her mistakes out of the way prior to the London 2012 Olympics.

“It just wasn’t meant to be tonight. I did the best that I could, I didn’t quite pull it off,” she said.

“It’s better to lose some now and get them in a couple of years’ time, rather than get them all now and when it matters at 2012, not get them. So it’s all part of the learning process.”

The beam had been her downfall in qualifying and so it proved again, although she did manage to land her dismount this time.

“I was happy with the floor and vault, it was an improvement from Wednesday,” she said.

“(On the) bars, even with the fall, the rest of the routine was better so there are positives out of it.

“And I landed my dismount on the beam which is better than Wednesday – apart from I fell off twice, but we won’t mention that.”

Referring to Bross’ error on the floor, Downie added: “At least it’s not just me who has made mistakes, many people have done it.

“It was a really good atmosphere, it’s great to have so many people out there supporting us all. The crowd have been 100 per cent supportive so I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Meanwhile, Wing, from Farnborough, was happy after her first international all-around final.

The 17-year-old had been struggling with a cold and she had a below-par display in her first exercise on the floor but recovered well.

“I actually came down yesterday with a really bad cold and my warm up today wasn’t very good, I was suffering quite a lot. I’ve been through a whole box of tissues.

“But I came out here and the crowd were just so supportive and it really helped me get through my floor routine.

“The beam was pretty scary. I was the last competitor of the whole competition so there was a bit of pressure, but I just had to focus and block it all out. I had a wobble but apart from that I was really pleased.”

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