STUTTGART, Germany, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- US gymnast Simone Biles scored 58.999 points to clinch her fifth world all-around title and her 16th overall Artistic Gymnastics World Championships gold medal at the 2019 tournament in Stuttgart on Thursday.
Gold medalist Simone Biles of the United States (C), silver medalist Tang Xijing of China (L) and bronze medalist Angelina Melnikova of Russia stand on the podium for the women's all-around final at the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
The 22-year-old underlined her status as the favorite for next year's Olympic gold medal, but while Biles's title seemed inevitable, China's 16-year-old Tang Xijing sprung the day's biggest surprise by finishing second with a score of 56.899.
Russia's Angelina Melnikova took third with 56.399 points.
Simone Biles of the United States competes on the balance beam during the women's all-round final of the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
Despite going out of bounds on both her triple-double and double-double skills, Biles managed to win by 2.100 points, breaking the women's record for the largest margin of victory at a world championship.
Tang made the most of her opportunity at her first appearance at a significant international competition, becoming China's first all-around medalist since Jiang Yuyuan finished second in 2010.
Tang's achievement was all the more remarkable as she had not originally been slated to compete in the all-around, but was drafted in to replace teammate Liu Tingting, who fell on two routines in Tuesday's team final.
"I didn't even watch the results myself, so it was really surprising," Tang told Xinhua.
"I did not think about the previous moves, even if they were incorrect. This silver medal means that I'm getting one step closer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
Tang Xijing of China competes on the floor exercise during the women's all-around final of the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
Tang added that she was determined to make up for a weaker performance in the qualifying round and team final. "I tried to avoid the same mistakes," she noted.
"When I was on the court to compete, I only thought about the next move. Nothing else was in my mind."
Tang reserved special praise for her coach and teammate Liu Tingting. "She was always along the court cheering for me today. That helped me a lot and made me feel relaxed and confident."