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In Her World Championship Debut, Morgan Hurd Steps Up To Win Gymnastics All-Around Title

By Karen Price | Oct. 06, 2017, 9:31 p.m. (ET)

Morgan Hurd competes in the floor exercise at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at Olympic Stadium on Oct. 4, 2017 in Montreal.


The streak continues.

Morgan Hurd, a surprise pick for the U.S. world gymnastics team after a sixth-place finish in the all-around at nationals, is the new women’s all-around world champion. With the win, a U.S. woman has won every Olympic or world all-around title since 2011.

The 16-year-old from Middletown, Delaware, is in her first year competing as a senior gymnast and made her world championships debut on Wednesday night in qualifying at the competition in Montreal.

Going into Friday night’s all-around final, most expected fellow American Ragan Smith to be the top contender for the all-around title. But when Smith injured her ankle during the vault warm-up and withdrew from the competition, Hurd stepped up.

Hurd, competing in her trademark glasses, scored 14.533 on the vault to open the competition to start in fourth place, and after two rotations she was tied for first with Ellie Black of Canada. With scores of 14.300 on uneven bars and 12.666 on balance beam, Hurd had a total of 41.499 going into the final rotation and stood in second place behind Black.

She needed a solid performance on her difficult floor routine, and despite just stepping out of bounds on her third tumbling pass Hurd was otherwise was strong. She scored 13.733 for a total of 55.232 to move into first place.

Then all she could do was wait. 

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Black needed a 13.534 to pass Hurd but scored 13.433. Then it was down to only Japan’s Mai Murakami, who finished first in the all-around qualifying, remaining. Murakami needed a 14.767 to take away the top spot and got a 14.233 to give Hurd her first career world championship medal and title.

Smith, who won her first national all-around gymnastics title and was preparing to compete for her first world all-around title on Friday, rolled her ankle injury during the vault warm-ups and was taken for x-rays.

Smith finished second in the all-around qualifying on Wednesday night with a score of 55.932, just one thousandth of a point behind leader Murakami. Smith also qualified for the floor exercise final on Sunday along with teammate Jade Carey, but there was no immediate news of whether or not she will be able to compete. 

Carey will also compete in the vault and Ashton Locklear will compete on uneven bars on Saturday. Hurd will compete on balance beam on Sunday.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.