Jade Carey entered the world championships as a new face in elite gymnastics and will leave as a medalist. The 17-year-old from Phoenix won the women’s vault silver medal in Saturday’s event final in Montreal.
She’ll have another opportunity for a medal in the floor exercise finals on Sunday.
Carey moved up to the elite level this season after previously competing on the junior circuit. She quickly established herself as a star on vault and floor exercise, winning the U.S. vault title in August.
A veteran of just three meets on the senior elite circuit, Carey has gotten off to a good start in her fourth. She finished the world championship qualifying round in second place in the vault with a score of 14.849, just behind Russia’s Maria Paseka with a score of 14.933.
In Saturday’s final, Carey took two big steps forward on her landing as her momentum carried her forward coming out of a huge Amanar on her first vault. She then nearly stuck her Kasamatsu full, taking just one small step backward, on her second vault and finished with a score of 14.766 to move into second place. Paseka took the gold medal with a score of 14.85.
Carey’s silver is the second medal for the U.S. women, after teammate Morgan Hurd won a surprise all-around title on Friday night when she jumped up from sixth place in the qualifying round.
Yul Moldauer won the U.S. men’s first medal of the competition just before Carey on Saturday, when he took third place in the floor exercise.
The world championships continue with men’s pommel horse and still rings, and women’s uneven bars on Saturday. Americans Alex Naddour (horse) and Ashton Locklear (uneven bars) are set to compete in those events.
Men’s vault, parallel bars and high bar finals are on Sunday, along with women’s balance beam and floor exercise. No U.S. men are in Sunday’s finals, but Hurd is in the balance beam and Carey in the floor exercise finals.
Ragan Smith, who was expected to compete for the all-around and other individual event titles, also qualified for the floor final but pulled out prior to Friday night’s competition due to injury. X-rays confirmed she had injured her right ankle ligament.