Following Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles Another Rising Gymnast Faces a Rude Shock at World Artistic Gymnastics Championships Selection Camp

Published 09/20/2023, 9:02 PM EDT

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The U.S. World Trials have proven to be a grueling test for all gymnasts. Despite having a great season across various championships, even top gymnasts like Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles are facing the chills of a challenging competition. Amidst the many perplexing occurrences, another rising American gymnast faced an unforeseeable shock on the second day of the selection camp, despite running a clean opening-day performance. 

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A 17-year-old gymnastics sensation competing at the senior level recently filled everyone with awe at the Pan American Championships and continued her run at Texas. But much like the others, things came crashing down for the athlete after a dangerously expensive slip-up at the qualifiers.

Another one bites the dust after Simone Biles

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Simone Biles emerged as the top gymnast on the first day of the US World Selection Camp. The four-time Olympic gold medalist, however, also suffered two falls. In fact, notable gymnasts Jordan Chiles and Skye Blakely also took falls at the grueling selection camp despite having nearly flawless seasons. Similarly, 17-year-old gymnast Nola Matthews also ended up taking a fall on the second day during her vault routine. 

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While Matthews ranked at number six in floor exercise, she struggled to get much done in the vault category on Day 1. As a result, she received the 16th position in the category. However, Day 2 proved to be even more sinking for Matthews after she suffered a big wobble and a fall, per a live report by The Gymternet

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The fall came right after her back handspring mount during the flight series. Matthews tried to make up with a Triple Wolf Turn and aerials but received a score of 11.950 (5.1, 6.850). This was way lower than her day 1 score of 13.200. The final team list was declared moments after Day 2 of the qualifiers concluded, and sadly, Matthews could not make it this time. But hope still lingers for the young gymnast, as she has a long way to go. 

Nola Matthews fails to make it to Worlds or Pan American championships

Despite all the hard work of Nola Matthews, she failed to make it to the senior world team this year. In fact, the Airborne Gymnastics Training Center pupil couldn’t make it to the Pan American Games either. This comes as a major setback for the 17-year-old, as she secured two gold medals at the Pan Am in 2022. While she earned one of the gold medals alongside her teammates, she clinched the other one in the uneven bars category. 

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Nola Matthews utilized her prowess on the uneven bars in this year’s selection camp as well. Matthews tied for the fifth rank on uneven bars, even surpassing Simone Biles who bagged the 13th position. Her inability to make it to the Pan Am team highlights her need to improve more. The USA is a powerhouse in gymnastics, and a gymnast has to be the absolute best to go forward.

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Jordan Chiles learned a similar lesson, as she was the gymnast who got replaced when Simone Biles made her return. Things would get even tougher when Suni Lee would make a comeback next year. While Chiles will go on to prepare for the Pan Am Games, Matthews will work harder to reach there as well. 

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Written by:

Ankit Singh

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Ankit Singh is a pro writer for US Sports at Essentially Sports. This surfing enthusiast has kept his watchful eye on all things Kelly Slater. With his prior experience as a senior writer for popular blogs in the country, Ankit brings his attention to detail to the nuances of every turn, snap, 360, and alley-oop on the surfboard.
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Edited by:

Tiyasa Biswas

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