Shilese Jones Plays It Safe After Multiple Injuries and Career Halt Before World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 2023

Published 10/08/2023, 12:15 PM EDT

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As the world witnessed some nail-biting performances by the men, the women’s team also boasted some greats like Shilese Jones. Competing alongside Simone Biles, standing on the famous “Black girl magic” podium, the 21-year-old gymnast clinched the all-around bronze. But not only did the star live up to her own expectations, she won millions of hearts as well. Returning to the global mat after approximately 10 months, Jones prioritized safety this time.

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The 2022 World silver medalist dealt with an injured ankle and a torn labrum in her shoulder. Adding to the persisting physical pain, she even lost her father early this year. Despite her struggles, her bronze medal win with a total of 56.332 was nothing less than magical. However, after her shaky balance beam display, she mindfully kept one of her routines in control this time.

Shilese Jones: Safety first

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Gymnastics Now took to their ‘X’ handle to post a bit-by-bit detail of Jones’ safe exhibit. The post reads, “Shilese Jones (USA) FX: Tucked double-double, small stutter step back. Double L-turn to turn and kind of comes out of it. Punch front full through to double back, small hop on the landing but no issues today–stunning. Tucked full-twisting double back, small hop. Just a beautiful routine from Shi! 13.666.”

Minutes Before Making History, Simone Biles Faces Major Upset at World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 2023

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Boasting cool-headedness ahead of all her routines, Jones always keeps her best foot forward. However, she kick-started her night on the balance beam in a little wobbly manner.

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Shilese’s faulty beam

Shi Jones, who won the bronze medal in the all-round competition, even confessed that the balance beam was her favourite event. She said, “My highlights, probably beam. Beam has been a little up and down when I go to compete; I just get a little bit nervous. But in training and stuff, it’s been going so well. So just channeling my emotions and being able to hit it like I do at practice.” As her misfortune had it, she landed short on the double pike and fell during the Apparatus Day 2 finals. As a result, an execution score of 7.333 and a difficulty score of 5.600, gave her a combined total of 12.933. Sadly, the scores put her in seventh place overall. Despite her shaky display, team USA still stood atop the podium with the top score.

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Watch this story:  As Simone Biles and Michael Phelps’ Work Towards Mental Health, Another Rising Gymnast Breaks Silence on Self-Care in Sports

For Shilese to overcome her difficulties and emerging as a rising star was hard, but not impossible. Hence, the 2022 World silver medalist had achieved the impossible this time.

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Written by:

Agnijeeta Majumder

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Agnijeeta Majumder is a US Sports author at Essentially Sports. Being a staunch content writer and a passionate sports enthusiast, Agnijeeta combined her love for writing and penchant for all things sports to delve into the world of the US Sports arena. Agnijeeta takes inspiration from American Track and Field star Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and brings her attention to detail to all the avenues of the Athletics realm.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh

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