With the Tokyo Olympics all set to begin, the anticipation is growing. The title of the coveted women’s all-around champion will once again be back up for grabs at the Tokyo Olympics, after the legendary Simone Biles won it at the Rio Olympics.
The all-around event requires women to compete on all four apparatus- the vault, the uneven bars, the balance beam, and the floor exercise. This requirement makes the all-around title all the harder to get since it requires skill in every area of gymnastics. With fresh and upcoming talent this year, let us take a look at 5 women who have a shot at winning the title of the best gymnast.
5 women who can win the all-around gymnastics title at Tokyo Olympics
5. Giulia Steingruber – Switzerland
Giulia Steingruber is a Swiss artistic gymanst, and probably the most experienced Olympic athlete in this list. She competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won a bronze medal on vault. Steingruber started her senior career back in 2011 and since then she has been delivering consistently.
She is the first Swiss female gymnast to win the European all-around title and is also the first Swiss female gymnast to win an Olympic medal. In the all-around final of the 2016 Olympic Games, Steingruber finished 10th place with a score of 57.565. She was the sole representative in women’s gymnastics and also the highest finish by a Swiss gymnast in a non-boycotted Olympic games.
After dealing with an injury, she came back strong in the 2019 Swiss championships, winning the all-around title. At the World Championships, Steingruber qualified to the all-around final which meant she qualified as an individual to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Steingruber’s experience and her consistent performance makes her one of the women to watch out for.
4. Ellie Black – Canada
Ellie Black is also one of the most experienced gymnasts to enter the fight for the all around title. The Canadian gymnast represented her country at the 2012 London Olympics as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Although she had a disappointing performance in the Rio Olympics qualifier, Ellie Black gave her best performance in the all-around finals, finishing in an impressive fifth place with a score of 58.298, just less than four-tenths behind the bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina. This became the highest place finish for a Canadian female gymnast at the Olympics.
Black won the 2017 all-around world championships, making her the first Canadian gymnast to do so. She is also the 2018 Commonwealth Games all-around champion and a two time Pan American Games all-around champion in 2015 and 2019. She is regarded as the best Canadian female gymnast of all time, and is definitely looking to bag a medal in the all-around category this year.
3. Tang Xijing – China
China has a history of producing exceptional gymnasts, and Tang Xijing is no exception. The Chinese gymnast is just 18 years old, but she is already shocking the world with her excellent skills.
Tang Xijing is the all-around silver medallist at the 2019 World Championships. She also matched Jiang Yuyuan from the 2010 World Championships for the highest all-around finish for a Chinese woman in World or Olympic history. She also placed fourth at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and fourth in the 2021 Chinese National Championships. The young athlete has burst onto the gymnastics scene, and is looking hopeful to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
2. Angelina Melnikova – Russia
Angelina Melnikova is a Russian artistic gymnast, who was a part of the Russian team which won silver at the Rio Olympics. From being the baby of the team in 2016, she will now be leading the Russian team in the Tokyo Olympics, taking over after Aliya Mustafina recently retired.
She was a part of the silver medal winning Russian team at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships. On an individual level, she also won the all-around bronze medal at the 2019 World Championship as well as a bronze in the individual floor exercise.
She won the all-around title in the 2019 Minsk European Games, and has now set her eyes on winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
1. Simone Biles – USA
The most likely to win the all-around title is Simone Biles. Simone Biles is America’s most decorated gymnast and the world’s third most decorated gymnast, with a total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. At the Rio Olympics, Biles won gold in the individual all-around event, vault and floor, as well as a bronze in the balance beam.
She also won the team gold as a part of the US team at the Rio Olympics. She is a five time all-around world champion(2013–2015, 2018–19), five-time World floor exercise champion (2013–2015, 2018–19), three-time World balance beam champion (2014–15, 2019), two-time World vault champion (2018–19), a seven-time United States national all-around champion (2013–2016, 2018–19, 2021), and a member of the gold medal-winning American teams at the 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Additionally, she is a three-time World silver medallist (2013 and 2014 on vault, 2018 on uneven bars) and a three-time World bronze medallist (2015 on vault, 2013 and 2018 on balance beam).
She is undisputedly the best gymnast in the world currently, and is the favourite to win the all-around gold as well as medals in every other event at the Tokyo Olympics this year.