Gymnastics: Simone Biles leads US women to win second straight world team title

Simone Biles of the US celebrates with team mates after the US team won the women's team final at the Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, in China's southern Guangxi province on October 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Simone Biles of the US celebrates with team mates after the US team won the women's team final at the Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, in China's southern Guangxi province on October 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NANNING, China (AFP) - Simone Biles led the United States to win a second straight women's team title at the world gymnastics championships on Wednesday as she geared up for her defence of the individual all-around title.

The 2012 Olympic champions collected 179.280 points through four apparatus events with hosts China second at 172.587 and Russia third at 171.462.

Romania finished fourth at 170.963 as a near capacity crowd roared on the home team at the 4,000-seat Guangxi Gymnasium in Nanning, the day after China grabbed a record sixth straight men's world team title.

The 17-year-old Biles competed in three of the four events, topping the table on vault and floor exercise, while her team dominated all but balance beam.

Biles said her team of six teenagers aged 16 and 17 had never thought of getting anything less than gold.

"We just think of going out there and having fun and hitting all our routines," she said, "because we don't really watch the other competition."

The last world team competition was held in 2011 but it was not staged in the 2012 Olympic year and last year in accordance with the International Gymnastics Federation's calendar.

Kyla Ross, a holdover from the London Olympics gold medal winning team, who will turn 18 this month, also contributed to what was a fourth US world women's team crown overall.

Biles, the US national champion, said the team gold "means the world" when compared with individual titles she won at last year's worlds where she also picked the floor title.

"I'm so proud of all the girls out here who competed in our team."

Biles will defend her all-around crown on Friday as the championships move into individual contests on Thursday.

She said she told her novice teammates in her pep talk: "Just to go out there and have fun and do what we do in practice. Just have fun and embrace the moment."

China, the 2006 world champions, were paired with the United States in a rotational group due to their top two places in qualifying.

Led by Yao Jinnan, the 2011 world all-around bronze medallist, they bounced back from third spot in their opening event, vault, but trailed in second spot behind the US women for the rest of the competition with a gap of more than three points.

The gap widened to nearly seven points after Biles collected a table-topping 15.375 points on floor with four soaring tumbling passes as the night's last performer.

Yao, Chen Siyi and Tan Jiaxin failed to land clean on vault and Yao fell from the uneven bars in the second rotation.

China bested the others on balance beam but their score was limited in the final event as Chen touched the floor after her third spirited tumbling pass.

"I was not really satisfied with my performance today," said 19-year-old Yao.

"The audience were so enthusiastic, that made me a little nervous," she said of her fall from the uneven bars.

"I could not control my body through the air, and I just could not hold my motion." On Thursday, Japan's London Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura goes for a record-stretching fifth men's all-around title.