(Reuters) - American Morgan Hurd seized the all-around title at the gymnastics world championships in Montreal on Friday.
The 16-year-old grabbed the United States’ seventh straight Olympic or world all-around title by edging out Canada’s Elsabeth Black 55.232 to 55.132.
U.S. champion Ragan Smith withdrew minutes before the competition with an ankle injury. Smith, a favourite to take the gold after finishing second in qualifications, was taken for X-Rays and her absence cleared the way for Hurd.
Injuries have plagued the competition with Romania’s Larisa Iordache, a two-time world all-around medallist, tearing her Achilles tendon during the warmups and Kohei Uchimura pulling out of the men’s qualifications due to a torn ankle ligament.
Russia’s Elena Eremina took third with a total of 54.799. Japan’s Mai Murakami was fourth, followed by Melanie de Jesus dos Santos of France.
Hurd’s triumph makes her the youngest Olympic or world all-around champion since Aliya Mustafina in 2010.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford