Simone Biles leads U.S. women to seventh consecutive team title at gymnastics world championships


 (Reuters) - Simone Biles led the U.S. women's team to a seventh straight title at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Biles marshalled her team to another golden victory in a dramatic final that closed with a superb floor routine giving her a 15.166 score for an overall 167.729.

"Before going up on the floor, I was like, 'What do I need? What do I need?' And usually, you don't feel that pressure, so I think the pressure was a little bit on but we stood up to the occasion," said Biles.

The American, who has returned to international competition after a two-year hiatus from the sport to protect her mental health, won the first of her five world all-around titles at the age of 16 a decade ago in Antwerp.

With a total of 33 world and Olympic medals, Biles equaled the record of Vitaly Scherbo, who competed for the Soviet Union, the Unified Team, and Belarus.

"It wasn't our perfect meet today, we had a teammate go down (Joscelyn Roberson), and we had some mistakes here and there, (but we) just kept going, kept pushing, keep relying on our training because it was not our best day and that was a little bit close watching those standings," Biles added.

Brazil took second place with 165.530, led by 24-year-old Rebeca Andrade, to become the first South American country to win an Olympic or world team medal.

The French team took bronze with 164.064 following excellent routines on the balance beam and vault, highlighted by the performance of Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, who trains at the gym owned by Biles's family in Texas.

Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; editing by Clare Fallon and Toby Davis

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