October 16 - American Bridget Sloan (pictured) edged compatriot Rebecca Bross to the gold medal in dramatic style in the women's all-around final at the Artistic World Gymnastics Championships at the O2 in London today.

Bross, 16, needed just a clean routine in her fourth and final discipline, the floor, to overhaul Sloan and claim gold, but she stumbled in the last part of her set.

That cost her the title by the narrowest of margins, 0.050 points.

Japan's Koko Tsurumi, who led after two rotations, took bronze and Lauren Mitchell, of Australia, was fourth just 0.025 points further behind.

With Shawn Johnson having won all-around gold in Stuttgart in 2007, it meant America held on to the title, but how Michigan-born Bross will rue that late slip.

Sloan, 17 and the favourite heading into the final, adds the world title to her US Championship crown.

It was always likely to be a close-run thing between a host of up-and-coming talents, and that was how it turned out.

Tsurumi, who came 17th in the all-around final at the Beijing Olympics when competing in her first major international tournament, was ahead after both the first and second rotations.

The 17-year-old, who weighs just 33kg, had made the most of her two favourite apparatus, the uneven bars and the beam, to build a narrow 0.225 points lead over Sloan, with Bross just behind in third.

But she did not attempt the most difficult floor routine and, although exceptionally crafted, it saw her slip down the rankings after the third rotation.

The American juggernaut of Sloan and Bross had by then taken charge, both excelling on the beam to make them the lead 1-2, although the latter's exhibition was more fluent and gave her a cushion of 1.275 points over her compatriot going into the medal-deciding floor exercise.

Sloan threw down the gauntlet with a sublime routine, twisting and flipping her way to a score of 14.200.


It meant Bross needed more than 12.925 to take the gold.

Bross progressed well right until her final set, when she stumbled on landing.


That cost her the title as she managed only 12.875.

Ana Porgras, the 15-year-old Romanian prodigy who qualified in second place, saw her tilt for the title end on the third rotation when she fell off the beam.

She was consoled by her coach, Nicolae Forminte, but she finished seventh overall and clearly has a bright future ahead of her.