Gadirova gold crowns Britain's best-ever World Championships
Jessica Gadirova won a fairytale floor gold to crown Britain’s best-ever performance at the World Gymnastics Championships.
The 18-year-old nailed her sparkling new floor routine to take top spot and finish streets ahead of the field with a score of 14.200.
The hosts’ sixth medal of the week ensured they surpassed their record Worlds medal tally of five, earned the last time they hosted the event in Glasgow in 2015.
“When I’m focusing on the dance, it takes my mind off the crowd and the tumbles and the leaps,” she said.
“The routine just makes me feel alive and that’s what I am. I love to perform and that’s why floor is one of my favourite pieces to do. It gives me such an amazing feeling.
“We weren’t sure if everyone would love the routine so we really pushed for it and tried to make it as good as the previous ones. I’m so glad it paid off.
“I didn’t listen to anyone else’s score. I just did it with my heart and performed for Liverpool, myself and Jen.”
Twin sister Jennifer was the penultimate gymnast to compete in the floor final with Gadirova going last and raising the roof of the M&S Bank Arena.
She leapfrogged USA’s Jordan Chiles, who won silver, while bronze was shared between Rebeca Andrade and Jade Carey.
Gadirova pulled out of Saturday’s vault final as a ‘purely precautionary measure’ having felt pain in her foot after the all-around final.
Jennifer said: “She was really struggling in so much pain with that ankle but she pushed through and did a fantastic performance.
“I’m just so unbelievably proud of her after what she’s been through.”
Gadirova is Britain’s youngest ever gymnastics world champion and only the second British woman after three-time gold medallist Beth Tweddle to win a world title.
With Olympic quota places already in the bag, Gadirova insisted much more is to come.
“If I didn’t even win medals, I’d still be proud of myself and the team behind me,” she said.
“To achieve these medals, it shows that the training is working.
“It’s using that year, 2023, to build the upgrades as much as possible and for the team to build up their upgrades too so we can hopefully, one day, grab the gold.”