Lewisville gymnast Ragan Smith injures ankle, is forced to withdraw from World Championships; American Hurd wins gold

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Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 04: Ragan Smith of the U.S. looks towards the balance beam prior to her competition during the qualification round of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on October 4, 2017 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

MONTREAL — Morgan Hurd extended the United States’ domination in the individual all-around Friday night at the World Championships in Montreal, edging Canadian Ellie Black by one-tenth of a point, while Russia’s Elena Eremina took bronze.

Ragan Smith (Lewisville/Texas Dream Gymnastics) had to pull out of the competition just minutes before entering the arena at Olympic Stadium after injuring her right ankle in warmups.

Smith was coming into the competition as a favorite for gold after finishing second in qualifications with a 55.932.

Since 2007, all but one major individual all-around title has been taken by an American.

Hurd, 16, added her name to the list of champions produced by the United States, which includes Shawn Johnson, Anastasia Liukin, Bridget Sloan, Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas and Simone Biles.

Solid from beginning to end, Hurd clinched the title with her final routine on the floor to finish ahead of Black, with whom she was tied at the halfway point of the competition.

Having the World Championships at home suited Black.

The 22-year-old Nova Scotian was spurred on by an enthusiastic crowd. Before her, no Canadian gymnast, male or female, had ever won a world all-around medal. Leading the field heading into the final rotation, Black nearly captured the gold, but finished with a silver.

With 2010 world champion Aliya Mustafina returning from maternity leave, Russia has found a new star in Eremina.

Like Mustafina, the 16-year-old excels on uneven bars. Having pocketed bronze Friday, the young Russian will attempt to take gold in Saturday’s bars final.

A tenth of a point was the difference between Eremina and Japan’s Mai Murakami. who finished in fourth place.

Murakami led following the qualification round but saw her chances for gold evaporate after by a fall off the balance beam.

Competition continues Saturday with the first of two days of individual event finals.

Staff and wire reports

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