The 2013 World Gymnastics Championships is scheduled for September 30 through October 6 at Antwerp's Sports Palace in Belgium. This event will feature only individual events. The all-around competition is the headline event at this year's worlds. Below are U.S. TV schedule and predictions for 2013 World Gymnastics Championships.
U.S. TV Schedule
*Subject to change, errors
October 3 - Men's All-Around Final - Universal Sports (2 PM ET)
October 4 - Women's All-Around Final - Universal Sports (2 PM ET)
October 5 - Apparatus Finals - Universal Sports (8:30 AM ET)
October 6 - Apparatus Finals - Universal Sports (8:30 AM ET)
October 12 - NBC (2-4 PM ET)
October 13 - NBC (2-4 PM ET)
1. Kohei Uchimura will win a 4th consecutive world all-round title. After winning the gold medal at the London Olympics, some might have thought Uchimura will be less inspired in the post-Olympics. However, the Japanese star has yet to show any loss of motivation. He easily won the highly competitive NHK Cup in June and appeared to have added a new difficult element to his arsenal. With no team event on this year's schedule, Uchimura will be physically and mentally fresh to defend his world all-around title. The others will once again play for silver and bronze.
2. Aliya Mustafina will beat out Simone Biles and Kyla Ross for the women's all-around crown. With Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and 2011 world champion Jordyn Wieber not participating in this year's worlds, Russia's Aliya Mustafina is clearly the top favorite to win the all-around title. The Russian has been enjoying superb form, winning golds at the 2013 European Championships and Summer Universiade.
What makes Mustafina so formidable is that she has few weaknesses. She is capable of winning a medal in every apparatus event, if she chooses to. Yet, it would be a mistake to count out the American gymnasts, particularly Simone Biles and Kyla Ross. Biles is treading a similar path as that of Gabby Douglas, coming out from relative obscurity to win the 2013 national all-around title. With her wealth of experience, the veteran Ross should also contend. However, Mustafina is clearly the most talented gymnast in this field. It would be quite a big upset if she does not win the gold medal.
3. China will lead the medal table. In recent years, Chinese gymnasts have become more and more specialists. The Red Army hasn't had a strong contender for the all-around title since Yang Wei. The Chinese seem content with hauling medals in the individual apparatus and team events. Take the 2012 Olympics for example. China's team of specialists easily beat Japan's team of all-around gymnasts for the men's title. They also added 7 medals from the apparatus events to lead the medal table with 4 golds and 8 total medals. There are no team events in Antwerp, but I expect the Chinese to dominate the apparatus events.