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Shilese Jones sets pace for U.S. gymnastics on road to 2024 Olympics

Shilese Jones. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Shilese Jones won silver in the all-around at world championships on Thursday, ushering in a new age of USA Gymnastics.

As she establishes herself as a contender for the Paris Olympics in 2024, Jones leads a team that won gold in the team all-around and officially qualified for the Paris games. Jones was set to begin her freshman season with the Florida Gators, but she decided to take another shot at the Olympics after her father died in December after a long battle with kidney disease.

That decision paid off.

“Speechless. I’m literally so speechless,” Jones told reporters. “I’ve been dreaming of this moment for so long so I’m just super proud now and so stoked.”

She scored 55.399 points to claim the silver medal behind Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, who took gold with a score of 56.899. Jessica Gadirova of Great Britain took third.

In the women’s vault, 2020 Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles took first and second, respectively. Their medals continued a theme of Americans taking the podium in England. Both Chiles and Carey will also compete in the final of the floor exercise.

Jones, meanwhile, also made the final of the uneven bars. Skye Blakely will represent the U.S. in the finals of the balance beam.