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Kansas City gymnast Leanne Wong takes silver at World Championships in Japan

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Leanne Wong, the 2021 Blue Springs High School graduate who’s now competing for the University of Florida, took home a silver medal in the women’s all-around at the recent FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Wong finished second to Angelina Melnikova of Russia, the 2020 Olympic all-around bronze medalist, on Sunday. Wong was an alternate for the U.S. team at the Summer Games in Tokyo.

With defending champion Simone Biles and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Sunisa Lee of the United States not taking part, the stage was set for a new generation of gymnasts to emerge.

Wong’s runner-up finish at worlds was followed by teammate Kayla DiCello, who earned the bronze.

Wong was a traveling alternative to the U.S. team at the Tokyo Games but was forced to spend most of her time at the Olympics in quarantine after her roommate and fellow Kansas City-area competitor, Kara Eaker, tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’m really happy with this experience since last time (in Tokyo) I didn’t even really get to work out,” Wong said. “I think we did a really good job for the next generation and setting the stage.”

The gymnastics world championships were the first major international sports event to be held in Japan since the Olympics. Unlike at the Tokyo Games, spectators were permitted at the Kitakyushu General Gymnasium.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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