Who are the stars to watch at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha

You can follow the performances of Simone Biles, Kohei Uchimura and Xiao Ruoteng live on Olympic Channel.

The first medals of the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships in Doha, Qatar, will be awarded on Monday.

Here are some of the stars to keep an eye on as the competition unfolds, plus how to watch the action.

Simone Biles, United States

What Biles does in Doha will likely define the women’s competition at the World Championships.

She won gold with her Final Five team-mates in Rio as well as in the all-around, vault, and floor competitions.

Biles took Olympic bronze in the balance beam, an event she has been world champion in twice.

And there is the uneven bars where the 21-year-old is seeking her first major medal having won her first US title in August.

After taking a break from competition in 2017, Biles has already shown that her best will be more than good enough to dominate at these championships.

During qualifying, she threw her new vault – a round off on to the board, half turn on to the vault followed by a front flip with two twists.

Simone Biles practises her new vault in Doha

Simone Biles practises her new vault in Doha

Now, it will be called ‘The Biles,’ her second eponymous skill.

Then, once the medal rounds begin, Biles will seek to add to her record 10 world titles and become the first woman to win four individual all-around golds.

Kohei Uchimura, Japan

Uchimura came to Doha under something of a fitness cloud with the Japanese Gymnastics Federation revealing earlier this month that the six-time world all-around champion had injured his right ankle in training in late September.

His most recent injury comes almost exactly a year after he was forced to withdraw from the 2017 World Championships in Montreal after tearing ligaments in his left ankle during qualification.

The 29-year-old announced that he would not go for a seventh all-around title in Doha.

And in qualifying this week, Uchimura limited himself to just three events and avoided the exercises which put the most strain on his ankle.

Still, the 19-time world medallist hopes to help the Japanese reclaim their status of top team after their victory in the 2015 World Championships and at Rio 2016.

'King Kohei' is also capable of adding to his medal collection on the horizontal bar in which he was world champion in 2015.

Uchimura puts team first at world championships

Uchimura puts team first at world championships

Angelina Melnikova, Russia

Melnikova is the only non-American woman to make the top five of all-around scores in the world this year.

With only two athletes from each country making the all-around final, Melnikova has a great chance of a medal to cap an impressive 2018.

While compatriot Aliya Mustafina's return has attracted most of the headlines, 18-year-old Melnikova took gold (team), silver (vault) and bronze (uneven bars) medals at August's European Championships.

Angelina Melnikova performing at the European Championships Glasgow 2018
Angelina Melnikova performing at the European Championships Glasgow 2018Angelina Melnikova performing at the European Championships Glasgow 2018

She also won the World Cup in Birmingham, England, and the Russian nationals.

However, Melnikova has battled inconsistency, including last Wednesday in training when she crashed on several vault attempts.

And she will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last year’s World Championships where she suffered two falls during her floor routine and finished down in 16th place.

Xiao Ruoteng, China

Ruoteng was the surprise all-around world champion last year, taking advantage of Uchimura's withdrawal.

With Uchimura again missing, the 22-year-old is the one to beat in Qatar having recorded the highest all-around score in the world this year.

He looked strong this week in China’s official practice session and, before the men’s all-around final on 31 October, he'll hope to lift his country to their first global team title since 2014.

For company in the team, and perhaps the individual all-around competition, will be Montreal runner-up Lin Chaopan.

If China did claim team gold, they would be assured of a place at Tokyo 2020.

Xiao Ruoteng performing during the Asian Games in Jakarta
Xiao Ruoteng performing during the Asian Games in JakartaXiao Ruoteng performing during the Asian Games in Jakarta

Morgan Hurd, United States

Though Biles commands much of the attention in the women’s competition, it would be a mistake to discount out Morgan Hurd.

The 17-year-old is the defending all-around champion after pulling off a surprise win 12 months ago.

Adopted from China before she turned one, Hurd is known for the glasses she wears while competing and for delivering under pressure.

She's also able to peak at the right time, taking gold in Montreal last year just months after finishing sixth at the US nationals.

Hurd was second to Biles at this year's US Championships, and she had to be sharp in Doha to hold off newcomer Riley McCusker in qualification to reach the all-around final.

Morgan Hurd reacts after competing on the balance beam during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships 2018
Morgan Hurd reacts after competing on the balance beam during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships 2018Morgan Hurd reacts after competing on the balance beam during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships 2018

Max Whitlock, Great Britain

Max Whitlock made history for Team GB in Rio, becoming the first British man to win Olympic gold in gymnastics.

Whitlock's wins on floor exercise and the pommel horse, ahead of fellow Briton Louis Smith, came after he picked up the bronze medal in the all-around.

He came to prominence at London 2012 where he helped the British men to their first Olympic team medal in men’s gymnastics since 1912, and won bronze on the pommel horse.

Since Rio, the 25-year-old father-to-be has chosen to focus his efforts on the floor exercise and pommel horse.

The two-time defending pommel horse world champion said this week that missing out on gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships has fuelled his training.

Mai Murakami, Japan

Japan's Mai Murakami posted the highest all-around score in qualification at last year's World Championships.

A fall in the final from the balance beam saw her finish just out of the medals, but she bounced back to take gold on the floor and secure her country's first women's world title in over 50 years.

The 22-year-old won the Tokyo World Cup and clinched her third consecutive Japanese all-around title this year, as well as finishing second at the American Cup in Chicago.

Biles' return makes gold seem unlikely, but Murakami is an obvious medal contender on the floor and in the all-around.

Mai Murakami 
Mai Murakami Mai Murakami 

Artur Dalaloyan, Russia

The two-time Russian champion enters Doha after taking three gold medals and a bronze at August’s European Championships in Glasgow.

A newcomer to the Russian squad after they took team silver at Rio 2016, the Moldova-born athlete joins forces with all-around stars Nikita Nagornyy and David Belyavskiy with Russia seeking their first World Championship medal since 2006.

Artur Dalaloyan trains on the horizontal bar

Artur Dalaloyan trains on the horizontal bar

Dalaloyan had an unremarkable debut at Montreal in 2017, finishing eighth on the vault and 48th on the floor exercise.

But after his success in Glasgow, Dalaloyan is a podium contender in the all-around, floor, vault and parallel bars.

How to watch

Olympic Channel will be streaming the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships live in numerous territories around the world.

If you are in the United States, you can watch live coverage on NBC.

Monday, Oct. 29

Men’s team final, 4 p.m., featuring the top 8 qualified teams

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Women’s team final, 4 p.m., featuring the top 8 qualified teams

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Men’s all-around final, 4 p.m., featuring the top 24 qualified athletes with no more than two per country

Thursday, Nov. 1

Women’s all-around final, 4 p.m., featuring the top 24 qualified athletes with no more than two per country

Friday, Nov. 2

Individual apparatus finals, 4 p.m., featuring the top eight qualified athletes with no more than two per country on men’s floor exercise, pommel horse, and still rings and women’s vault and uneven bars

Saturday, Nov. 3

Individual apparatus finals, 4 p.m., featuring the top eight qualified athletes with no more than two per country on men’s vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar and women’s balance beam and floor exercise

(Restricted territories include Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Canada, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Monaco, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Japan, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, The Netherlands, USA and its respective territories and possessions Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands.)

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