TOKYO -- Alicia Sacramone won a record 10th medal at the world gymnastics championships without setting foot on the floor.
Sacramone will receive a gold medal after the U.S. women ran away with the title at the world gymnastics championships Tuesday night even though she was back in the United States recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles. It's her 10th world medal, breaking the American record she'd shared with Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin.
"Alicia is here with us in spirit, and we all knew that her heart was here," said Aly Raisman, who trains with Sacramone in the Boston area. "We did it for her. She deserved the gold medal and we are really happy that we got it for her."
Sacramone tore her Achilles last Thursday during training in Tokyo, a huge blow for the Americans. The 2008 Beijing Olympics captain is prized for her leadership skills along with big scores on the vault, where she was the defending world champion, as well as the balance beam and floor exercise. But Sacramone told her young teammates she had faith in them, and they used her injury as motivation in winning the third world title for the United States.
Sacramone returned to the U.S. on Saturday, and had surgery on Monday. Raisman said they'd exchanged text messages before the finals.
"She just told me she knew we were going to rock it and we were going to do amazing," Raisman said.
Sacramone sent a message to the team on Twitter afterward, saying, "Words can't describe how proud I am of all of you!"