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Monday, July 22, 2024

Simone Biles makes World Championships in gymnastics for sixth time, setting a record

Simone Biles has made the World Championships in gymnastics for the sixth time – an unprecedented feat, according to USA Gymnastics. The news comes about a month after Biles won a record eighth U.S. Gymnastics title.

Biles, 26, placed first at the U.S. women’s Artistic World Championships and Pan American Games Selection camp in Texas on Tuesday. Until nearly the end of what was a “nail-biting competition” Biles was behind Kaliya Lincoln and Shi Jones, USA Gymnastics says.

Her win came in the final rotation, when she posted a better score on vault – her strongest apparatus – than Jones did on bars – which is Jones’ strongest apparatus –according to USA Gymnastics.

The final score was 55.700 for Biles, 55.300 for Jones and 55.000 for Skye Blakely. Biles automatically qualified for the team that will compete at the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8. The full team will be announced Wednesday night.

After suffering from the “twisties” at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Biles stepped back from competing. She made her comeback this year at the U.S. Gymnastics Championship in August and became the first gymnast to win eight all-around titles, according to USA Gymnastics. She is also the oldest woman to win an all-around title.

When experiencing the twisties, athletes can get disoriented mid-air, which can be dangerous and lead to serious injury. “I can’t even fathom twisting. I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist,” Biles wrote on Instagram in 2021. “Strangest and weirdest thing as well as feeling.”

She ultimately pulled out of the Olympics, with USA Gymnastics saying that “after further medical evaluation,” Biles would skip the all-around competition “in order to focus on her mental health.”

Biles is the most decorated U.S. women’s gymnast of all time with 32 medals from Worlds and the Olympics combined, according to USA Gymnastics. She has seven Olympic medals – tying with U.S. gymnast Shannon Miller, who last competed in Atlanta in 1996.

Biles has a chance to break that record, but has not said yet if she will compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. “I like to keep (my goals) personal, just so that I know what I’m aiming for,” Biles said after winning the U.S. Championship this year. “I think it’s better that way. I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. I think it’s working so far, so I’m going to keep it secretive.”

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