Simone Biles Now Tied for Most Decorated Female Gymnast Ever After Winning a Fourth Gold at Worlds

(DOHA, Qatar) — Simone Biles returned to training last November wondering if she could ever return to the form that made her an Olympic champion.

She doesn’t wonder anymore. Neither does anyone else.

The American star capped a remarkable 2018 world gymnastics championships by claiming gold on floor exercise and bronze on balance beam during event finals Saturday, giving her six medals for the meet and 20 overall in the world championships, tied with Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina for the most by a female gymnast.

“I think there’s a lot to be proud, but I’m most proud of that I’m here, I made all the event finals, medaled in all of the events and I survived,” Biles said.

Something that wasn’t a guarantee when the meet began. Biles spent the night before qualifying in the hospital dealing with pain from a kidney stone. The stone was too big to pass and she couldn’t take prescription pain medication because of doping regulations, forcing her to simply deal with it.

Biles did more than deal with it. She dominated. Just like always.

The 21-year-old will head home to Houston with gold medals from the team final, the all-around final, floor and vault as well as silver on uneven bars and bronze on beam. She became the first woman to earn a medal on all four events since Yelena Shushunova did it for the Soviet Union in 1987.

Biles believes it’s just the beginning. She’ll visit with doctors to treat the kidney stone, go on a short vacation and then point toward 2019.

“Hopefully I feel more confident next year going into all of the events,” she said. “We’ll see about upgrades. I’m not sure. We’ll see.”

Biles finished a busy 10 days by drilling her floor routine, which includes intricate tumbling runs that are as difficult as anything done by the men these days. Though she stepped out of bounds on her third pass, her score of 14.933 was a full point better than that of teammate Morgan Hurd, who earned her third medal of the meet by finishing with silver. Japan’s Mai Murakami took third.

Biles wasn’t quite as crisp on beam, an event that she’s struggled with recently. She wobbled during qualifying and fell off during the all-around finals. Though she managed to stay on during event finals, she found herself off balance on multiple occasions. Her score of 13.6 held up for bronze behind China’s Liu Tingting and Canada’s Ana Padurariu.

While allowing it wasn’t her best, Biles took to Twitter in between beam and floor exercise to chastise those who criticized her for not winning gold. It’s a move she felt was necessary.

“I think it’s upsetting to me whenever I see all the tweets after I do performances of how disappointed they are in me,” Biles said. “It’s not fair because they can’t set expectations on me. I have to set them for myself.”

And no one’s expectations are higher. Biles took herself to task after the all-around, unhappy with a series of uncharacteristic mistakes. She vowed to redeem herself in the event finals and responded by reaching the podium on each event.

“I’m really happy to be done,” Biles said. “Proud of my performances here. I wish some of them would have been better but I’m really proud of the outcome.”

So was Hurd, who won a team gold, bronze in the all-around and silver on floor, validating her breakthrough performance at the 2017 world championships when she became an unlikely champion.

“Oh, I wanted it so badly,” Hurd said. “Now I’ve got a full set.”

Five-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak picked up the first world championship medal of his career when he finished third in the high bar final behind Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands and Japan’s Kohei Uchimura, who boosted his career medal at worlds to 21.

Mikulak will settle with having just one for now.

“I made a statement to the world that Sam isn’t some washed-out gymnast that’s holding on,” the 26-year-old Mikulak said. “He’s here to play and he’s here to get medals.”

North Korea’s Ri Se Gwang picked up his third world title on vault. Men’s all-around champion Artur Dalaloyan earned silver, with Japan’s Kenzo Shirai taking bronze. China’s Zou Jingyuan captured gold on parallel bars with a score of 16.433 — the highest on any apparatus by a man during the meet — while Oleg Verniaiev took silver and Dalaloyan bronze.

Sports – TIME

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Simone Biles Overcomes Mistakes to Win 4th All-Round World Championship

(DOHA, Qatar) — Simone Biles is still the best even when she’s not at her best.

The 21-year-old star won her fourth world all-around championship Thursday, surviving a series of uncharacteristic mistakes to become the first woman to earn four all-around titles. Biles had a score of 57.491, nearly 1.7 points in front of silver medalist Mai Murakami of Japan.

That’s a sizable margin for nearly everyone else, but not for Biles. Battling a kidney stone, she sat down her vault in the first rotation, came off the beam on her third and stepped out of bounds on floor exercise. Yet she still had enough to extend her remarkable winning streak.

Biles has finished first in every meet she’s entered since the 2013 US championships, though this one was far tighter than usual.

A spirited effort from Murakami — the first Japanese woman to medal in the all-around final since Koko Tsurumi in 2009 — and bronze medalist and U.S. teammate Morgan Hurd helped. In the end, however, it was Biles against herself.

Not content to simply rely on her remarkable talent, Biles is intent on pushing the sport forward. It’s an approach that leads her to put together the most difficult routines and gives her basically a head start in every meet because her start values are so high.

For once, Biles needed the cushion to pull through.

Nearly a year to the day since she returned to the gym following a well-deserved sabbatical after her five-medal haul at the 2016 Olympics, Biles came into the all-around final at the height of her considerable powers. She put on a spectacular display during qualifying, her total of 60.965 — 4.5 points clear of Hurd — made all the more startling considering she revealed she’s battling a kidney stone she’s jokingly called “the Doha Pearl.”

It was more of the same during team finals, when Biles served as the anchor on all four events as the Americans cruised to their fourth consecutive world championship with ease.

Yet the casual dominance Biles has won with for a half decade evaporated in the desert.

Most meets with Biles typically start the same. She drills the vault — where she is the reigning Olympic champion — and then spends the next three rotations simply padding her lead to margins that look like typos.

Not this time. Attempting “the Biles” — a roundoff, half-twist onto the table, front double full off typically done by men — her left arm barely touched the table, causing her to under-rotate. She landed and promptly sat down, forcing her to play catch up. Known for getting angry after mistakes, she responded by drilling her significantly improved uneven bars set, drilling her double-twisting double-somersault dismount to move slightly in front of Hurd halfway through.

Then things got weird. Biles hopped off the beam early in her routine then grabbed the four-inch piece of wood later when she had trouble landing a front flip, a sequence she struggled with during qualifying.

The miscues gave the rest of the field a small opening. One no one in the rest of the top six could get through. Hurd wobbled twice during her set, leaving Biles a slim margin of .092 over Belgium’s Nina Derwael heading to Biles’ signature event.

Murakami’s excellent floor routine put pressure on Biles, but only a little. Needing a 13.308 to win, her 15.000 was the best on the floor by a full point even though her right foot went out of bounds during the end of her intricate opening tumbling run.

Not that it mattered. In the end the meet finished the way they have always finished for the last five years when Biles is involved: with her atop the podium standing above a sport that is desperately trying to keep up.

Sports – TIME

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USA Gymnasitcs Chief Quits After Simone Biles Criticism

Mary Bono, USA Gymnastics,

Mary Bono, the interim CEO and president of USA Gymnastics, stepped down on Tuesday with just four days in the role, according to Business Insider. The resignation came after what she referred to as “personal attacks” from Olympic champion Simone Biles. “It is with profound regret, coupled with a deep love for the sport of […]

The post USA Gymnasitcs Chief Quits After Simone Biles Criticism appeared first on EBONY.

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Simone Biles Upset by USA Gymnastics President’s Anti-Nike Tweet

Olympic champion Simone Biles is upset about an anti-Nike tweet from USA Gymnastics interim president and CEO Mary Bono.

Bono was appointed Friday to hold the position while USA Gymnastics searches for a permanent successor to Kerry Perry, who resigned under pressure from the United States Olympic Committee in September after spending nine months on the job.

Biles responded Saturday to a tweet from Bono last month criticizing Nike following the release of its advertising campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Bono, a former Republican congresswoman, had posted a photo of herself drawing over a Nike logo on a golf shoe.

Biles quote-tweeted Bono’s photo and wrote: “(asterisk)mouth drop(asterisk) don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything.”

Bono deleted her tweet about five hours later, saying she regretted the post and respects “everyone’s views & fundamental right to express them.”

Nike is one of Biles’ sponsors.

Biles is among the more than 200 women who have come forward over the last two years claiming they were sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar under the guise of treatment. Biles was critical of Perry for not being vocal enough in support of the survivors.

Sports – TIME

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