Dazzling Biles wins record eighth US all-around gymnastics title
27 August 2023
San José (United States) (AFP) -
Simone Biles dazzled on floor exercise Sunday on the way to a record eighth all-around title at the US Gymnastics Championships, another step on a comeback trail pointing toward the Paris Olympics.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist electrified the SAP Center crowd with a soaring floor routine that included a rock-solid landing on her signature Biles I tumbling pass of double layout with a half-twist.
It was her final event of the competition and brought ecstatic fans to their feet, earning a score of 15.400 for a triumphant all-around total of 118.450 points.
Shi Jones, last year's world championships all-around silver medallist, was second, 3.9 points back.
Biles broke the record for most all-around titles for a man or woman, set by Alfred Jochim with his seventh in 1933 and matched by Biles in 2021.
Biles had taken control on Friday with a dazzling version of her Yurchenko double pike vault that was awarded 9.8 for execution and scored a whopping 15.700.
She was the only competitor to finish the two days of competition with two scores of 15 or higher. Jones produced the only other score of 15 -- with a 15.0 on Sunday's uneven bars.
Biles's triumph came in just the second competition of her return from a two-year break, which followed her dramatic withdrawal from multiple events at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
She was the sport's dominant force and out to defend four gold medals won in Rio when she pulled out of most of her events in Tokyo citing the 'twisties' -- the dangerous phenomenon in which gymnasts lose their sense of where they are in the air.
Biles did earn a balance beam bronze in Tokyo, and now she looks set to contend again at next month's World Championships in Antwerp and, by extension, the Paris Olympics next year.