One day after winning her sixth all-around title and becoming the most decorated gymnast in history, Simone Biles added to her remarkable medal collection with a silver medal on the vault at the world championships in rhythmic gymnastics on Saturday.
The 26-year-old fell while attempting her first vault landing, the eponymous Biles II (also known as the Yurchenko Double Spear), scoring a 14.433; the mistake gave hope to her competitors.
Biles needed to regain her composure immediately on her second vault, which she finished with an impressive average of 14.666 points for a 14.549 point average.
The American held first place overall until defending champion Rebeca Andrade stepped up, the last of nine gymnasts to compete.
Brazil’s Andrade finished with a total score of 14.750, 0.201 points better than Biles, and celebrated by dancing on the floor with a Brazilian flag.
South Korea’s Yeo Seo-jung won the bronze medal.
Later in the day, Biles finished fifth on the uneven bars, her worst finish in the event in years.
Biles scored 14.200 points in this event, and Chinese player Qiu Qiyuan won the championship with 15.100 points. Algeria’s Kelia Nemours won the silver medal and American Shires Jones won the bronze.
At last weekend’s world championships in Antwerp, Belgium, Biles became the first woman to land Yurchenko’s double vault at an international competition, ensuring the skill now bears her name during the qualifying round. Fascinating onlookers.
It’s a difficult skill that historically has only been accomplished by men, and its elements include a roundabout on the springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vault, and finally a spiked double backflip into the air for a landing.
On Friday, Biles broke Belarus’s Vitaly Scherbo’s record of 33 medals at the Olympics and world championships by winning the all-around gold for the sixth time.
It’s her second gold medal of the week, after helping the United States capture the women’s team gold on Wednesday. Biles was widely expected to score a hat trick in Belgium earlier on Saturday, but she almost did it despite falling backwards while trying to successfully land the “Biles II”, but Andrade fell behind in two An outstanding performance on the vault saw the Brazilian deservedly defend her title.
Biles currently has 28 career medals at the World Championships (21 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze), a historical record.
She will wrap up her championships on Sunday with finals on the balance beam and floor exercise.