He turns on the beam, loses his balance but does not fall, continues with the routine and the audience explodes. It is that the apparatus is dominated by the best gymnast in the world, Simone Biles, who is giving a free sample of what she will do in the Olympic Games in the United States Gymnastics Trials that will take place until Sunday at the Dome at America’s Center in Saint Louis.
Biles is the favorite to win the all-around title this weekend in the United States Olympic Trials, which will determine the men’s and women’s teams for the Tokyo Games, after a first round in which she achieved a score of 60,565 in the first rotation in the four apparatuses.
The 24-year-old gymnast did all the exercises well and dominated the competition, ahead of Sunisa Lee (57,666) and Jordan Chiles (57,132), who train with her outside of Houston.
As those who finish Sunday in the first two positions automatically qualify for the Olympic team – a selection committee will name the other qualifiers – Biles has his place practically assured, whatever happens on the last day.
When no one expected she could be better, the five-time Olympic champion continues to improve: she achieved the best scores in jumping (15,466 points), colt (15,133) and ground (15,366), and the third best in uneven bars (14,600), where Lee beat her by 0.4.
In the colt he had the highest rating despite the fact that the double-double this time did not include the Yurchenko double jump with which he surprised the world last month for being a common maneuver among men and which is expected to be renamed Biles II.
Her floor exercise, which includes not one but two elements of the same name in the sport’s Code of Points, was quite an exhibition of control, unlike what had happened when she got her seventh national title, which left her with something of frustration at having gone out of line several times.
In addition, it was his best floor routine of the season -with a difficulty of 6.8-, surpassing even those he did in the US Classic in May (1,116 points less) and the US Championships this month (0.416 less).
“It’s been a blast. I feel like I’m going to remember being in bounds (on the floor), getting all my credit on the beam, and just being here with three of my teammates from the World Champions Center gym,” he told her. Biles told NBC.
While waiting for what happens on Sunday, Biles could imitate with Lee the 1-2 they achieved in both the 2019 and 2021 Championships, which would automatically win them tickets to Japan. There would also be no doubt about the presence of Chiles, who won the Winter Cup, was runner-up in the US Classic and third in the US Championships.
“I was really excited to get started. I know exactly what to expect. And I feel like I’m very … like I’m a lot more emotional this time, which is crazy. Even coming out of tears and crying. The girls say, ‘Are you Okay? ‘I’m fine. It’s like, I can’t believe the time has come. It’s been five years and I’m grateful, “added Biles in statements published by ESPN.
Biles, who in 2019 became the gymnast with the most medals in the history of the world championship (counting men and women) with 25, 19 gold, will look in Tokyo for another record: the highest number of Olympic golds in gymnastics, set in 9 by the Soviet Larissa Latynina in the 1950s and 1960s.
In addition, their presence sheds light on a bankrupt USA Gymnastics marked by the lawsuits of more than 500 women who suffered sexual abuse from former national team physician Lawrence Nassar and other members of the organization.