Simone Biles has made a sensational return to gymnastics following a 2-year hiatus to focus on her mental health. Biles smashed a 90-year record after winning her eighth all-round title at the U.S Gymnastics Championships.
The four-time Olympic champion’s floor routine earned her a score of 15.400. Her 14.850 on the Cheng vault was also the highest of the night and so was the 14.8 she netted on the beam, securing an all-round total of 118.450.
She beat second-placed Shilese Jones by 3.9 points in San Jose, California. Leanne Wong won the bronze medal to round out the medallists for the event.
This eighth national all-around title sees her overtake Alfred Jochim’s record of seven in 1933. At 26, she also became the oldest gymnast to win the national all-around competition.
Biles rose to the top of the gymnastics world almost 10 years ago as a teenage prodigy when she first became US all-around champion in 2013 and matched Jochim’s record in 2021.
Speaking to NBC, Biles said: “It feels really special. I’ve been doing it for so long, I feel like I don’t think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think, overall, I hit eight for eight. I guess it’s a lucky number this year.”
Biles, was already the decorated gymnast in the history of the US heading into the San Jose four day tournament, is expected to take part in the World Championships in Antwerp from 30 September to 8 October, where she would have the chance to add to her tally of 25 world medals, including 19 golds.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Biles earned a bronze medal in the beam and a silver for the team effort, however, it is yet to be seen if she will compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Photo 1 Caption: Simone Biles has made a sensational return to gymnastics following a 2-year hiatus to focus on her mental health. Biles smashed a 90-year record after winning her eighth all-round title at the U.S Gymnastics Championships. Photo: Simone Biles (Instagram)