SAN JOSE, Calif. — Simone Biles is daring to go where no other gymnast – man or woman – has gone.
Biles’ hunt for a record eighth all-around national championship concludes Sunday as she takes the floor at the U.S. gymnastics championships at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Biles comes in more than 2.5 points ahead of reigning world all-around silver medalist Shilese Jones and the rest of the pack.
Biles won her seventh U.S. championship in June 2021, weeks before the Olympic trials for the Tokyo Games. That victory tied Alfred Jochim, who captured seven all-around titles nearly 100 years ago.
“I’m pretty happy with the overall meet today,” Biles told NBC after Friday’s first night of competition. “My goal for the weekend is just to hit 8-for-8 and then hopefully come in on Sunday and hit a little bit of a smoother beam routine.”
Keep up with live updates on Biles, her U.S. Olympic teammate Suni Lee and the other gymnasts on the final night of competition.
The other members of the Tokyo Olympic team aren’t faring as well as Simone Biles.
Jordan Chiles fell off uneven bars. Jade Carey came off balance beam and also went out of bounds on floor exercise, where she’s the Olympic champion.
Both will still have a chance to make the world team, however. The U.S. women are selecting their team after a training camp next month.
Simone Biles is comfortably in control at the midway point of Day 2 at the U.S. gymnastics championships.
The four-time Olympic champion is more than three points ahead of Shilese Jones, last year’s all-around silver medalist at the world championships. Just how big a gap is that? Think of those early-season college football or basketball games and you get the idea.
Biles didn’t do the Yurchenko double pike vault, opting for a Cheng instead. Her right ankle was taped, so it’s possible she was trying to protect it. She also scored lower on her uneven bars the first night after taking a hop on her dismount.
Who is Alfred Jochim, who currently shares the record for most U.S. gymnastics titles (seven) with Simone Biles? He competed in the 1920s and 1930s, and is so far the only U.S. gymnast to compete at four Olympics. He won his first six titles from 1925 to 1930, and then his last one in 1933.
He was inducted into USA Gymnastics’ Hall of Fame in 1959, its inaugural class.
Simone Biles opted not to do the Yurchenko double pike on Day 2 of the U.S. gymnastics championships.
It wasn’t a big surprise, given she had her right ankle taped for vault and didn’t do it during warm-ups. And it didn’t really matter. Biles instead did the Cheng, the second-hardest vault any woman is doing these days, and scored a 14.85.
That’s 0.85 below what Biles scored the other night for the Yurchenko double pike, but it’s higher than what anyone scored on vault on Day 1.
The 2008 Olympic team was honored before the start of the women’s competition Sunday.
The Americans combined for 10 medals in Beijing. The U.S. women – Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel, Sam Peszek and Bridget Sloan – took silver in the team competition, and Liukin and Johnson went 1-2 in the all-around.
Liukin also won silvers on uneven bars and balance beam and a bronze on floor. Johnson won gold on balance beam and a silver on floor exercise.
The U.S. men – Jonathan Horton, Sasha Artemev, Raj Bhavsar, Kevin Tan, Justin Spring and Joey Hagerty – won the bronze medal, the last time they’ve won a medal in the team competition at the Olympics. Horton also won a silver on high bar.
USA Gymnastics announced the men’s team for next year’s world championships and, no surprise, it will be led by new U.S. champion Asher Hong. Joining Hong will be U.S. silver medalist Khoi Young; U.S. bronze medalist Fred Richard; Tokyo Olympian Yul Moldauer; and Paul Juda, last year’s NCAA all-around champion.
The world championships are Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 in Antwerp, Belgium. The U.S. women’s team will be named after a selection camp next month.
In the junior women’s event, Hezly Rivera won her first all-around title while also claiming the top spot on uneven bars and balance beam. Kieryn Finnell was second and Izzy Stassi was third.
The women’s senior competition concludes Sunday night, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The U.S. gymnastics championships will begin airing on television on NBC and CNBC at 7 p.m. ET, though not all events will be broadcast live. See the broadcast schedule at NBCSports.com.
The U.S. gymnastics championships will be live streamed on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.
Which other Olympians are competing at the US gymnastics championships?
Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Suni Lee are all competing in San Jose and each joined Biles at the Tokyo Olympics.
Yet, when her score posted, it included this: “ND: -0.500.” A deduction? For what?
As it turns out, it wasn’t anything Biles did, exactly. More like what she had. Which was coach Laurent Landi standing on the podium, ready to assist her if something went awry during the vault so difficult Biles is the only woman to ever do it in competition and few men even try.
Simone Biles should be judged on what she can do, not what other gymnasts can’t
The four-time Olympic champion continues to push the boundaries of the sport and it appears the International Gymnastics Federation is going to continue to push back, refusing to give the skills she does their rightful value.