'Biles II' and 'The Biles': US gymnastics star is name of game at worlds

Stuttgart (Germany) (AFP) –


USA gymnastics queen Simone Biles made history on her opening appearance at the 2019 world championships on Saturday by landing a triple double skill on the floor which will be named "Biles II".

The 22-year-old Texan then pulled off a double-twisting double tuck dismount off the beam which will be known simply as "The Biles".

Biles, who now has four skills named after her, is set to add to her record tally in Stuttgart of 14 gold medals at her fifth world championships.

Her "Biles II" came when she landed a triple-twisting double back on the floor during qualification for the team event.

Earlier, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) gave the beam skill an 'H' rating, which Biles thought should be higher.

She made her feelings clear by tweeting "haha - bullshit" over a diagram of the double double.

USA Gymnastics was also unhappy with the grading, tweeting "we believe the skill should be given the value it merits".

"It felt really good to nail it," said Biles after Saturday's action.

"It's hard, you have to reward it. I still wanted to go out there and get it named after me for myself and then we'll see what happens."

On Saturday, Biles qualified first for the all-around, second for the vault, second for the beam and floor with a seventh-best on the uneven bars.

"I still feel like I can do better, but the aim tonight wasn't to do great just to do well and I feel like I accomplished that and I've made it into the finals, all of them now I guess.

"I get really nervous before I go out and my legs turn to stone, which scares me because I'm supposed to be good on that event, but I had a lot of energy so that helped."

Biles's overall tally of 20 worlds medals ties her with Russia's Svetlana Khorkina for the most won by a woman.

Another four in Stuttgart would put her past the all-time record of 23 held by Vitaly Scherbo, a men's gymnastics star in the 1990s.

Biles is the clear favourite to win all-around world gold for the fifth time, extending her own record, yet she has endured testing times away from the sport in the last two years.

In January 2018, she admitted to being among the victims of Larry Nassar, the disgraced former doctor of the US women's Olympic team, who was jailed for sexually abusing hundreds of girls and women.

In August, her brother was arrested and charged with a shooting which left three people dead last December.

This is likely to be her world championships swansong, having said she is "99 percent" sure she will not be at the 2021 event.

After Stuttgart, her focus will turn to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where she will bid to add to her four-medal haul from Rio de Janeiro, where she took the team, all-around, vault and floor exercise titles.