Simone Biles leads by 3 points after Day 1 of the U.S. Championships

Simone Biles is currently in the lead to secure her ninth U.S. all-around championship, putting her one step closer to victory at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

During the initial day of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, Simone Biles showcased her exceptional skills and dominated the competition. She maintained a remarkable lead of 3.4 points over her closest rival by achieving an impressive all-around score of 60.450.

At the start of her evening, the 37-time world and Olympic medalist showcased her skills on the vault. Simone Biles executed her signature move, the Yurchenko double pike, earning an impressive score of 15.800. This was the highest score achieved on any event throughout the night. She continued to dominate on the uneven bars and balance beam, receiving scores of 14.650 and 14.800, respectively, ensuring her position as the frontrunner.

Biles concluded her performance on the floor exercise, a discipline in which she currently holds the title of reigning world champion. For the 2024 season, her routine incorporates music from Taylor Swift and showcases her signature “Biles” skill, a triple-twisting double flip that she first introduced prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Impressively, she achieved a score of 15.200, surpassing the 60.000 mark in the all-around for the first time since the Olympic Trials in 2021.

After the meet, Biles’ coach, Cecile Landi, expressed her satisfaction with Biles’ performance, stating, “She achieved her goal of breaking the 60s. I am extremely pleased with her routines, attitude, and overall performance, as everything looked really impressive.”

Skye Blakely, Kayla DiCello, Suni Lee, and Leanne Wong completed the top five.

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The reigning Olympic all-around champion, Lee, made a remarkable comeback by competing on all four events for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics. Despite battling kidney issues last season, Lee demonstrated her resilience by finishing fourth in the all-around competition. Her impressive performance undoubtedly strengthens her position for a spot on the Paris team.

Starting a competition on the beam can be quite challenging. Lee experienced a significant balance check towards the conclusion of her initial routine; however, she displayed remarkable skill and managed to stay on the beam, earning a score of 14.200. On the uneven bars, which is another event she excels in, she achieved a score of 14.300. It is worth noting that she has the potential to enhance her routine even further during the Olympic Trials.

Shilese Jones, a six-time world medalist, unfortunately had to withdraw from the Championships just hours before the competition due to a shoulder injury. However, she remains determined and is planning to file a petition with USA Gymnastics in order to participate in the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will take place in Minneapolis from June 27th to 30th.

At the Core Hydration Classic earlier this month, Jones proved herself to be an invaluable asset to Team USA, second only to Biles. She showcased her strength by finishing second in the all-around competition and claiming victory in the uneven bars.

Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around gold medalist, had to withdraw from the competition this week due to a severe ankle injury. Sadly, this injury has not only ended her season but also dashed her hopes of participating in the upcoming Olympics in Paris. After taking an eight-year break from the sport, Douglas was eager to make a comeback and secure her spot on the Olympic team once again. However, fate had other plans, and her dreams of representing her country on the biggest stage have been shattered.

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On Sunday, the national champions in the all-around and on each apparatus will be determined, along with the qualifiers for the Olympic Trials.

The top two athletes who perform the best in the all-around competition at the U.S. Championships will secure a spot in the Olympic Trials. These Trials will determine the gymnasts who will represent the U.S. at the Paris Olympics this summer. Alongside the automatic qualifiers, a selection committee will choose at least 10 more women to join the competition.

She started her 2024 season on a strong note, securing a commanding win at the Core Hydration Classic.

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