November 1, 2015
Simone Biles Tipped To Win Gymnastics Gold In Rio

Simone Biles, the 18-year-old American gymnastics phenomenon, has set a world gymnastics record by winning her tenth career gold medal on Sunday. The final day of the International Gymnastics Federation world championships was held in Glasgow, Scotland, where Biles won the balance beam and floor routines, in spite of some early mistakes. Her performance earned her a tenth gold medal, making Simone Biles the leading female gymnast in the world, breaking the record once shared by Svetlana Khorkina, Gina Gogean, and Larisa Latynina.

Not only has she won a record number of career gold medals, Simone Biles is the first woman to win three consecutive all-round titles. And she did it in her first three world championships! The Simone Biles success story is one that many commentators are calling "unbelievable" and "unprecedented," and Simone herself seems to be finding it hard to believe, as we can tell by comments reported in the Houston Chronicle.
"I can't even wrap my head around it. I still don't believe myself and my ability to do things. I just need to trust myself more."
Simone Biles put in a relatively strong performance on the beam, beating her opponent, Sanne Wevers, of the Netherlands, by more than a whole point. Her final score was 15.358, smashing Wevers' score of 14.333. Simone Biles had to shake off some early errors, but she managed to pull ahead of the field by steadying herself and going on to complete a tightly choreographed, complex, and ambitious routine.

[caption id="attachment_2535002" align="alignnone" width="670"]Simone Biles Simone Biles impressed on the beam, winning by more than a full point[Photo by Getty Images/Ian MacNicol][/caption]Simone Biles also won the floor routine section with a performance that drew gasps of astonishment from the crowd. During the all-around finals, Biles had put a foot out of bounds during her floor routine, but it shook this off to put in a stunning performance in what she says is one of her favorite events. In the end, Simone Biles won the floor by seven tenths of a point with a score of 15.8, decisively ahead of Russian Kseniia Afanaseva at 15.1. Simone's good friend, fellow American Maggie Nichols, also put in a strong floor routine, but was edged out by the Russian in the overall standings and had to be content with silver and a score of 15.

[caption id="attachment_2535011" align="alignnone" width="670"]Simone Biles Simone put in strong performances on bar and vault, but it was floor and beam where she really impressed[Photo by Getty Images / Ian MacNicol][/caption]Simone Biles said she felt "vindicated" by her results on the final day, saying that it was nice to come back strong after her two mistakes in the all-around finals. She also won the bronze medal for the vault, meaning that she collected an impressive haul of five medals for this single event. Each time Simone Biles has taken the world stage, she has put in a record breaking performance, with commentators and gymnastics aficionados expressing excitement at the way she has burst onto the gymnastics scene. Many are naming Biles as one to watch in the upcoming Rio Olympics, with speculation rife as to what heights of glory she is going to achieve at the games in June.

[caption id="attachment_2535016" align="alignnone" width="670"]Simone Biles Simone Biles' routines were complex and laden with difficulty, making her performance all the more impressive[Photo by Getty Images/Ian MacNicol][/caption]Simone Biles is coached by Aimee Boorman of the World Gymnastics Centre in Montgomery County. On Sunday, she joked that she would lead the gymnastics team on strike as a way to have a little dig at the apparently punishing training schedule put together by national team co-ordinator Martha Karolyi. But if she was tired, she certainly didn't show it -- within an hour of making these comments, Simone Biles was putting the cap on an unprecedented triple consecutive all round title and her record breaking haul of ten career gold medals.

As Rachel Axon of USA Today said, Simone Biles is an amazing athlete and definitely one to watch in the upcoming Olympics.

[Photo by Getty Images / Ian MacNicol]