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Gymnastics star Simone Biles heading to Belgium for 2023 world championships

Biles’ appearance will be her sixth at the event, the most ever by an American woman

AP/PTI Katy (US) Published 22.09.23, 08:36 AM
Simone Biles.

Simone Biles. File photo

Simone Biles is heading back to where her record-breaking reign atop gymnastics began.

The American star headlines the five-woman US team that will compete at the 2023 World Championships in Belgium during the first week of October.


Biles’ appearance will be her sixth at the event, the most ever by an American woman.

Biles will be joined by three members of the gold-medal-winning 2022 World Championship team — Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong and Skye Blakely — as well as 17-year-old Joscelyn Roberson.

The meet will be held in Antwerp, where Biles won the first of her five world all-around titles as a 16-year-old prodigy. A full decade later, she will return looking to become the most decorated gymnast in history.

Biles has seven Olympic medals (including the 2016 Olympic title) and 25 World Championship medals, 19 of them gold. Her 32 combined medals is tied with Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union for the most ever at the sport’s two signature events.

The newly-wed 26-year-old Biles will be heavily favoured to have the record all to herself by the time she heads back to the US on October 9. She has dominated in her comeback following a two-year break after her appearance in the pandemic-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics was plagued by a bout with a mental block known as “the twisties.”

Biles dazzled at the US Classic outside Chicago in early August then added her eighth national title in San Jose a few weeks later.

She wasn’t quite so sharp on Tuesday during the first of a two-day selection camp outside of her hometown of Houston.

Her overall score of 55.700 was just ahead of Jones, who posted a 55.300. Biles was much sharper while competing on uneven bars and balance beam on Wednesday.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) was a rough day,” she said. “Today (Wednesday)’s two-event was a lot better.”

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