FORT WORTH, Texas — Simone Biles toned it down. A little, anyway. And soared even higher.
The 24-year-old gymnastics superstar claimed her record seventh U.S. title Sunday night, delivering another stunning — and stunningly easy — performance that served little doubt the pressure surrounding her bid to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic championships in more than 50 years is only pushing her to even greater height
Shaking off a somewhat sloppy start Friday, at least by her standards, Biles put on a four-rotation showcase that highlighted why a goat emblem — a nod to her status as the greatest of all time — has become a fixture on her competition leotard.
Her two-day total of 119.650 was nearly five points better than runner-up Sunisa Lee and good friend and teammate Jordan Chiles. Biles’ all-around score on Sunday of 60.100 was her highest since 2018 and served notice she is only getting better with the Tokyo Games less than seven weeks away.
It helped that she managed to stay inbounds (mostly) during her floor routine after stepping out three times Friday. She was far more precise in the finals save for one tumbling pass where one of her feet stepped over the white border.
Oh well, something to work on for Olympic trials later this month in St. Louis.
“It’s so crazy because in training I never go out of bounds and I never have this much power,” Biles said. “But with the adrenaline, that’s where it comes
She didn’t even bother with her latest innovation, a Yurchenko double-pike vault she drilled twice at the U.S. Classic last month that caught the attention of everyone from LeBron James to Michelle Obama. Instead, she opted for two with slightly lower difficulty that she completed so casually it was hard to tell whether she was in front of an arena that screamed for her at every turn or just fooling around at practice back home in Houston.
Not that it mattered. She still posted the top score on vault. Just like she did on beam. Just like she did on floor. Just like she has done everywhere she has saluted the judges since the 2013 U.S. Championships.
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