Biles bewildered by own success: ‘How do I do that?’

Agence France-Presse
Biles bewildered by own success: ‘How do I do that?’


US gymnastics queen Simone Biles can break the all-time record for most world championships medals this weekend


STUTTGART, Germany – US gymnastics superstar Simone Biles admitted being bewildered by her own success after claiming a record-extending 16th world championship gold medal and fifth all-around title.

“It’s an honor and it’s super exciting,” she said.

Biles won the women’s all-around title on Thursday, October 10, the fifth time she has won the event, leaving her on 22 worlds medals, one short of male gymnast Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time record of 23.

She extended her own record as the most decorated woman in world championships history and can break Scherbo’s mark in this weekend’s 4 apparatus finals.

However, she was slightly bewildered by her worlds medal tally and amazed by her own displays in Stuttgart.

“I feel like it’s not me and sometimes I wonder how I do it. I sometimes wish I could have an out-of-body experience to witness it,” she said, laughing.

“I look back at videos and wonder how I did that.”

Biles led from the start, nailing her first discipline with a superb vault which scored 15.223 points.

She followed that up with a solid display on the uneven bars, where she posted the third-highest score, to consolidate her lead.

Biles dominated the beam and sealed gold with the highest score of 14.400 in the floor exercise when she had only needed 12.300 for the title.

She said the hardest thing was “keeping up with the music” during her floor routine.

“I go faster than it, so I feel like it’s harder to slow myself down,” said Biles.

With two golds won and potentially 4 more medals to come, Biles has put a tough two years behind her.

In January 2018, she revealed she was a victim 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 3 people dead last December.

‘She never flies like that’ 

Less than a year out from the Tokyo Olympics, Biles is in dazzling form, but remains haunted by a mistake at the 2016 Games.

She won 4 golds in Rio de Janeiro, the only blip being a mistake on the beam, which she grabbed during her routine, leaving her with bronze.

Her French coach Laurent Landi said they both relaxed after Biles’ beam performance passed without incident in Stuttgart.

However, he had to calm Biles down before the final floor event with the crowd urging her on.

“I am very proud of her consistency in competition, she now believes she can do that routine any time,” said Landi.

“I still had to ask her to calm down before going into the floor.

“She is running a little bit too fast, feeling the adrenaline and the pressure – she never flies like this in training, only at meets, so she needs to control herself a little bit more.

“But it was the last event, so I would rather have that, than someone who is making a mistake at the end.”

Landi said Biles’ winning margin of 2.1 – her biggest at a world championships – “should have been three.”

However, a mistake on the uneven bars by Biles’ US teammate Sunisa Lee, a medal contender who finished 8th, served as a warning.

“You saw that today, we weren’t expecting girls to fall and make tiny mistakes,” said Landi.

“All of a sudden they are off the podium, so even she (Biles) can’t afford to make a mistake.

“Two points is just two falls, which can disappear very quickly, especially on the beam.”

Great names

Despite her phenomenal showing, Biles has repeatedly refused to regard herself as the greatest gymnast of all time.

“Everyone puts that on me, I don’t really put it on myself,” she told reporters.

As the reigning Olympic and world champion, Biles is favorite to win Saturday’s vault final, but faces tough competition later that day on the uneven bars.

Her challengers are current world champion Nina Derwael of Belgium and Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz, who finished ahead of Biles on Thursday.

“I just want to take a nice bar routine for her (Biles) and whatever happens, happens,” said Landi.

“There are some great names and it will be very, very tough for her to get a medal.”

Biles is also favorite to win Sunday’s floor final, but has a point to prove in the day’s beam final, on which she has so far been impressive in Stuttgart.

She had to settle for bronze in the discipline at last year’s world championships in Doha where a rare mistake, when she grabbed the beam, left her in bronze place, and it is something she has learnt from.

“You have to have a good day and unfortunately it wasn’t my best day or performance in Rio, I have learnt from that going into these performances,” she said. –


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