The 26-year-old world gymnastics superstar has won the all-around of the U.S. team for the Worlds, which guarantees her a place on the team in Belgium, the USA Gymnastics Association said in a statement.

Biles, who won a record eighth all-around title at the National Championships in late August, becomes "the first American in history selected for six World Artistic Gymnastics Championships," the U.S. Olympic Committee (Team USA) said on X (formerly Twitter).

She could expand her harvest of 19 titles at these Worlds organized from September 30 to October 8 in the Flemish city, where she opened her counter in 2013 with four medals including two gold.

The Worlds come nine months before the Olympics in Paris, where the four-time Olympic gold medallist said recently she would "love" to win more titles.

Biles did not confirm his participation in the Worlds but reposted Team USA's message, without comment.

Until recently, she wanted to remain discreet about her sporting goals since her return to competition, wanting to maintain the balance between sport and her private life.

She had withdrawn from most of the 2021 Olympic Games events in Japan for mental health and safety reasons. The gymnast had explained that she had experienced an attack of "twisties", dangerous losses of bearings in space exposing athletes to a risk of injury when they land.

Simone Biles, who married an American football player in April, has also become involved in the fight against sexual abuse after being one of the victims of the assaults committed by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2018.


© 2023 AFP