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Simone Biles thrilled on the jump with a new element


US superstar Simone Biles made a brilliant comeback in Antwerp and crowned her return to the international gymnastics stage with a new element. More than two years after her mental problems at the Tokyo Olympics, the 26-year-old presented the hardest jump in women's gymnastics at the World Championships on Sunday: a Yurchenko followed by a double somersault bent backwards with a difficulty of 6.4 points.

After the almost flawless international premiere, for which she received 15.266 points from the jury, nothing stands in the way of her being included in the scoring guidelines of the world federation Fig. The federation had announced that the jump would be named "Biles II" because the four-time Olympic champion had already created a new jump in 2018, which has since borne her name.

Until now, the exceptional gymnast had only shown »Biles II« at the national level. However, for recognition by the world federation, a new element must be performed at a major international competition.

Working on it since 2021

Biles had presented the jump, which begins with a wheel turn (Yurchenko) onto the springboard, for the first time at a competition in Indianapolis in the spring of 2021. It had been expected that she would then show it on the international stage in Tokyo and thus get the recognition. But because of her orientation disorder, called Twisties, she had dropped out of the team all-around and then only competed on the balance beam.

At 17:57 p.m. on Sunday, Biles went to the apparatus for the first time since Stuttgart 2019 at a World Championships and impressively confidently delivered proof of her extra class. On the uneven bars, she started with 14.400 points. While an instrumental version of "Haus am See" by Peter Fox was playing in the background, the 19-time world champion scored 14.566 points on the balance beam.

On the ground, Biles thrilled the spectators in the packed grandstands in the Sportpaleis with 14.633 points, before she set the highlight with the jump at the end of the four-way race. With a total of 58.865 points, she is, as expected, the top favorite for the all-around title, which will be awarded on Friday.