- Gymnastics skills are named after the first person to perform them in a competition.
- The Yurchenko double pike will now be known as Biles II
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Not content with simply rewriting the gymnastics record book, Simone Biles became the first woman to perform the Yurchenko double pike at the world championships on Sunday, adding it to her growing list of eponymous skills.
The Biles II, as the vault will be known in the future, took place on Sunday in Antwerp, where the 26-year-old is set to add to her record 25 world championship medals, including 19 gold .
It was in this Belgian city that Biles won her first world championship a decade ago, but somehow the native Texan continues to find new ways to leave her mark on the sport at an age when many gymnasts are considering retirement. She already had four skills named after her: two on floor, one on beam and another on vault. (Gymnastics skills are named after the first person to perform them at a major international competition)
“It’s great,” coach Laurent Landi said afterwards. “I hope people realize that this may be one of the last times you see a jump like that in your life from a gymnast.” So I think it’s time to appreciate it.
Landi was actually part of Sunday’s historic moment, as Biles intentionally took a half-point deduction so his coach could stand on the mat for safety. Of course, in the end, Biles didn’t need it and came away with an impressive score of 15.266.
The vault has no rescue plan, which creates a risk of a gymnast landing on their head or heck. The difficulty of the maneuver comes from having to go around the body twice while holding the pike.
Biles now has five eponymous skills, including two on floor and one on beam
Attendees at the Sportspaleis applauded Biles as the four-time Olympic gold medalist greeted Landi and dutifully ran toward her teammates.
“She made it,” Landi told reporters, as quoted by USA today. “She managed her nerves, managed the pressure. Last event, so there was fatigue and everything.
The vault is undeniably dangerous because there is no room for a rescue, creating a risk of a gymnast landing on their head or heck.
The difficulty of the maneuver comes from having to make two turns with your body while maintaining the pike position.
Team USA’s Simone Biles performs her new vault routine “Biles II” on Vault
Thanks in large part to Biles, the Americans posted an overall total of 58.865 to lead qualifying in two subdivisions on Sunday.
Biles recorded the highest scores on floor exercise, vault and balance beam and the second-highest score behind teammate Shilese Jones on the uneven bars throughout the first part of qualifying.
The American team of Biles, Jones, Skye Blakely, Leanne Wong and Joscelyn Roberson totaled 171.395, which looked to be the best by far at the end of qualifying. Italy finished second with 162.230 in two of the ten subdivisions.
The United States will be heavily favored to win the team title on Wednesday. The all-around finals will take place on Friday, with the event finals scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.