Tue, Oct 15, 2019 - Page 16 News List

‘Best ever’ Simone Biles hails record 25 worlds medals


US gymnastics star Simone Biles on Sunday won her fifth gold medal in the women’s floor final to conclude her “best ever” world championships and take her career record to 25 medals.

Biles, who won the beam title earlier in the day, also claimed an unrivaled 19th world gold following her previous successes in the team, all-around and vault events in Stuttgart, Germany.

“This is really the best worlds performance I have ever put out,” she said after finishing her fifth world championships with five titles in six events.

The 22-year-old plans to celebrate when she gets back home to Texas, where “my mom usually likes to throw a worlds party — whether I want one or not,” she said.

Biles was crowned world floor champion for the fifth time after winning by a full point from teammate Sunisa Lee, with Russia’s Angelina Melnikova taking bronze.

“I just couldn’t move at the end, I was so tired,” Biles said after her sixth and final event.

Her double gold success came within a two-hour spell after earlier winning the beam final.

“It meant a lot,” Biles said of her gold on the beam.

She had to settle for bronze in the event at the 2016 Olympics and last year’s world championships in Doha.

“I’m thrilled with that performance, it was probably the highlight” of the week, she said.

Biles worked hard on the beam to rebuild her confidence in the discipline, so “to go out there and nail the routine felt really good,” she added.

The gold medals made Biles the most decorated gymnast in world championship history, surpassing the previous all-time record of 23 medals won by Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus in the 1990s.

It was the first time she finished a world championships with five golds, but she has said that she is “99 percent” sure Stuttgart would be her last.

Less than 10 months before the Tokyo Olympic Games, Biles is on course to retain the team, floor, vault and all-around titles she won in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

“She’s incredible, she was here to do a job and she did exactly what she trained for,” Biles’ coach Laurent Landi said.

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