U.S. gymnast Simone Biles made history on Sunday when she became the first woman to complete the Yurchenko double pike in a world competition, a notoriously difficult vault move which will now be named after her.
The Yurchenko double pike, which is the most challenging jump in the women’s score code, will now be called the Biles II after the American executed the move during the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium over the weekend. It consists of a backflip off the vault and two full rotations in a pike position before landing.
Simone Biles lands Yurchenko double pike
It is customary for skills in gymnastics to be named after the first person who completes them at a major international competition. As the most decorated gymnast in the world, Biles has five moves named after her in the international rule book: one balance beam, two floor exercise, and two vault.
Biles earned a score of 15.766 for executing the move, voluntarily taking a half-point deduction so her coach, Laurent Landi, could stand nearby on the mat as a precaution. Her overall score came to 58.865, with the American women's team scoring a total of 171.395 — the highest team score the qualifiers. Italy was second at 162.230.
The U.S. women — consisting of Biles, Shilese Jones, Skye Blakely, Leanne Wong, and Joscelyn Roberson — are heavily favored to win the team title on Wednesday. The all-around finals are Friday, with event finals scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
The event marked Biles' first competition back back on the world stage since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, when she opted to sit out to focus on her mental health. She shared at the time that she was dealing with what is known as the “twisties” – a mental block that causes gymnasts to lose track of their positions in midair.
Biles has since said that she is aiming to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
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