Biles launches Olympic year with impressive Core Hydration Classic win

American gymnast lifts all-around title with a total of 59.5 points

AFP May 19, 2024


Simone Biles launched her 2024 season with an impressive victory at USA Gymnastics' Core Hydration Classic on Saturday, lifting the all-around title with a total of 59.5 points.

It was Biles's best all-around total since she returned to competition last year for the first time since her abbreviated Tokyo Olympics campaign.

"I was just happy to be back out there, get through those nerves again, feel that adrenaline," said the four-time Olympic gold medallist, who has five moves named after her.

Biles finished 1.85 points in front of two-time world all-around medallist Shilese Jones, who like Biles is building toward the US championships and Olympic trials to determine the five-woman team for the Paris Games.

Biles topped the scores on two of four apparatus -- floor exercise and vault at the meeting in Hartford, Connecticut.

She performed the demanding Yurchenko double pike vault -- now named the Biles II -- and unlike last year she didn't have coach Laurent Landi standing by at the landing mat as a precaution.

Without a half-point deduction his presence would have incurred Biles scored 15.6 on the vault.

Jones was the only other gymnast to record a score of 15 points, leading the uneven bars with 15.25.

Suni Lee finished first on the balance beam with 14.6 points to Biles's 14.55 and Biles led the floor exercise with 14.8.

Tokyo Olympic medallists Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey were third and fourth as they try to put themselves in contention for Paris after not making the 2023 World Championships team.

The winner of the all-around at the Olympic trials June 27-30 will make the team for Paris, with a selection committee choosing the other four team members after the trials.

Top contenders will aim to book their places at trials at the national championships in Fort Worth, Texas, May 30-June 2.


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