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Simone Biles becomes first woman to land Yurchenko double pike in return to competition


Defending world champion gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault move in competition at the GK US Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday.

The Yurchenko double pike — a high-difficulty skill historically only done by men — is a roundoff onto the springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing.

Biles, 24, performed the move and then added two extra hops for a slightly imperfect landing.

“I was just thinking, ‘Do it like training. Don’t try to like overdo anything,'” she said afterward, “because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to kind of overpower things, and I did a little bit, but at least I was on my feet. It’s a new vault and I’m proud of how today went.”

Biles competed while wearing a leotard decorated with a rhinestone goat, an apparent hint to her claim as the GOAT, or greatest of all time.

Overall, the four-time Olympic gold medalist successfully defended her GK US Classic all-around title with a score of 58.400 in what was her first competition in more than a year and a half. Biles took the top score on both balance beam and floor exercise.

Jordan Chiles, the 20-year-old from Spring, Texas, finished second in the all-around with 57.100 points, and Kayla DiCello, the 17-year-old from Boyds, Maryland, took third with 56.100.

After being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are set to begin in late July, barring further postponement or cancellation. The US Olympic team trials will be held June 24-27 in St. Louis.

Article Topic Follows: National/World

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