Skip to content

Simone Biles awes judges, U.S. legend to repeat at P&G Championships

Aug 23, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

Simone Biles Getty Images

PITTSBURGH — This dominant era of U.S. women’s gymnastics began with Mary Lou Retton in Los Angeles a little more than 30 years ago. So Retton’s words two hours before competition Saturday night shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Simone Biles is in her own category, Retton said. Not just among her peers, but against all of the champion tumblers over the last three decades.

“She’s not human,” Retton said. “She may be the most talented gymnast I’ve ever seen in my life, honestly. And I don’t even think she’s tapped into what she really can do. I think she’s unbeatable.”

Biles won her second straight P&G Championships all-around title Saturday, despite falling on her final routine on the balance beam.

The reigning World all-around champion scored 122.55 points over two nights of competition. Even with the beam spill, that’s 2.1 points more than she scored last year.

Biles built up such a lead that she could afford dropping a full point on beam with that fall. She defeated a depleted field by 4.25 points.

London Olympian Kyla Ross took second. Ross, the world’s second-best gymnast in 2013 who struggled on the first night Thursday, lost to Biles by .2 last year.

Biles guessed that in her current form she would beat the Biles that ramped up training in the month before Worlds last year and won four medals at the meet.

Biles’ floor exercise routine is particularly perfect, with a signature tumbling pass named after her. The Olympic champion on floor, Aly Raisman, is in awe of it.

But Biles’ coach sees flaws.

“I think that consistency wise she needs to continue to improve,” Aimee Boorman said. “We knew that this meet right here, we don’t necessarily want to be 100 percent. We want to make sure we’re 100 percent for Worlds. That’s the most important meet of the year.”

Biles, too, said she needs straighter body lines on uneven bars, an apparatus she would like to take a chainsaw to, better landings on floor exercise and vault and prettier overall skills.

Next up? The World Championships in Nanning, China, in six weeks.

“We are permanently reminding that [Biles’] goal is not winning the U.S. championships,” U.S. national team coordinator Martha Karolyi said, “but her goal is to be competitive at world level.”

At Worlds, Biles will try to end this streak: In the last 10 years, 10 different women have been the top American all-around finisher at the year’s biggest competition — Worlds or the Olympics.

That speaks to the high turnover in women’s gymnastics, leading the sport’s followers to ask if Biles could possibly sustain this level of excellence for another two years.

In terms of the Olympics, keep this in mind: four members of the Fierce Five were competing in the junior division two years before the London Games. And the top U.S. woman at the year’s biggest all-around competition in 2002, 2006 and 2010 did not make the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Biles, who got her braces off between P&G titles, will have to fend off girls born in the 21st century who aren’t even allowed to compete against her yet.

Take Retton, who said she was maybe the fifth best gymnast on her Junior Olympic team in 1982.

“Two years before my Olympic Games,” Retton said, “I was an unknown.”

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the final day of men’s competition Sunday from 2:30-4 p.m. ET. London Olympian John Orozco leads.

Bond between Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles

Latest Posts
  1. Usain Bolt may retire after Rio Olympics

    Aug 27, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT

    Usain Bolt AP

    Bolt previously said he would retire after the 2017 World Championships.

  2. Usain Bolt taken out by Segway (video)

    Aug 27, 2015, 11:53 AM EDT

    Usain Bolt, Segway

    “The rumor I’m trying to start right now is that Justin Gatlin paid him off.”

  3. Usain Bolt crushes Justin Gatlin in World Championships 200m

    Aug 27, 2015, 11:52 AM EDT

    Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin AP

    Also, Allyson Felix broke a U.S. record for World Championships medals.

  4. Allyson Felix wins 400m, breaks U.S. record for Worlds medals; Rio preview?

    Aug 27, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT

    Allyson Felix

    Felix could try to race two individual events at the Rio Olympics.

  5. Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin’s first race together from 2005 (video)

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:48 AM EDT

    Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin

    Justin Gatlin got the best of Usain Bolt in their only race before Gatlin’s doping ban.

  6. Oscar Pistorius’ parole review date set, reports say

    Aug 27, 2015, 6:51 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius AP

    Pistorius could be out of prison in weeks.

  7. Sarah Hendrickson out for season after another knee surgery

    Aug 26, 2015, 8:39 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The first female Olympic ski jumper reinjured her right knee.

  8. Paul Wylie: I survived by the narrowest of margins

    Aug 26, 2015, 2:14 PM EDT

    Paul Wylie Getty Images

    Wylie went into sudden cardiac arrest on April 21 and was in a medically induced coma for two days.

  9. Jordan Spieth eyes childhood dream of walking in Opening Ceremony

    Aug 26, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Jordan Spieth AP

    The Opening Ceremony conflicts with a PGA Tour event.

  10. FINA may set age minimum for World Swimming Championships

    Aug 26, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

    AP AP

    A 10-year-old girl competed in Kazan earlier this month.

  11. Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid logo, renderings released

    Aug 26, 2015, 10:28 AM EDT

    Los Angeles 2024 logo

    Dodger Stadium and The Forum are potential venues.

  12. Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin set up duel; South African stretchered off after 400m gold

    Aug 26, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT

    AP AP

    A two-time Olympic champion in the 200m moved into another runner’s lane during a semifinal.

  13. Ashleigh Johnson stands out on U.S. water polo team (video)

    Aug 25, 2015, 1:13 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Johnson could become the first African-American woman to compete on an Olympic water polo team.

  14. Former coach of Olympic gymnasts faces child molestation charges

    Aug 25, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT

    Marvin Sharp Getty Images

    Marvin Sharp coached Bridget Sloan and Samantha Peszek.

  15. Hammer thrower briefly leaves World Championships gold medal in taxi

    Aug 25, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Paweł Fajdek reportedly paid his taxi fare with his World Championships hardware.

  16. U.S. goes medal-less at World Championships; Bolt, Gatlin, Felix advance

    Aug 25, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT

    AP AP

    One medal favorite’s shoe came off during her race.

  17. History of U.S. women to swim 100m through 800m freestyles at Olympic trials

    Aug 24, 2015, 3:41 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Many have tried. None succeeded in making the Olympic team in all four events.

  18. Katie Ledecky expects to add 100m freestyle to Olympic trials lineup

    Aug 24, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Ledecky may also swim a non-freestyle event at trials.

  19. Ex-No. 2 women’s marathoner of all time OK to compete after doping ban reduced

    Aug 24, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT

    Liliya Shobukhova Getty Images

    Liliya Shobukhova provided “substantial assistance” in the fight against doping.