Watch Simone Biles win her record 8th US gymnastics championship

Simone Biles won her eighth national all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, California, on Sunday evening, breaking a record of seven championships she had shared with U.S. gymnast Alfred Joachim. “No offense to Jochim, who competed back in the 1920s and ’30s, when rope climbing and Indian clubs were still parts of the sport, but what Biles is doing is even more impressive,” USA Today assessed. 

Biles, who came off a two-year competition hiatus only three weeks ago, secured her eighth national title with floor exercise routine that earned her a rare standing ovation from the crowd at San Jose’s SAP Center. 

Biles’ 15.400 in the floor exercise — her second score above 15 during the competition — gave her a total score of 118.450, nearly four points ahead of Shilese Jones. Biles, at 26, also became the oldest woman ever to win a national championship, at least since USA Gymnastics began organizing the event in 1963, The Associated Press reported. “Most elite gymnasts at 26 — at least the ones who haven’t retired — are simply hoping to hold on to what they have.” Her coach, Laurent Landi, said Biles’ floor routine on Sunday was the best he’d ever seen her do.

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Biles and Jones are now headed to the world championships, which begin Sept. 30 in Antwerp, Belgium. Biles, who pulled out of several events at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (but still won a bronze medal) due to a mental block called the “twisties,” has not said if she plans to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. She is already the most decorated U.S. gymnast ever, with 32 medals at the Olympics and world championships, more than half of them gold.

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