Simone Biles topped the standings at the US Women’s World Championships Selection Event on Tuesday as her return to competitive gymnastics passed another landmark.
Biles, 26, finished with an all-around total of 55.700, ahead of Shilese Jones’ 55.300 in second at the event in Katy, Texas.
The victory books Biles’ spot on the US team for the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, which start in Antwerp, Belgium, on September 30.
Biles is now the only US woman to qualify for six world championships, her first coming back in 2013 – that event was also held in Antwerp.
“Back to where it all started. See you soon Belgium,” Biles wrote on Instagram.
In her world championships debut in Antwerp 10 years ago, Biles won all-around and floor exercise golds, as well as vault silver and beam bronze.
She has gone onto earn plenty more accolades, accumulating 25 world championship medals – 19 golds, three silver and three bronze – in total.
Biles is already the most decorated gymnast in US history, winning 32 medals across the Olympics and the world championships.
The victory at the US Women’s World Championships Selection Event continues her return to competitive gymnastics after a two-year hiatus following the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, when she pulled out of several events suffering from what is known as the “twisties” – a mental block causing a gymnast to lose track of their positions in midair.
In August, Biles won a record eighth national all-around title with a strong performance at the US Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, California.
Despite securing her place on the US trip to Belgium, USA Gymnastics women’s program high performance technical lead Chellsie Memmel said Biles wasn’t happy with her overall performance.
“I gave her a hug and I said you know, ‘Congratulations’ because, obviously, she locked her spot,” Memmel, the 2005 world all-around champion, said, per the Olympics website.
“She was kind of like [grimaces], I was like: ‘Okay, I know it wasn’t your best.’ She’s like: ‘Yeah, I don’t know what happened.’ Like: ‘Get it out here. And you know, it’s it’s gonna be okay, like we’ll just turn turn the page.’”
The other five athletes joining Biles on the US team for the world championships will be announced by USA Gymnastics on Wednesday.