History has been made. Twice.
Two days after Team USA won their third straight Women’s Team gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championship, Simone Biles won the All-Around competition for her third straight World Championship. She becomes the first female gymnast to win three straight all-around World Championships.
Biles wasn’t as solid as she was during qualification. She lead by three points at the end of qualification, but all scores were wiped clean entering finals. Biles, who lead in three out of four events in qualification, nearly fell off the balance beam. She grabbed the beam with both hands to prevent herself from falling, which cost her a .500 deduction, but with many of the top gymnasts falling from the beam, Biles was willing to give a half a point.
She entered the final rotation, the floor exercise, with a less than a point lead. The floor is Biles’ best event, and she is the best in the world at that event, but a full jump out of bounds early put everyone on edge. Biles, however, would finish the rest of her routine in typical flawless fashion, securing her third gold medal. Her gold medal, which is her 11th overall medal in the World Championships, also makes her the most decorated woman in World Championship history, passing Alicia Sacramone’s previous medal count of 10. She also has an incredibly insane winning percentage, winning 11 medals out of a possible 14 in her career.
Biles’ final score was a 60.399. Despite her slight mistakes, Biles would finish a full point ahead of her nearest competition, the largest margin of victory in any of Biles’ championships. If Biles would have performed flawless routines, she might have broken Shawn Johnson’s record margin of victory of 1.250 under the new scoring system, which was implemented in 2006.
Biles was not the only American to make history Thursday night. Gabby Douglas, who finished with the silver medal, became the first female Olympic All-Around Champion to win a World Championship medal since Elena Davydova in 1981. Douglas already set a record entering the event when she became the first American Olympic All-Around Champion to make the national team after their Olympic triumph. If Douglas makes the team for Rio next year, a goal which she seems almost certain to accomplish, she will be the first woman since Nadia Comăneci in 1980 to make the Olympics after previously winning the All-Around gold medal. Amazingly, this was Douglas’ first individual World Championship medal. Her only previous appearance was in 2011, where she was on the gold medal winning team, but was shut out from the individual podium.
Romania’s Larisa Iordache won the bronze in an amazing comeback. Iordache and her Romanian team struggled so much at qualifications that Romania did not make the team finals and Iordache left the arena in tears. She finished this event in tears, as well, but they were tears of joy as Iordache put her disappointments behind her to complete a fantastic finals four rotations. Iordache won the All-Around silver medal in 2014 and is expected to be a medal contender in Rio.
The event finals are the last thing remaining on the ladies’ schedule in Glasgow. Biles qualified in first place in three events – floor exercise, balance beam, and vault. Douglas, meanwhile, qualified for uneven bars final.