Simone Biles won vault silver at the world gymnastics championships despite a fall, a testament to the difficulty that sets her apart from the rest of the field.
Biles, the No. 1 qualifier and huge favorite, over-rotated her Yurchenko double pike (which is now called a Biles as she’s the first and only woman to land it internationally) and fell backward safely onto her back on the mat.
She cleanly landed her second vault, a twisting Cheng, with a small hop to the side. She averaged 14.549 points for her two vaults in Antwerp, Belgium.
Later, Brazilian Rebeca Andrade overtook Biles with an average of 14.75 for her two clean vaults. She had an average of seven fewer tenths of difficulty than Biles but beat the American on execution.
Yeo Seo-Jeong of South Korea took bronze (14.416) with two clean vaults and an average of eight tenths fewer difficulty than Biles.
Biles won a medal with the fall because she has those higher start values for her vaults as they were the most difficult in the nine-woman final.
She gets deducted a half-point on the Yurchenko double pike because her coach is on the mat spotting her out of safety, a deduction that made the difference between gold and silver on Saturday.
Biles upped her records to 35 combined Olympic and world championships medals, including 28 world medals.
Biles’ six career world vault medals — in six worlds appearances — are second to Oksana Chusovitina’s nine.
Leanne Wong, the other American in the final, was seventh. American Joscelyn Roberson had qualified for the final in sixth place but withdrew Saturday morning due to an ankle injury sustained in warm-up for Wednesday’s team final.
Later Saturday, the U.S. added medals on pommel horse (Khoi Young, silver behind Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan) and uneven bars (Shilese Jones, bronze in a tiebreaker over China’s Huang Zhuoufan).
Biles placed fifth on bars, matching her qualifying result. Bars is the lone apparatus where she is not a medal favorite, though she did win world silver in 2018.
Worlds finish Sunday with five more apparatus finals. Biles is the favorite to win both women’s events of balance beam and floor. Peacock live streams finals at 8 a.m. ET.