A day after winning a sixth all-around title to become the most decorated gymnast in history, Simone Biles added to her extraordinary medal collection with a silver in the vault at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Saturday.
The 26-year-old fell upon trying to land her first vault, the eponymous Biles II – also known as the Yurchenko double pike – for a 14.433 score; an error that gave her competitors hope.
Needing to regain her composure immediately for her second vault, Biles went on to score an impressive 14.666 for an average score of 14.549.
The American’s total kept her in first place until defending champion Rebeca Andrade, the last of the nine gymnasts to compete, stepped up.
Brazil’s Andrade finished with an overall score of 14.750 – 0.201 points better than Biles – and celebrated by dancing on the floor with her country’s flag.
South Korea’s Yeo Seo-jeong won bronze.
Later in the day, Biles finished fifth in the uneven bars, the apparatus in which she has been least successful in over the years.
Biles scored 14.200 in an event won by China’s Qiu Qiyuan with a score of 15.100. Kaylia Nemour of Algeria won silver, while the USA’s Shilese Jones took bronze.
Last weekend at the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault at an international competition, which ensured the skill is now named in her honor, mesmerizing onlookers during qualifying.
A high-difficulty skill historically only done by men, the element is a roundoff onto the springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing.
On Friday, Biles surpassed Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo’s record of 33 overall medals across both the Olympics and the world championships with a record sixth all-around gold.
That was her second gold of the week, having helped the US to women’s team gold on Wednesday. It was widely expected that Biles would make it a hat trick of golds in Belgium early on Saturday – and she so nearly did despite falling backwards upon trying to successfully land the “Biles II,” but Andrade’s sublime performance over both her vaults saw the Brazilian deservedly defend her title.
Biles has now earned 28 career medals (21 gold, four silver, three bronze) at the world championships, which is an all-time record.
She will conclude her championships on the balance beam and floor exercise finals on Sunday.