Simone Biles soars to sixth U.S. all-around women's gymnastics title, tying record

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Simone Biles left the GOAT leotard at home. She brought a double-double and a triple-double to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships instead, winning her sixth national all-around title in a runaway.

Biles hit a skill that no woman has ever done, for a second straight night of competition — this time a triple twisting double somersault on floor exercise — en route to winning by a hefty 4.95 points over Sunisa Lee.

Next up: October’s world championships, where Biles will be heavily favored to extend her female record with a fifth all-around title. She will undoubtedly lead the five-woman team that is named after a September selection camp.

“I’m almost back to where I was at [2018] Worlds,” Biles said on NBC, referencing last October’s meet where she won the all-around by the largest margin in history (with two falls and a kidney stone) and earned medals on every apparatus for the first time at a major international meet. “Of course it’s going to take some time, but we’re starting the journey.”


But first a few more notes on nationals.

Biles tied Clara Schroth Lomady‘s record six U.S. women’s titles from the AAU era in the 1940s and ’50s. Biles didn’t dominate as much as last year, when she won all five gold medals after taking 2017 off from competition. She only won four of the five this week.

But she increased her already unmatched difficulty with that floor tumbling pass (the triple-double) and a double twisting double somersault dismount off the balance beam (the double-double) that she threw Friday.

The difficulty has been the difference in Biles’ second Olympic cycle. From 2013-16, her largest gap in difficulty over an Olympic or world championships field was nine tenths of a point. Last year, it was 2.7 points at worlds.

Biles stood out upon arriving in Kansas City by training in a leotard with the image of a sparkling goat’s head designed into the back. She then tearfully expressed dissatisfaction with USA Gymnastics for failing to protect her and other Larry Nassar survivors.

Biles, wearing a non-GOAT leotard, comfortably led after Friday night but said she wanted to walk out of the building 15 seconds into her first routine. She overcooked the triple-double and put her hands down on the landing. She later used an expletive to describe her subpar uneven bars set before finishing with the double-double off beam.

Angry, Biles vowed to come back Sunday and hit the triple-double. The GOAT delivered, extending her win streak to 20 straight all-arounds over six years.

Her supporting cast at worlds will again include four women bidding for their first Olympic team next year.

Among the contenders going into September’s selection camp: Lee improved from third in the junior division at last year’s nationals to a runner-up to Biles this week. Grace McCallum moved up from ninth after Friday to third, boosting her bid for a second straight worlds.

Morgan Hurd, the 2017 World all-around champion during Biles’ break, improved from eighth place after Friday to fourth.

Riley McCusker, a 2018 World team member who was second to Biles at the U.S. Classic last month, withdrew after two routines Sunday night due to illness.

MORE: Laurie Hernandez hopes to return to national team camp

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