Simone Biles continues to skyrocket, but she has a gripe

Even as Simone Biles continues to advance the art of the possible, the International Gymnastics Federation continues, not surprisingly, to turn a blind eye to the magnitude of her accomplishments.

Biles triggered a Yurchenko double pike jump for the first time by a female gymnast on Saturday at the US Classic USA Gymnastics competition in Indianapolis.

It was the highlight of the night and it propelled the four-time Olympic gold medalist from the spring to another all-around championship.

The FIG, however, asked USA Gymnastics to give the jump a starting value – the weight it carries in the 220-page code of the sport’s point evaluation manual – of 6.6, two-tenths of a point. more than the previous double-twist jump that she debuted. at the 2018 world championships.

Biles, his coaches and USA Gymnastics were hoping for a starting value of 6.8 but were disappointed, just as they were disappointed when the FIG refused to give Biles’ double somersault a higher starting value in 2019 because he was considered too dangerous.

Of the FIG decision to limit the starting values ​​on vault and beam, Biles said on Saturday night: “They’re both too low, and they know it, but they don’t want (the competitors ) are too far apart.

“It’s on them. It’s not on me. It’s on them. They had an open point code, and now they’re crazy that people are way ahead and excellent. “

Biles’ superior starting values ​​- the product of his own remarkable skills and the routine designs of his coaches, Aimee Boorman until 2016 and Cécile and Laurent Landi since 2017 – are largely the key factor in his unbeaten streak in the finals matches. return to the 2013 national championships.

In Saturday’s Classic, for example, Biles ‘combined starting values ​​of 25.7 were 2.7 points higher than Jordan Chiles’ starting 23 points. Biles beat Chiles by 1.2 points when execution scores were added, so his starting values ​​were more than his margin of victory.

Likewise, she was 2.4 points ahead of Chinese runner-up Tang Xijing at the 2019 world championships, which she won by 2.1 points.

As Biles adds new skills, the gap between her and the rest of the world continues to grow – her starting value at the 2016 Olympics was only six-tenths of a point higher than that of the silver medalist. Aly Raisman – but she doesn’t get full value for what she does.

“I really think (Yurchenko’s double-spade jump) is undervalued,” said Tom Forster, director of women’s high performance for USA Gymnastics. “It was not a decision of the USAG. It was from what is called a predetermination before the final. This is what we were told they thought (FIG) was going to give it. “

Forster added, however, “It hasn’t been confirmed so it could be higher. We gave him 6.6 (Saturday) because we were told that is what the FIG was going to do.

Biles was clearly upset by the lower than expected starting value, as was the case with her down beam three years ago. She gave up that last skill, in fact, because the risk was not worth the reward.

However, she plans to stay with Yurchenko’s double pike at the national championships and Olympic trials next month in Fort Worth and St. Louis, respectively, and hopes to play him at the Tokyo Olympics in July.

When asked why she was sticking to the safe, she replied, “Because I can do it, and it would always have my name (in the dot code).”

“I know it’s not the right value we want, but I can still do it, so why not show off my ability and athleticism?”

Jumping aside, Biles wasn’t always at her best on Saturday when she first met since the 2019 World Championships. Yet she struggled enough to win, in part thanks to the new vault.

“It was really exciting to compete with him, because I worked really hard at it in the gym, and finally putting him there in competition was really cool,” she said.

“I feel pretty confident for the national championships (next month in Fort Worth). I had an unusual fall on the floor and on the bars as well. But I’m not really angry with today. I’m just trying to come back and compete. “

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