Simone Biles makes gymnastics history with never-before-seen act

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Simone Biles, pictured here landing a Yurchenko double pike in competition.
Simone Biles became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition. Image: NBC

Simone Biles has become the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition, leaving the gymnastics world in awe.

The American superstar returned to competition with a bang on Saturday, completing the historic vault to launch her final run to the Tokyo Olympics.

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The four-time Olympic gold medallist hasn't competed since winning five gold medals - including a fifth all-around title - at the 2019 World Championships.

But she delivered on the vault she's been preparing on Saturday at the US Classic in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Yurchenko double pike, featuring a round-off onto the springboard and back handspring into a piked double backflip, had never been done before in women's competition.

Biles sailed through it with so much power that she over-rotated slightly and stepped back on the landing.

"I was just thinking, do it like training," she said of her mindset as she took off down the runway.

"Don't try to overdo anything, because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to kind of overpower things.

"I did a little bit, but at least I still was on my feet and it's a new vault."

Simone Biles, pictured here at the US Gymnastics Classic.
Simone Biles went on to win the all-around competition. Image: NBC

Simone Biles wins all-around competition

Footage of Biles completing the vault in training this week had set social media buzzing.

NBA superstar LeBron James even retweeted a video of Biles landing it.

"It's nice to see all the support," Biles said, adding that she was "feeling confident" heading into the US championships from June 3-6.

That will be followed by the US Olympic Trials from June 24-27, where the top two finishers will book Tokyo berths, along with two other gymnasts named by USA Gymnastics selectors.

Biles wasn't perfect on Saturday. In addition to her step back on the vault landing she had a bobble on her floor routine and on the asymmetrical bars.

But she won the all-around competition with a score of 58.400, with Jordan Chiles second on 57.100 points and Kayla DiCello third on 56.100.

It was a triumphant return for Biles, who will attempt to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around gold medals since Vera Caslavska in 1964 and 1968.

"I'm just happy to be back out here on the competition floor in an arena with all of the girls, especially after the long year and time off we've had," Biles said.

with AFP

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