Simone Biles reaches new heights with all-around Olympic gold medal

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Simone BIles has captured a second gold at Rio after no one could approach her level of difficulty or executing in the individual all-around competition

Simone Biles stood by herself atop the rostrum as her national anthem played, the thousands of Swarovski crystals adorning her red, white and blue leotard glimmering in the spotlight that was hers alone a familiar perch for the adolescent who has towered above gymnastics for the past three years.

The 19 -year-old from suburban Houston captured her second Olympic gold medal of the Rio Game on Thursday afternoon, winning the individual all-around rivalry the sports ultimate prize after anchoring the United States to a crushing win in the team rivalry two days ago.

It was less a competition than a coronation for Biles, who has now won the last 14 all-around meets she has entered including three world and four US national championships dating back to her debut season as a senior gymnast in 2013. The strength, form and fearlessness that have become her calling card were all on full display. No one then or now even approaches her level of difficulty or execution.

Biles a once-in-a-lifetime athlete who attains the unthinkable appear elementary, who attains the extraordinary appear effortless paced the field of 24 gymnasts with 62.198 points. Her American team-mate Aly Raisman won the silver with a rating of 60.098, followed by Russias Aliya Mustafina with 58.665.

I feel like I did my job tonight, said Biles, who became the fourth straight American woman to win the sports more prestigious title after Gabby Douglas( 2012 ), Nastia Liukin( 2008) and Carly Patterson( 2004 ).

The Texan began her afternoon on the vault, surging down the platform and launching into a sky-high Amanar before landing with a hop and a step forward. She earned 15.866, good for first place and 0.233 ahead of Raisman. Rebeca Andrade, the breakout Brazilian ingenue buoyed by a home mob, was third with 15.566 after the first rotation.

Next was the uneven bars, Biles worst discipline, which is to say the lone event final she did not qualify for and the 4ft 8in phenomenon followed Raismans rotation-opening rating of 14. 166 with a solid mark of 14. 966. This was where Mustafina needed to post a massive rating in the hope of closing the gap with the Americans. Her 15.666 was enough to move 0.034 points ahead of Biles through two rotations, while her team-mate Seda Tutkhalyan( 15.033) moved past Raisman into third.

It would not be enough.

Biles led off the third rotation on the beam and stuck her routine with only a couple of minor wobbles, hitting the dismount perfectly and waiting a beat as the applause cascaded down. The rating of 15. 433 was enough to lift her back into first, though it left room for her contenders. An inquiry into the score was rejected.

But Mustafina was unable to keep the pressure on, constructing several bobbles and taking a large step on the landing. Those faults combined with a reduction in the difficulty level of the 21 -year-olds set created a rating of 13.866, dropping her to second in the stands entering the final rotation.

That set the stage for Raisman, whose solid, composed beam routine a rating of 14. 866 second merely on the apparatus to Biles moved her into third, while Andrade slipped further down the stands to seventh after two important bobbles followed by a small hop on the dismount resulted in a rating of 13.600.

Then came the final rotation, where Mustafinas imperfect floor routine, including drops out of turn and steps on her tumbling, created a rating of 13.933. For Raisman it offered a chance to win a medal and a shot at redemption. The 21 -year-old American had tied for third in the all-around with Mustafina in London but a tie-breaker counting only the three highest apparatus ratings had left her off the rostrum. With her team-mates cheering their captain from the stands, Raisman delivered a flawless routine that ensure her the silver.

Biles needed only better than 13.833 points to clinch the gold going into the floor exercise, where she is three-times defending world champ. After a 56 -minute wait between apparatuses, the Texan climbed the carpeted stairs to the rivalry rostrum and delivered a routine of immaculate quality punctuated by her signature a double somersault with her body fully extended followed by a half-turn at the end a manoeuvre so difficult it has been named after her.

The American style is power, hard work, aggressiveness and the preciseness, Martha Karolyi, the legendary national team coordinator who is retiring after Rio, said afterwards. Consistency is our trademark. Right now we finished the fourth day of rivalry and we didnt have one missed routine.You reach your routines. You dont talk winning or placing or anything. If you reach your routine, youll be good.

After it aimed Biles screamed through laughter as she embraced her long-time coach-and-four, Aimee Boorman, before hugging Raisman, the victory in hand before the outcome was official. The final rating of 62.198 depicted Biles marked improvement from her championship-winning ratings at worlds last year( 60.399 ), in 2014( 60.231) and 2013( 60.216 ).

Aimee and Aly told me Id done it and when that reaches you, you cant stop the feelings, said Biles, who became the first reigning world champion to win Olympic gold since Ukraines Lilia Podkopayeva in 1996. You never know the feeling until it reaches you.

It marked a culmination for Biles and Boorman, who discovered the eight-year-old at Bannons Gymnastix in Houston. Then a neophyte to the world of upper-class gymnastics, Boorman and her prized student have grown together during an 11 -year journey that aimed on Thursday at the Rio Olympic Arena with the sports biggest prize.

Shes surely proven herself over the last three years that shes the greatest, Boorman said. Now she can say shes the greatest of all time.

RioRun

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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