Gymnastics: Simone Biles performs an exceptional jump which will now bear her name


At the age of 26, the American Simone Biles marked her return to the world gymnastics scene by becoming the first woman to successfully perform a Yurchenko double back somersault pike, a 5th difficulty which will bear her name.

Simone Biles remains the superstar in her field. This Sunday, October 1, 2023, the American took advantage of the qualifications for the Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp (Belgium) to once again make history by performing an exceptional jump in Yurchenko double somersault back body pike. This figure was previously unheard of in the women's category. Five is the number of acrobatics which now bear the name of Simone Biles, the first having been performed in the Antwerp hall a decade earlier.

The Texan then revealed herself during these same Worlds by winning four medals including gold in the all-around and on floor. Simone Biles presented her first eponymous acrobatics there which she reproduced last Sunday: double back somersault with tense body with a half turn. For this new feat in 2023, we can see on a video from the International Gymnastics Federation Simone's coach, Laurent Landi, coming forward to parry, if necessary, the landing of the jump. Despite this precaution from the athlete resulting in a penalty of 0,5 points on the final score, the gymnast nevertheless exploded her score: 15,266. To perform the Yurchenko double pike, any athlete must combine both running speed and power at impact while having impeccable technique in the air and a perfect sense of timing. Simone Biles had succeeded in this jump in 2021 during American competitions but for it to be validated in her name and enter into the gymnastics code of points, the acrobatics must be performed during an International Federation competition. It is now done. If the feat is unprecedented among women, the achievement of this figure is not more widespread among men. The first to have successfully completed a Yurchenko double pike was Yang Wei during the 2022 Worlds. The Chinese athlete crowned individual Olympic champion in 2008 subsequently abandoned the vault given its complexity. In 2012, Kristian Thomas helped the English team win the bronze medal at the London Olympic Games with this figure. Simone Biles therefore returns stronger than ever after two years of absence, the young woman was almost two points ahead of her compatriot Shilese Jones and the British Jessica Gadirova. _VX

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