American artistic gymnast Simone Biles proved her dominance by acquiring the gold at the last competition before the Olympic Trials by 3.900 points.
The three-time World All-around champion acquired her fourth consecutive all-around title at the USA Gymnastics National Championships this Sunday, a feat that was only done twice before. The last female gymnast to do the same was Joan Moore Gnat, who clinched four consecutive titles from 1971 to 1974 (although she tied for the title in 1971 and 1972), and the first one who did the feat was Clara Schroth Lomady from 1949 to 1952.
The 19-year-old gymnast, who was named USA Gymnastics Athlete of the Year after the P&G Championships on Sunday, effortlessly won the competition by acquiring a score of 125 points, outscoring the second-placer Aly Raisman by 3.9 points. Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian completed the top five.
Biles came as close to perfection to her Amanar, receiving just 1/10th of a point as a deduction from her score for the two-and-a-half-twisting vault. She also claimed victory on the Floor routine, where her tumbling appeared effortless and natural that she managed to shoot a wink to Shawn Johnson in the middle of her performance.
The silver medal was obtained by Aly Raisman, who is looking more confident than she had ever been in her entire gymnastics journey. The most decorated U.S. artistic gymnast at the London Olympic Games took a few years off from competition after the 2012 Olympics, making a comeback in the spring of 2015. She acquired the second highest scores on the Floor and Beam but it was her consistency that made the most impression. Not only she avoided to make any major mistake, but she also impressed by acquiring nearly identical scores on al the apparatus between nights one and two; the biggest difference was 0.150 on vault.
The bronze medal was clinched by Laurie Hernandez, participating at her first nationals as a senior gymnast. A year ago she acquired the junior title, and her aggression and poise have carried over smoothly to the senior ranks. With a floor performance that made USA Gymnastics national team coordinator Martha Karolyi sit up and say “wow”, Hernandez had no problem outscoring the older competitors.
Gabby Douglas settled in the fourth place, her second year of being off the podium. She’s aiming to be the first artistic gymnast since 1968 to win a consecutive Olympic all-around title, but she will first have to prove to Karolyi that she won’t make the same mistake in Rio.
The leading U.S. female gymnasts will proceed to the Olympic Trials on July 8 and 10 in San Jose, California. The top-eight all-around finishers at the USA Gymnastics Championships earned tickets to Trials, and the Olympic selection committee will pick a handful of other gymnasts to compete with them.
The top eight athletes at the P&G Championships are the following: (in order)
- Simone Biles
- Aly Raisman
- Laurie Hernandez
- Gabby Douglas
- Madison Kocian
- Amelia Hundley
- Alyssa Baumann
- Ragan Smith
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