Over the weekend at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the most decorated gymnast of all time executed the challenging Yurchenko double pike, making history as the first female competitor to do so. As a result, the vault element will now bear her name.
Gymnastics skills are called for the first person to perform them at a significant international competition. Five moves in the international rule book bear Biles' name: two on the floor exercise, two on the vault, and one on the balancing beam. Currently referred to as the Biles II element, it entails a backflip off the vault followed by two complete pike revolutions before landing.
The elusive technique was last executed by Biles at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis in 2021. The 26-year-old, who took a two year hiatus after the Tokyo Olympics before returning to competition this summer, received a 15.766 for the Yurchenko despite choosing to willingly forfeit a half-point so coach Laurent Landi may stand on the mat as a precaution.
In the world gymnastics championships, Biles led the American women's team to a commanding performance. She led qualifying through two subdivisions with an all-around score of 58.865.
The seven-time Olympic medalist and five-time global all-around champion set records on the vault, balancing beam, floor exercise, and uneven bars, and after colleague Shilese Jones, she finished second in the first round of qualification.
By a significant margin at the end of qualifying, the American team consisting of Biles, Jones, Skye Blakely, Leanne Wong, and Jocelyn Roberson, with a combined score of 171.395, is expected to be the best. At 162.230 after two of the ten subdivisions, Italy came in second.
Throughout the week, Biles, whose record-breaking 25 world championship medals (19 of which are gold), will have the opportunity to significantly increase that number. Wednesday's team title match will be strongly favored to the United States. Event finals are set for Saturday and Sunday, with the all-around finals taking place on Friday.