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Simone Biles wins fourth gold medal as she completes first international competition since two-year break

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Posted at 1:12 PM, Oct 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-08 13:12:27-04

(CNN) — Simone Biles won her fourth gold medal of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Sunday, finishing first in the floor exercise, as she completes her first international competition since her two-year break from gymnastics.

Despite being penalized for stepping out of the floor area in her routine, the high difficulty of her performance meant she finished well clear of second-placed Rebeca Andrade.

The gold in floor is Biles’ 23rd world championship gold medal and was her second of the day, having won the beam competition in Antwerp, Belgium.

After a disappointing day by her lofty standards on Saturday – winning silver in the vault and finishing fifth in the uneven bars – the 26-year-old bounced back in emphatic fashion to win her third gold medal of this year’s world championships.

The US gymnast recorded a 14.800 in her attempt, finishing 0.100 ahead of China’s Zhou Yaqin in second place.

With four gold medals and one silver added to her already bulging medal cabinet, Biles appears back to her all-conquering best and deserving of the accolade she earned during her time in Europe: the most decorated female or male gymnast ever.

A successful return

It’s been a week to remember for Biles, who is making her return to the top-tier of competitive gymnastics following a two-year hiatus after suffering from the “twisties” – a mental block causing a gymnast to lose track of their position in midair – during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Gold medals in the women’s team and all-around competitions began a productive few days of action, the latter of which was her sixth all-around world title and made her the most decorated female or male gymnast ever.

Saturday’s action for Biles didn’t live up to her high standards though. She earned a silver in the vault after falling upon trying to land her first vault, the eponymous Biles II, also known as the Yurchenko double pike, and then fifth in the uneven bars, the apparatus in which she has been least successful in over the years.

However, she was back to her winning ways on Sunday, performing with her usual assuredness and poise.

Her routine on the beam included all the requirements needed by the judges, all performed with the perfection you come to expect from a Biles display.

Zhou did run Biles close with her own performance, but the 17-year-old’s execution was adjudged to be 0.1 points lower than Biles’; a fine margin between first and second position.

Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, fresh off of world championship gold in the vault on Saturday, earned bronze medal with the final performance of the round.

And later on Sunday, Biles made it two golds on the same day with an almost perfect display on the floor apparatus.

Her performance included the usual bounce and precision she has routinely shown over her decorated career.

Biles has now earned 30 career medals – 23 gold, four silver, three bronze – at the world championships, as well as a record 37 total medals across both the Olympics and the world championships.