Biles gets away with errors to secure 'three-peat'

Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:19pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

GLASGOW (Reuters) - A heart-stopping wobble on the beam and tumble out of bounds on the floor could not wipe the megawatt smile off Simone Biles' face as she became the first woman to win three straight all-around titles at the gymnastics world championships on Thursday.

The gymnast, who has been dubbed a 'robot' for churning out one flawless display after another, made mistakes on her three strongest apparatus as she also took a giant hop forward from her Amanar vault landing.

But with her routines packed with such high levels of difficulty, the 18-year-old's flawed performances were still good enough to edge fellow American and Olympic champion Gabby Douglas by 1.083 points.

Biles, who is unbeaten in the event at the worlds since making her debut in 2013, captured gold with a combined total of 60.399.

"Everyone wanted the three-peat and I wanted it, so tonight I felt the pressure and it wasn't my best meet," Biles told reporters.

"What surprises me is that it was a bad meet for me and to still come out on top with the largest margin of victory (of my three titles) was really crazy because I could have done so much better."

Romania finally had something to cheer when Larisa Iordache claimed bronze.

The nation that produced Nadia Comaneci and won five straight team titles from 1994 to 2001 failed to make the eight-team final for the first time since 1966 after bombing out of qualifying last Friday.   Continued...

Simone Biles of the U.S competes on the beam during the women's all-round final at the World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, October 29, 2015.   REUTERS/Phil Noble