Biles wins Olympic trials, targets Rio gold
By Steve Keating
SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Simone Biles recorded yet another crushing victory at the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics trials on Sunday, sending a clear message to her rivals that Rio Games gold is her next target.
The three-time reigning world all-around champion, who has not lost a major competition since 2013, will lead a powerhouse U.S. squad into Rio that includes London Olympic gold medalists and Fierce Five team mates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, 16-year-old Lauren Hernandez and Madison Kocian, the reigning world champion on uneven bars.
Already in the discussion as the greatest gymnast of all-time, Biles punched her ticket to Rio in what has become typically ruthless style outdistancing the rest of the elite 14 women field by a whopping 2.100 points.
With the formality of making the U.S. team out of the way Biles heads to Rio where she is expected to challenge for five gold medals.
"For the past three years it (Olympics) has been a dream and once it comes true, you don't even believe it, it's kind of like a fairytale," said Biles, who was too young to compete in London. "It was very emotional."
Competing on four different apparatus twice, Biles finished with a two-day total score of 123.250 while Hernandez was second on 121.150 and Raisman third 119.750.
MyKayla Skinner was fourth and Ragan Smith fifth but did not make the five member Rio squad, team selectors instead opted to go with struggling Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, who finished well back in seventh and uneven bar specialist Kocian, in eighth.
"All of us on the selection committee felt that this is the best combination," said U.S. women's national team program director Martha Karolyi. "Gabby has good international level and I know her personality and I'm going back to what she did in the past." Continued...