GLASGOW (Reuters) - A big wobble on the beam and tumble out of bounds on the floor could not wipe the megawatt smile off Simone Biles’ face as the American became the first woman to win three straight all-around titles at the gymnastics world championships on Thursday.
In fact, the woman who has been dubbed ‘a robot’ for churning out flawless displays day-in and day-out 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 gravity-defying difficulty, her flawed performances were still good enough to edge out fellow American and Olympic champion Gabby Douglas by 1.083 points.
The 18-year-old, who has been unbeaten in the event at the worlds since making her debut in 2013, captured gold with a combined total of 60.399.
Larisa Iordache went some way towards healing Romania’s wounded pride by claiming bronze. The nation that produced Nadia Comaneci and won five straight team titles from 1994 to 2001 failed to make the team final for the first time since 1966.
For Biles though, Thursday’s triumph earned her an eighth gold medal at the worlds and she will now go to Rio next year as the overwhelming favourite to cap her unbeaten global run with the Olympic title.
Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Toby Davis