Rebeca Andrade of Brazil denied Simone Biles a 22nd Worlds title by winning the women’s vault competition ahead of the American superstar on Saturday.
A day after she became the most decorated gymnast in history, Biles tried to claim back the vault title she last won in 2019 by performing her extremely difficult signature Yurchenko double pike vault that nobody else does in the women’s competition.
But she fell on her back on the landing. Biles then delivered an excellent Cheng to finish with a combined score of 14.549. Andrade was nearly flawless to snatch the gold medal by a margin of 0.201 points.
Yeo Seo-jeong of South Korea took the bronze medal with 14.416.
Biles became the first woman to do the Yurchenko double pike at the world championships during qualifying, and the vault is now named the Biles II because it was achieved in international competition. The 26-year-old American already had four skills named after her.
As usual, the biggest cheers and applause coming from the crowd during the athletes’ presentation were for Biles.
First on the starting list, she kicked off her meeting with a massive vault but fell on her back at the landing. In addition, Biles took a half-point deduction when she did her Yurchenko double pike because her coach Laurent Landi stood on the mat as a precaution, ready to assist her in case something went wrong.
But the start value of the Biles II is so high that even the fall did not hurt her chances of medaling.
After getting 15.000 points for her first vault, Andrade — who was dethroned by Biles in the all-around final — then nailed a superb double twisting Yurchenko to cap her day in style.
Biles is competing at her first world championships since 2019. Her silver medal came a day after the four-time Olympic gold medalist won her sixth all-around crown. She also led the U.S women to a record seventh straight win in the team event earlier this week in the Belgian port city.
Biles, who has won a record 35 medals at the World Championships and Olympics, has returned to competition this summer after a two-year break she used to focus on her mental wellbeing following the Tokyo Olympics.