Simone Biles makes history with vault performance at World Gymnastics Championships

American gymnast returns to competition after two-year hiatus and lands Yurchenko double pike

US gymnast Simone Biles competes on the balance beam during the World Gymnastics Championships in Belgium. Getty Images
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Simone Biles made a historic return to the World Gymnastics Championships by performing the most difficult jump in the women's scoring code.

Biles was the first woman to perform the Yurchenko double pike, which gave her a score of 15.266. She scored 58.865 in the all-around.

“She made it. That is all I can say, she handled her nerves, handled the pressure. It was her last event, she endured fatigue and everything,” coach Laurent Landi said.

“So it's great. People I hope realise that once in a lifetime you are going to see a vault like that from a woman gymnast, so I think it is time to appreciate that now.”

The Yurchenko double pike will now be renamed Biles II. It is the fifth skill to be named after the American gymnast.

Biles owns 25 world championship medals.

She returned to competition earlier this summer after a two-year break following the Tokyo Olympics. Then 19 years old, the four-time Olympic champion skipped many events due to what gymnasts refer to as “twisties”.

Twisties is a mental block whereby gymnasts lose their awareness and body control when performing.

Biles won the all-around division of the US Classic in Chicago in August.

Team USA finished first in their qualifying subdivision at this month's championships in Belgium. They will go for team gold later this week.

Updated: October 03, 2023, 8:00 AM