DOHA, Qatar – Simone Biles returned to training last November wondering if she could ever return to the shape of Olympic Champion.

She does not have to wonder anymore. Neither does anyone else.

Biles capped a remarkable 2018 world gymnastics championship by claiming gold on floor exercise and bronze on balance during event finals on saturday, giving her six medals for the 20 and over in world championships, tied with Svetlana Khorkina of Russia for the most by a female gymnast.

"I think there's a lot to be proud of, but I'm most proud of that I'm here, I made all the event finals, medaled in all the events and I survived," Biles said.

That was not a guarantee when the meet began. Biles spent the night before qualifying in the hospital dealing with pain from a kidney stone. The pills are too big to pass, and they could not take prescription pain medication because of doping regulations, forcing them to simply deal with it.

Biles did more than deal with it. She is dominated.

Biles, 21, wants to head home to Houston with gold medals from the final team, the all-around final, floor and vault as well as silver on uneven bars and bronze on beam. She became the first woman to earn a medal on all four events since Yelena Shushunova did it for the Soviet Union in 1987.

Biles believes it is just the beginning. She wants to visit the kidney stone, go on a short vacation and then point towards 2019.

"Hopefully I feel more confident next year going into all the events," she said. "We'll see about upgrades. I'm not sure. We'll see. "

Biles finished a busy 10 days ago by drilling her floor routine, which includes intricate tumbling runs that are as difficult as anything done by the men's days. Morgan Hurd, who earned her third medal of the year by finishing with silver. Japan's Mai Murakami took third.

Biles was not quite as crisp on beam, an event that she has struggled with recently. She wobbled during qualifying and fell off during the all-around finals. Though she managed to stay away from the event, she found herself on balance on multiple occasions. Her score of 13.6 held up for bronze behind China's Liu Tingting and Canada's Ana Padurariu.

While that was not her best, Biles took to Twitter between the beam and floor exercise to chastise those who criticized her for not winning gold. It's a move she felt was necessary.

"I think it's upsetting to me whenever I see all the tweets after I do not like them," Biles said. "It's not fair because they can not set expectations on me. I have to set them for myself. "

And no one's expectations are higher. Biles took herself to task after the all-around, unhappy with a series of uncharacteristic mistakes. She vowed to speak in the event finals and responded by reaching the podium on each event.

"I'm really happy to be done," Biles said. "Proud of my performances here. I wish some of them had better, but I'm really proud of the outcome. "

So what Hurd, who won a gold team, bronze in the all-around and silver on floor, validating her breakthrough performance at the 2017 World Championships when she became an unlikely champion.

"Oh, I wanted it so badly," Hurd said. "I've got a full set."

The five-time US champion and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak picked up the first world medal of his career when he finished third in the high bar Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands and Kohei Uchimura of Japan, who boosted his career medal count at worlds to 21.

Mikulak wants to settle with having just one for now.

Sam is not a washed-out gymnast that's holding on, "Mikulak, 26, said. "He's here to play and he's here to get medals."

North Korea's Ri Se-gwang picked up his third world title on vault. Artur Dalaloyan earned silver, with Japan's Kenzo Shirai taking bronze. Oleg Verniaiev took silver and Dalaloyan bronze. China's Zou Jingyuan captured gold on parallel bars with a score of 16,433.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.