Simone Biles talks future goals after winning 8th all-around title
Simone Biles talks to the press about her future goals, getting older within gymnastics, and if she has one more year left in the tank.
Simone Biles and other gymnasts hoping to make the U.S. team for the world championships later this month have one last chance to make an impression.
OK, Biles is probably a lock. The four-time Olympic gold medalist and 19-time world champion returned to competition last month for the first time since the Tokyo Games and won her record eighth U.S. title in dominant fashion.
For the others seeking spots on the U.S. teams for worlds, or the Pan American Games, however, this is it. Two competitions in as many days in Katy, Texas, to prove they belong on either of these teams.
Here’s everything you need to know:
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When is the Worlds and Pan Am Games Selection Camp?
The two-day meet is Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Day 1 begins at 6:50 p.m. EST, and gymnasts will compete on a minimum of two events. Day 2 begins at 6:15 p.m. EST, and gymnasts will be asked by the selection committee to do at least one event.
How can to watch the Worlds and Pan Am Games Selection Camp?
It’s only being shown on FlipNow.tv, USA Gymnastics’ subscription streaming service.
How does team selection work?
The top all-around gymnast on Day 1 automatically gets a spot on the world team and the selection committee will name the remaining five gymnasts after Day 2. Who is on the five-woman team and who is the alternate will be decided before the world championships.
The selection committee will also name a five-person squad for the Pan Am Games, along with up to three non-traveling alternates.
While it’s possible the selection committee could simply pick the top six gymnasts for the world team, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t. Why? A rank-order team doesn’t necessarily result in the highest-scoring team.
Please explain that
During qualifying at the world championships and the Olympics, teams put up four gymnasts on each event and drop the lowest score. In the team final, however, only three gymnasts compete on each event and every score counts.
That means teams need to construct lineups able to consistently put up three big scores on each event, and you might not get that by only taking the top all-arounders. While there are some gymnasts who are really, really good at everything, like Biles, most gymnasts have an event that’s weaker. So teams will mix and match all-arounders with gymnasts who can fill in the weak spots.
Think back to the 2016 team, when Madison Kocian only did uneven bars at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics – and tied for the highest score in the event in the team final. Or 2012, when McKayla Maroney had the highest score in both qualifying and the team final on vault, her only event.
Who will be at the Worlds and Pan Am Games Selection Camp?
There are 19 gymnasts vying for spots on the world and Pan Am teams. Besides Biles, they include Tokyo floor exercise champion Jade Carey and Tokyo Olympian Jordan Chiles. Shilese Jones, the silver medalist at last month’s national championships and last year’s worlds, and fellow 2022 world team members Skye Blakely and Leanne Wong, also will be competing at camp.
The other gymnasts expected at camp are: Kayla DiCello, Amelia Disidore, Addison Fatta, Madray Johnson, Katelyn Jong, Kaliya Lincoln, Eveylynn Lowe, Nola Matthews, Zoe Miller, Joscelyn Roberson, Tiana Sumanasekera, Lexie Zeiss and Alicia Zhou.
One gymnast not in the mix is reigning Olympic champion Sunisa Lee. USA Gymnastics didn’t say why Lee declined an invitation to the selection camp, but her training has been limited the past six months because of a kidney issue that forced her to end her final NCAA season early. She only did balance beam and vault at last month’s national championships.
What’s at stake for the U.S. women at the world championships?
A whole lot of history.
Biles needs one more medal to tie Vitaly Scherbo as the most-decorated gymnast of all time. Biles has 32 medals from the world championships and Olympics, including a record 25 at worlds. Scherbo, who competed for the Soviet Union, the Unified Team and Belarus, has 33.
(To be fair, Biles has won hers doing two fewer events. And she’s already topped Scherbo with 23 golds at worlds and the Olympics to his 18.)
Biles also can get yet another skill named after her – this would be the fifth, for those keeping count – if she does her Yurchenko double pike vault during worlds. She already has two skills named after her on floor exercise, and one each on balance beam and vault.
The U.S. women, meanwhile, have won the team title at every world championships going back to 2011. That’s six in a row, which ties them with China’s men (2003 to 2014) for the longest consecutive streak at worlds.
One thing the U.S. women won’t be chasing at these worlds, which are Sept. 30-Oct. 8 in Antwerp, Belgium, is a spot in next summer’s Paris Olympics. They qualified last year, as did Britain and Canada.
What about the U.S. men?
They chose their team after the U.S. championships last month and it consists of national champion Asher Hong; Khoi Young; Fred Richard; Paul Juda; and Tokyo Olympian Yul Moldauer. The U.S. men need to be among the top nine teams not already qualified to book a spot in Paris.