Biles wraps up stel­lar worlds with 4th gold

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - As­so­ci­ated Press DOHA, QATAR

Si­mone Biles re­turned to train­ing last Novem­ber won­der­ing if she could ever re­turn to the form that made her an Olympic cham­pion.

She doesn’t won­der any­more. Nei­ther does any­one else.

The Amer­i­can star capped a re­mark­able 2018 world gym­nas­tics cham­pi­onships by claim­ing gold on floor ex­er­cise and bronze on bal­ance beam dur­ing event fi­nals Satur­day, giv­ing her six medals for the meet and 20 over­all in the world cham­pi­onships, tied with Rus­sia’s Svet­lana Khork­ina for the most by a fe­male gym­nast.

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

Some­thing that wasn’t a guar­an­tee when the meet be­gan. Biles spent the night be­fore qual­i­fy­ing in the hospi­tal deal­ing with pain from a kid­ney stone. The stone was too big to pass and she couldn’t take pre­scrip­tion pain med­i­ca­tion be­cause of dop­ing reg­u­la­tions, forc­ing her to sim­ply deal with it.

Biles did more than deal with it. She dom­i­nated. Just like al­ways.

The 21-year-old will head home to Hous­ton with gold medals from the team fi­nal, 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’s just the be­gin­ning. She’ll visit with doc­tors to treat the kid­ney stone, go on a short va­ca­tion and then point to­ward 2019.

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

Biles wasn’t quite as crisp on beam. She wob­bled dur­ing qual­i­fy­ing and fell off dur­ing the al­laround fi­nals. Though she man­aged to stay on dur­ing event fi­nals, she found her­self off bal­ance on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions. Her score of 13.6 held up for bronze be­hind China’s Liu Tingt­ing and Canada’s Ana Padu­rariu.

While al­low­ing it wasn’t her best, Biles took to Twit­ter in be­tween 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 per­for­mances of how dis­ap­pointed they are in me,” Biles said. “It’s not fair be­cause they can’t set ex­pec­ta­tions on me. I have to set them for my­self.”

And no one’s ex­pec­ta­tions are higher.

“I’m re­ally happy to be done,” Biles said. “Proud of my per­for­mances here. I wish some of them would have been bet­ter but I’m re­ally proud of the out­come.”

Five-time U.S. cham­pion and two-time Olympian Sam Miku­lak picked up the first world cham­pi­onship medal when he fin­ished third in the high bar be­hind Epke Zon­der­land of the Nether­lands and Japan’s Ko­hei Uchimura, who boosted his ca­reer medal at worlds to 21.

North Korea’s Ri Se Gwang picked up his third world ti­tle on vault. Men’s all-around cham­pion Ar­tur Dalaloyan earned sil­ver, with Japan’s Kenzo Shi­rai tak­ing bronze. China’s Zou Jingyuan cap­tured gold on par­al­lel bars with a score of 16.433 – the high­est on any ap­pa­ra­tus by a man at the meet – while Oleg Ver­ni­aiev took sil­ver and Dalaloyan bronze.

Ac­cel­er­ate wins Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic by length

Ac­cel­er­ate took the lead at the top of the stretch and held off Gun­n­ev­era to win the $6 mil­lion Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic by a length Satur­day, strength­en­ing his bid for Horse of the Year over Triple Crown win­ner Jus­tify.

The race lacked the re­tired Jus­tify and left a wide-open field, which the chest­nut 5-year-old horse even­tu­ally over­took af­ter break­ing from the No. 14 post as the fa­vorite. Ac­cel­er­ate made a sweep­ing move in the far turn and was in charge at the top of the stretch, then held off Gun­n­ev­era for his fifth con­sec­u­tive Grade 1 vic­tory and sixth of seven over­all this year.

VADIM GHIRDA AP

Si­mone Biles claim­ing gold on floor ex­er­cise and bronze on bal­ance beam Satur­day, giv­ing her six medals for the meet.

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