Simone Biles made history by picking up her record 13th career gold medal at the world gymnastics championships when she cruised to victory in the vault final on 02 November 2018. Yet it’s the silver she captured on uneven bars that the Olympic and world champion may cherish more. For years Biles viewed bars with a mixture of skepticism and scorn. There was a point in time she admits she would have been OK with taking a “chainsaw” to every bars set in the country.
Those days are over. Helped in part by the influence of new head coach Laurent Landi, Biles now considers the event a challenge more than a chore. Maybe that’s why the smile on the podium during the medal ceremony after she came in second to Belgium’s Nina Derwael was so wide.
It certainly showed. Biles put together a score of 14.7 to edge Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz for silver. Belgium’s Nina Derwael won the first ever gold medal for her country at worlds when the judges awarded her daring and intricate set with a score of 15.2. Biles wanted to do her new vault – which she drilled in both qualifying and the team final and will be named after her when the code of points is updated – but Landi talked her out of it.
The decision helped Biles boost her gold medal total at the world championships to 13, the most every by any gymnast. She will have a chance to add to her medal total when the meet wraps up on Saturday. Biles will compete in both the balance beam final and the floor exercise final. If she medals on both – as she did at the 2016 Olympics – the 21-year-old will tie the all-time mark for career medals at the world championships with 20.