She fell multiple times but still Simone Biles was a 4-time winner of world all-around title – by a record gap.
The four-time Rio Olympic champion again proved to be the No.1 on the global stage after overcoming her first two falls in more than 60 career Olympic or world champs routines to grab a record-breaking fourth world all-around title in Doha, crowning her the best gymnast less than a year after she returned from a 14-month break.
Competing with a kidney stone that she named the ‘Doha Pearl,’ which was too big to pass in an emergency room visit, Bile was clear of Japan’s Mai Murakami by 1.693 points, the largest women’s world all-around margin of victory under the 12-year-old Code of Points. Why with two falls? Because her difficulty — which accounts for roughly 40 percent of scores — is 2.7 points greater than anybody else, by far her greatest d score edge of her five Olympic/world all-around titles.
After later apologizing on Twitter for giving fans ‘a heart attack,’ she said: “I didn’t know if I was going to pull it off and then I started doubting myself. I was definitely shocked.”
Biles led by .092 going into her last routine, floor exercise, where she is a full point better than the rest of the world.
“I was like, ‘Well, the day seems to be horrible, so let’s see what else can go wrong,’” Biles said. “Then I had to get those bad thoughts out of my head.”
She went out of bounds on her first tumbling pass but still scored a 15, highest of the day by that full point.
That made it the largest overall gap in the women’s all-around at worlds since the perfect-10 judging system was thrown out in 2006. Shawn Johnson held the previous margin-of-victory record of 1.25 points from 2007.
Biles also broke her tie with retired Russian Svetlana Khorkina for the most women’s all-around titles and matched retired Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo for the most career world gold medals with 12.