Simone Biles routs Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman at Secret Classic

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Simone Biles easily defeated Olympic champions Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman in their first U.S. competition together at the Secret Classic in Hoffman Estates, Ill., on Saturday night.

Biles, the two-time reigning World all-around champion, posted the highest score of all gymnasts on three of the four events and totaled 62.4 points. She’s won eight straight all-around competitions dating to 2013.

“I’m just really proud of myself,” Biles said on Universal Sports. “I was just really nervous [debuting new routines].”

Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champ, beat Biles on uneven bars (15.4 points) and finished second overall, 1.9 points behind.

“My comeback wasn’t fake, guys,” Douglas said, smiling, in a USA Gymnastics interview.

Raisman, the 2012 Olympic floor exercise champ, finished fifth (behind Maggie Nichols and Bailie Key), 3.35 points back (full results here | videos of every routine). She sat down on a floor exercise pass, scoring 14.35 to Biles’ 16.05 and Douglas’ 15.

“I have improvements to make, but I’m happy with how I did,” Raisman said on Universal Sports.

Douglas and Raisman were competing in the U.S. for the first time since the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials. They’re trying to become the first women’s gymnasts to make back-to-back U.S. Olympic teams since 2000. As is Kyla Ross, who competed on two of four events Saturday, falling twice on the uneven bars.

Gymnasts are preparing for the P&G Championships in Indianapolis (Aug. 13-16) and the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in October. The U.S. can send no more than six women to Worlds, the team named after a post-P&G Championships selection camp, and five to the 2016 Olympics.

On Saturday, Douglas closed the gap on Biles since their first competition together at the Jesolo Trophy in Italy on March 28. In Italy, Biles totaled 3.2 more points than Douglas and three more points than Raisman.

In her next meet, Biles can become the first woman to win three straight U.S. all-around titles since Kim Zmeskal from 1990-92. In October, Biles could become the first woman ever to win three straight World all-around titles.

Simone Biles as powerful as male gymnasts, says two-time male Olympian

Watch Danell Leyva splash out of American Ninja Warrior

Danell Leyva
NBC
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Triple Olympic medalist Danell Leyva became the latest gymnast to appear on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” splashing out of the “Leaps of Faith” in the latter portion of the course in the Los Angeles City Finals that aired Monday.

Leyva’s full run can be seen at the 44-minute mark here.

Leyva, a 27-year-old who took all-around bronze at the 2012 London Games and then retired with parallel bars and high bar silver in Rio, was cheered on by 2012 Olympic teammates Jonathan Horton and John Orozco. He previously completed the course at the Los Angeles City qualifier.

Horton has tackled ANW five times, according to the broadcast. Other gymnasts to appear on the show included Olympic all-around champions Nastia Liukin and Paul Hamm and, perhaps the show’s most famous competitor, former Towson University athlete Kacy Catanzaro.

Leyva could still make the Las Vegas finals, according to the broadcast.

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Chinese 13-year-olds go 1-2 at diving worlds; U.S. medal drought ends

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Reminiscent of one of its legendary divers, Chinese 13-year-olds took gold and silver in the women’s platform at the world diving championships on Wednesday. Delaney Schnell rallied for bronze, ending a 14-year U.S. medal drought.

Chen Yuxi and Lu Wei, both born in 2005, tallied 439 and 377.8 points, respectively, in Gwangju, South Korea. China is nine for nine in gold medals with four finals left this week. Schnell, who was in fifth place and 1.2 points back of third going into the last dive, ended up with 364.2.

No U.S. woman had earned an individual world platform medal since Laura Wilkinson‘s gold in 2005. Schnell, 20, was sixth at the 2016 Olympic trials and second at the 2017 World trials before placing 27th at her world debut two years ago.

Back in 1991, Chinese 12-year-old Fu Mingxia captured the world title on the platform. A year later, Fu took platform gold in Barcelona and remains the youngest Summer Olympic champion since 1960. Fu went on to win a Chinese record four individual Olympic diving titles.

Lu and Chen represent the next generation of Chinese female divers following the post-Rio retirements of their role model, Chen Ruolin, and Wu Minxia.

China is such a diving factory that it took gold and silver without the Rio Olympic platform champion, Ren Qian, who is not on this year’s world team. Ren, then 15 in Rio, became the youngest Olympic diving gold medalist since Fu.

China, two years after its least successful diving worlds since 2005, is moving closer to sweeping every gold medal at these worlds. They last accomplished the feat in 2011.

Earlier Wednesday, Chinese Xie Siyi (reigning world champion) and Cao Yuan (reigning Olympic champion) qualified first and second into Thursday’s men’s springboard final.

David Boudia, the 2012 U.S. Olympic platform champion, was a strong fourth in his first major international meet since Rio and switching to the springboard. Rio Olympian Michael Hixon also advanced in the 12th and last spot.

NBC Olympic Researcher Alex Azzi contributed to this report from Gwangju.

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