Simone Biles: I’m better than I was in Rio

Simone Biles
AP
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Warning to the world’s best gymnasts.

It’s still more than three months before Simone Biles‘ comeback meet, but she already feels like a better gymnast than at her last meet — the Rio Olympics, where she earned four gold medals.

“Once it comes time to put it all together in competition, that will be the real test,” Biles said recently, according to the Houston Chronicle. “But as I’ve been training, I guess I would say I am better than I was in Rio.”

The 21-year-old Biles has been training since Nov. 1 under new coaches Laurent Landi and Cecile Canqueteau-Landi at her Texas gym.

She has said she plans to compete for the first time in nearly two years at the U.S. Classic on July 28 in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of the U.S. Championships in August in Boston and, she hopes, the world championships in Doha in October and November.

She also reportedly said she expects the 2020 Olympics to be her final gymnastics meet.

“A lot of the times when I come into the gym I shock myself, especially how I’m still improving, especially from Rio, even there,” Biles said, according to the newspaper. “It’s kind of crazy.

“I would rather risk [a comeback] now than, 20 years from now, being like, ‘I wish I would have tried again. I wonder what would have happened.’ Twenty years from now, I can now say, ‘well, at least I tried.’”

Biles could try to become the first woman to repeat as Olympic all-around champion since Věra Čáslavská in 1968 and the oldest champ since the Czech great.

Biles is expected to be the only Final Five member to compete on the elite level this year.

Laurie Hernandez said in October that she hoped to return to competition in 2018, but her agent said last month the plan is now 2019.

Aly Raisman originally planned to take one year off after Rio. She since delayed a return to training as she devotes time to something much more important — fighting sexual abuse in the sport.

Gabby Douglas has not said if or when she will return to training. Madison Kocian also may be finished with elite gymnastics but is competing collegiately for UCLA.

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VIDEO: Simone Biles explains returning to the gym