Simone Biles chases one more record to close world gymnastics championships

AP
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STUTTGART, Germany — Simone Biles may have dropped the mic, but she can still win four more medals and break yet another record at the world gymnastics championships.

Biles, after earning her 21st and 22nd career world medals in the team and all-around events, competes in all four apparatus finals between Saturday and Sunday. She is one medal shy of the record 23 held by 1990s Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo. Biles’ medals are kept in a safe.

Scherbo, though, competed at world championships in six years to Biles’ five. Scherbo also had the benefit of six apparatus finals for the men, versus four for the women.

Saturday’s finals: the vault (Biles is the favorite) and uneven bars (Biles qualified in seventh place), live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app at 10 a.m. ET.

Sunday’s finals: balance beam and floor exercise. Biles had the highest score in qualifying in both events. That streams live on OlympicChannel.com at 7 a.m. ET, with a TV broadcast on Olympic Channel at 12 p.m. ET.

GYM WORLDS: TV Schedule | Finals Results

Biles earned medals in every event last year, becoming the first gymnast to do so at worlds in 31 years. Some of her toughest competition this weekend will come from teammates.

On vault, Jade Carey had the top qualifying score by .001 over Biles. However, scores are cleared for the eight-woman final, and Biles has the ability to up her difficulty.

Bars is the only event that Biles has never won on the global stage. She earned her first world medal last year, a silver. But she was a distant half-point behind winner Nina Derwael of Belgium, who again had the highest score in qualifying this year, with a three tenths edge on Biles in difficulty.

There’s also American Sunisa Lee, who beat Biles on bars at the U.S. Championships in August and the world team selection camp in September. Lee qualified third into the bars final with the second-highest difficulty score.

Biles struggled on beam at the Rio Olympics and 2018 Worlds, making significant errors (though not falling off) en route to bronze medals. She’s hit beam so far this week, posting the top score in qualifying, the team final and the all-around.

“After Rio, I kind of trashed myself and my beam work that I did, and I wasn’t the most confident,” said Biles, who took 14 months off from training after the Olympics, changing coaches to Laurent and Cecile Landi when she came back. “[Cecile] really helped me bring that back to life. And I feel confident again for, like, the first time.”

Biles said she is 99 percent sure these are her last world championships, likely making the Tokyo Olympics her final competition. Her next competition likely will not be until late winter or early spring.

“I’m probably more confident today than going into the [Rio] Olympics,” she said.

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GYM WORLDS: Women’s Finals Qualifiers | Men’s Finals Qualifiers