“Unfair and Hypocritical” Penalty on Simone Biles’s Safety Leaves Americans Salty With World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 2023

Published 10/08/2023, 8:57 AM EDT

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The most successful gymnast in history with the most World and Olympic victories is Simone Biles. The Ohio-born has never lost an all-around title since her first senior year break in 2017. After a two-year professional absence citing mental health, her comeback to the mats this year has been a successful one. To step it up, Biles led the American team into the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships on October 2.

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Biles returned to her Worlds debut venue after a decade and left a lasting impression dominating on opening day. The seven-time Olympic medalist participated in the vault and uneven bars on Day 1 of the event finals on October 7. While maintaining an ongoing winning streak, an error led to a step down in power position, leading to conflicting responses.

Simone Biles registers the first second-place finish at Worlds

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First up, during the vault exercise, Biles over-rotated on her first attempt at her iconic Yurchenko double pike, resulting in a terrible fall to the ground on her back. Following a moment of reflection, she went for it for the second time to score 14.666 with a clean landing. Biles achieved an average score of 14.549. An Instagram post was shared by USA Gym announcing a silver medal that totaled her Worlds and Olympics medals to 35!

 

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Biles’s score on the vault was the third-highest in the competition despite the fact that she failed while building momentum on her rotation. The 26-year-old gymnast was edged out by the 2022 Worlds all-around champion Rebeca Andrade who earned 0.201 more points to win gold in the event with an impressive overall average of 14.75. Yeo Seojeong of South Korea secured the bronze medal with a final score of 14.416.

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Later Biles finished fifth in the uneven bars scoring 14.200. China’s Qiu Qiyuan won the event with a brilliant score of 15.100, Shilese Jones won bronze and Kaylia Nemour won silver for Algeria. The highly anticipated triple gold at the Worlds was missed on the vault after the U.S. Team gold and AA gold edging Brazil’s defending champion Andrade. Despite the turned-win week, the recent silver margin angered some fans on the internet.

Simone Biles defended by fans

Upon her recent silver win, attention was directed at her 14.433 points on the vault exercise. Let’s dissect the score –  the freshly revised 6.4 on YPD combined with the 8.533 on artistic movements met a 0.5-point reduction for having her coach on the mats.

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Many fans were unhappy with the code of points rule, with one saying, “the fact that she still placed 2nd even with the 1.0 deduction for the fall and the extremely unfair and hypocritical 0.5 neutral deduction (like coaches can be moving around under the bars for practically the whole routine with no deduction but the cant stand there on vault?? ”

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Another commenter wrote, “FIG needs to do something about the coach on the matt penalty! It’s so ridiculous.” Defending the gymnast, one said, “Everyone there knows Simone’s vault is untouchable…. she doesn’t need a gold medal to prove it. Safety should always be the priority.”Finally, someone ended the debate with “What we need to think is that Simone and her coaches are prioritizing her physical and mental health above the color of a medal!!!”

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Needless to say, it was a successful overall contention for Biles, as she broke Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo’s record of 33 overall medals in the global event, earning her sixth all-around gold.

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

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Divya Purohit is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing her coverage in American sporting events. She recently found US Sports writing to be a niche that she enjoys and began following sports. Divya enjoys researching and creating various pieces of articles.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh

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