Simone Biles became the first woman to win three consecutive world all-around titles on Thursday at the International Gymnastics Federation world championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
Finishing behind Biles was American Gabby Douglas, the all-around gold medal winner at the 2012 Olympics, who took home the silver. According to USA Gymnastics, she is the first reigning Olympic all-around champion to win an all-around medal at the world championship since 1981.
Biles, 18, is the early favorite to win gold in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, for which she hopes to make her first U.S. Olympic team.
The Spring, Texas native is the sixth female gymnast after American Shannon Miller, Svetlana Khorkina of Russia and Ludmila Tourischeva and Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union to win back-to-back all-around titles.
Biles joins Khorkina as the only three-time world all-around champion. Khorkina did not win her titles consecutively, as she won in 1997, 2001 and 2003.
Larisa Iordache of Romania, the 2014 silver medalist, finished third. Aliya Mustafina of Russia, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, did not compete in Glasgow due to an injury.
Biles turned professional and signed with the sports agency Octagon in July. She previously committed to attend UCLA, but has since deferred her plans until after the 2016 Summer Olympics.
At the 2016 Games, Biles could extend the United States’ all-around winning streak to four after gold medals were won by Carly Patterson (Athens 2004), Shawn Johnson (Beijing 2008) and Douglas (London 2012). The United States also won the team all-around gold medal in 2012 with Gabrielle Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney.
- Christopher Chavez