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‘Each Has Its Own Rewarding Factor,’ Says Biles of World Golds
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As Simone Biles of the U.S. vies for potentially two more gold medals on the last day of the World Championships in Stuttgart on Sunday, she is determined to finish with a full-strength flourish.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity but I get really tired at the end, so I have to remain calm and focused and confident in my gymnastics,” said Biles of qualifying for all four apparatus finals, the only gymnast to do so. “I’m really excited because we have a couple more (U.S.) girls out there for finals, so I won’t be out there alone, so that always helps me get through it.”

Biles’ endurance thus far in Stuttgart has yielded gold for her in every medal round. She led the U.S. women to their fifth consecutive world team title in the team final on Tuesday, earned her fifth world all-around title in the all-around final on Thursday, and collected the 17th world championships gold medal of her career when she won vault in the first day of apparatus finals on Saturday. Biles placed fifth in the final on uneven bars that was also contested Saturday.

Biles enters both of Sunday’s finals — balance beam and floor exercise — as the top qualifier. She finished first on balance beam at the 2014 and 2015 Worlds, and first on floor exercise at the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018 Worlds.

She credits one of her coaches, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, for restoring the composure she lost on balance beam following her bronze medal-winning performance on it at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Canqueteau-Landi, a 1996 French Olympian, is married to Laurent Landi, Biles’ other coach.

“Cecile has definitely helped a lot, bringing back that confidence,” said Biles, who also placed third on balance beam at the 2013 and 2018 Worlds. “After Rio I kind of trashed myself and my beam work that I did, and I wasn’t the most confident. She really helped bring that back to life, and I feel confident again for the first time.”

Biles is too pragmatic, however, to already envision herself as balance beam gold medalist at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

"It all depends on the day,” responded Biles when asked if she could challenge Rio balance beam gold medalist Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands for the title in Tokyo. “You have to have a good day that day. Unfortunately in Rio it wasn’t my best day or my best performance, but I think I’ve learned from that. Going into beam performances I feel a little bit more confident than I was in Rio, so we’ll just have to see. You still have to go through qualifications and make it, so who knows?”

Heading into Sunday’s finals, Biles is tied with Belarusian gymnast Vitaly Scherbo as the gymnast with the most career medals (23) in world championships history.

None of Biles’ world championships golds, the total of which may well increase by two on Sunday, outshines the others.

“Each and every one has its own rewarding factor,” she said.

Read complete coverage of the 2019 World Championships in the November 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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