TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) – Defending Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles shone in training on Thursday in a series of sharp routines that included a vault so difficult that no other woman has ever attempted it in competition.
Biles, 24, has not lost a competition since 2013 and is aiming to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around golds in over 50 years as well as improve on her Rio haul of five medals, four of them gold.
She made two attempts at the Yurchenko Double Pike vault, rolling her landing on the first one but performing the second almost flawlessly, surprising the handful of watching media and officials – including one of her coaches.
“I didn’t think she was going to do the double pike today,” Annie Diluzo told reporters. “Then she came out and did it and I was just as shocked as everybody else.
“If she does it like that, we could see it in competition, I’m not sure when.”
Should Biles perform the vault successfully at the Olympics, it would be named for her.
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