Simone Biles becomes first woman to land Yurchenko double pike in competition

Gymnast Simone Biles made history on Saturday, becoming the first female gymnast to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition.

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The four-time Olympic gold medalist returned to competition Saturday night for the first time since October 2019, cruising to victory at the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis. Her all-around score of 58.400 was easily the best of the night in a crowded field of seniors trying to join Biles on the U.S. Olympic team this summer.

The Yurchenko double pike vault has historically only been done by men, though Biles has recently been practicing it, according to The Washington Post. The 24-year-old told the newspaper that she tried the vault into a pit for fun years before her performance on Saturday.

“I was just thinking, do it like training. Don’t try to like, overdo anything, because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to kind of overpower things,” Biles told NBC Sports later Saturday. “I did a little bit, but at least I still was on my feet. It’s a new vault, and I’m proud of how today went.”

Her score of 16.100 was higher than either of her gold medal-winning vaults at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, even with the judges dinging her for the extra steps.

“It was really nerve-wracking, but I’m just happy to be back out here, competing, on the competition floor, in an arena with all of the girls,” Biles told NBC Sports. “Especially after the long year and the time off we’ve had.”