Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, has excited fans with a four-second video clip of a training vault no woman has performed in competition.
The 22-year-old reigning world and Olympic all-around champion showed off a Yurchenko double pike vault and landed in a pit of red foam-like bricks with the Twitter caption “2020?” and three sets of widened eyeballs.
It’s a hint that the world’s top gymnast might have something new to display for the Tokyo Olympics and for US Olympic qualifying in June.
The vault features a back handspring onto the vault, then two flips in the air with her legs straight.
A key is gaining the height needed to land safely with under-rotation and botched landings opening up possible major injuries.
Biles would be favoured for Olympic gold even without such an epic vault.
She won all-around, team, vault, balance beam and floor exercise gold medals at last year’s World Championships in Stuttgart as well at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Biles captured team, all-around, floor and vault titles at the 2018 Worlds after taking team, beam, floor and all-around crowns at the 2014 and 2015 Worlds. She had also won the all-around and floor titles at the 2013 Worlds.