Simone Biles' 3rd Gold Is a First for the US

She's first US female gymnast to win gold on vault, win 3 golds in one Olympics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2016 3:53 PM CDT
Simone Biles' 3rd Gold Is a First for the US
United States' Simone Biles celebrates on the podium after winning vault gold during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016.    (Dmitri Lovetsky)

Simone Biles' golden run in Rio is picking up steam. So, surprisingly, is Great Britain's. Biles added a third gold medal to her rapidly rising haul on Sunday, easily capturing the women's vault final. The 19-year-old, who helped the "Final Five" to team gold and also dominated the all-around competition last week, averaged 15.966 on her two vaults on Sunday to become the first American woman to win the event at the Olympics. Minutes later, British star Max Whitlock earned his second gold of the day—and the second ever for his country in gymnastics—when he won the pommel horse to back up his victory earlier in the afternoon on floor exercise, reports the AP.

While the day may belong to Whitlock, the games belong to Biles. Her score was more than .7 better than silver medalist Maria Paseka and bronze medalist Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland, showcasing the gap between Biles and the rest of the world. Going last among the eight female finalists, Biles drilled her Amanar—a round off onto the block followed by 2 ½ twists—and put up a 15.9 to take the lead. Needing only to land her second vault to win, Biles was near perfect. Her score of 16.033 for her "Cheng" was the best of the night. Biles' three golds in Rio are also the most by a female gymnast from the US in one Olympics. She will get a chance to stand atop the podium again when she competes in the balance beam finals on Monday and the floor exercise final on Tuesday. (More Simone Biles stories.)

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