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Simone Biles becomes most decorated gymnast in history, wins 6th all-around title at worlds

La estadounidense Simone Biles sostiene su medalla de oro tras ganar el All-Around individual en el Campeonato del Mundo en Antwerp, Bélgica el viernes 6 de octubre del 2023. (AP Foto/Geert vanden Wijngaert)
Simone Biles is the best gymnast ever by medal count. (AP Foto/Geert vanden Wijngaert)

Simone Biles is in a lane of her own — and she has been for a while. Now, her medal count proves it.

She's the most decorated gymnast ever. She's also the first female gymnast to win six all-around world titles.

Biles added those accolades to her extensive legacy when she won the all-around title at the 2023 Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium on Friday. Her latest victory came 10 years after she claimed her first world championship win in the same city at 16 years old.

That kind of longevity is hard to come by in the sport, and the 26-year-old is making it look easy.

This is her 27th world championship medal and 21st gold. Combined with her seven Olympic medals, Biles has a tally of 34. No male or female competitor has seen that much hardware over the sport's two premier events.

She was previously tied with Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo for the record with 33.

A regular at the podium, she fought tears as she stood with her fellow competitors while the national anthem played.

Biles' total score across the balance beam, floor, vault and uneven bars was 58.399 points. With that number, she beat Brazilian defending champion Rebeca Andrade by 1.633 points. Her U.S. teammate Shilese Jones snagged the bronze medal with 56.332 points.

The new all-time medal leader was seemingly perfect through most of the competition, allowing her to laugh off a mistake that came near the very end of her floor routine. She tripped as she was about to enter a sequence of leaps, and opted to skip the initial skill she had planned entirely. Her smooth recovery allowed her to hold on to the gold.

It's all even more impressive considering that Biles is in her current form less than three months into a return from taking two years away from gymnastics.

Friday's milestone comes just days after she led Team USA to a team title at the World Gymnastics Championships on Wednesday. The United States is now on an unprecedented streak of seven consecutive women's team titles at worlds.

With the Paris Olympics less than a year away, Biles is poised to continue her tear at the Olympics next summer.

But before she gets there, she has an opportunity to add to her new record. She qualified for all four event finals, which means she can medal in every event she competed in, a feat she accomplished at the 2018 world championships.