Gymnastics-Biles dominant on first day of US championships

Simone Biles got her bid for a record-extending ninth all-around title at the U.S. championships off to a sensational start on Friday, piling up 60.45 points to take a more than three-point lead after the first night of the competition.

Starting on vault, Biles landed her signature Yurchenko double pike to thrill the fans in Fort Worth, Texas, and was rewarded with a 15.80 from the judges at the meet, which will help determine the U.S. team for the Paris Olympics.

In the second rotation Biles stuck the landing on the uneven bars, arguably her weakest event, following that up with an aggressive and nearly flawless performance on the beam.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist capped the night with a astonishing floor routine that began with a hair-raising triple double to sit firmly in control heading into Sunday’s finale.

Teenager Skye Blakely earned 15.00 points for the debut of her thrilling new vault. She trails Biles by 3.4 points with Kayla DiCello in third, 3.6 points behind the leader.

Biles, 27, is expected in Paris to lead the five-person U.S. squad that will be named at the Olympic trials next month in Minneapolis.

The second and final night of the women’s championships is Sunday.

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