ST. LOUIS—Simone Biles took the first-day lead at the P&G Championships with a set of routines that she would gladly like to repeat in the Rio all-around final. Her 62.90 featured four impeccable performances, each of which looked easy for her.
Asked what, if anything, Biles could have done better, Boorman said, half joking, "She can't seem to get higher than a 9.1 execution score on bars." A 9.2 would have given Biles a 63.00, which Boorman was hoping for. (Biles actually scored a 63.00 on the second day of the 2015 P&G Championships.)
When Biles was asked where improvements could be made, she was quick to answer.
"I could have done a better beam dismount and a better first vault," she said. Since also admitted to being nervous before her last event, bars, and before her second vault, the Cheng Fei that will finally make her the favorite to win the vault gold in Rio. Biles also talked about her performance relative to what she hopes to do at the Olympics. "I guess now I have to stay there (at this level)."
Boorman said Biles can do a lot more in her routines, but that she doesn't need to
Aly Raisman and Lauren Hernandez, the veteran and newcomer, tied for second with 60.45.
"It feels good," Raisman said. "I was really happy with my beam and floor. I'm trying not to be hard on myself."
Said Hernandez: "My goal is to do exactly what I did today (on Sunday) … I'm proud of how I did today."
Gabby Douglas struggled on beam to finish fourth (58.90). Her best routine came on bars, where her 15.10 tied for the fourth best score (with Biles) on the event. Bars is what got her on the 2011 world team in the first place, and it's likely going to keep her on the team for Rio.
Madison Kocian had a strong night for fifth, which included the second highest score on bars, 15.45. Amelia Hundley was sixth (57.85) and MyKayla seventh (57.55).
While the top gymnasts had strong all-around efforts, Ragan Smith had an off night. Starting on floor, she went out of bounds on her clean double layout and overcooked her 1.5 twist so much that she followed it with a roundoff. Her beam was wobbly too, and she finished in ninth place with 56.85.
"I was unpleasantly surprised," said Marta Karolyi, who added that Smith had been a steady competitor in Italy (Jesolo) and the Pacific Rim Championships. "I don't really explain what happened." Karolyi said she hoped to see Smith perform with her usual consistency on Sunday.
Maggie Nichols performed on bars and beam, but appeared to lack the confidence she had before the injury to her right knee.
Ashton Locklear posted the top bars score (15.60), but she did only one other event, beam.
The P&G Championships for women will conclude Sunday evening.
Simone Biles nailed her beam routine with hardly a wobble anywhere (15.70). Who said it was difficult to start on beam?
Lauren Hernandez got the crowd going with her wild new floor routine (14.70).
High full-out mount on floor from Lexy Ramler.
Gabby Douglas did a clean Yurchenko-double twist on vault, landing with a hop (14.80). Doesn't look like an Amanar is in the cards for her.
Ragan Smith went out of bounds on her double layout mount, and bombed her second pass when she over-rotated a roundoff 1.5 twist (she did a roundoff after it). Not her best, obviously. You can imagine the pressure she's under as a first-year senior (13.10).
MyKayla Skinner hit her flip-flop tucked full on beam (14.20).
Cameras are flicking like crazy as Aly Raisman works beam. Great set, loud cheers after she landed her Arabian double front (15.15).
Maggie Nichols has her right knee wrapped and will do only bars and beam. Not her best routine, but not bad either. And she stuck her double layout cold (14.60).
Hernandez did a clean Yurchenko-double twist that was a virtual stick (slight bounce on the landing, 15.05).
Alyssa Baumann had a repeat of Hartford on bars, but fell this time on her low-to-high transition.
Biles absolutely soared on her full-twisting double layout mount on floor, and her Biles was nearly as high. She stuck her tucked double-double and and nearly stuck her tucked full-in. Deafening cheers were well deserved. Incredible routine (16.10). Could she earn the highest women's all-around score ever tonight?
Smith hit her Yurchenko-double twist with a small hop (14.65).
Rachel Gowey performed a huge Yurchenko-double with a couple of steps afterward.
Madison Kocian, co-world champion on bars, swung a great set and stuck her full-twisting double flyaway (15.45).
After an OK start on floor (14.15), hometown favorite Brenna Dowell hit a powerful Yurchenko-double twist (14.75).
Skinner and Raisman go back-to-back on floor, so the fans are in for some difficult tumbling. Skinner opened with a double-twisting double layout, followed by the tucked version. Third pass? Tucked full-in. Her dismount of 1.5 twist through to 2.5 twist went out of bounds, but it was a great routine (14.70).
Raisman managed to stay in bound on her six-trick mount. Her Greek music got the crowd clapping throughout the middle of the routine. High piked Arabian double and double layout, and a dismount of double pike, with a hop. Loud cheers for one of the crowd favorites (15.60).
Douglas nailed her set on uneven bars and stuck her double layout. Everything was clean (15.10).
Nichols a little wobbly on beam but finished strong with a roundoff double pike (13.90). Her meet is over after the first two rotations.
Skinner did two vaults: Amanar, clean in the air with a skittish landing (15.20); Cheng Fei lacked block off the table (15.25).
Olivia Troutman mounted floor with a full-twisting double layout.
Smith with inside Stalders that did not go in very deep; Ricna and full-twisting double tuck (14.80).
Raisman vaulted an Amanar that was clean until the last half twist, when she bent her legs (15.35).
Douglas was wobbly on beam, especially on her full turn with leg horizontal. Everything looked cautious (14.20). Bars is what may keep her on the team.
Biles with a huge Amanar with a slight hop (16.00); Cheng Fei stuck cold. The best to ever do that vault (15.975).
Dowell missed a handstand on bars and was a bit wild in places (14.05).
Hernandez nailed bars with three releases: Tkatchev, toe-on Tkatchev, Ricna (15.30).
Baumann looks good on beam and hit as well as can be expected under such pressure (15.00).
Ashton Locklear did an excellent set on bars for the top score on the event (15.60). The only other event she did was beam (14.45).
Smith needed a strong beam routine but wobbled on a few skills, including her standing tucked full. She hit her flip-flop, flip-flop, double Arabian dismount well, however (14.30).
Douglas hit her Arabian double tuck, stag jump, and followed her tucked full-in with a back tuck that drew a loud cheer. She stuck her double pike and ended with a double tuck. There was not much energy in her performance, but everything she does draws loud cheers (14.80)
Raisman finished on her weak event, bars, and had several leg separations throughout (14.15).
Baumann is gorgeous on floor and opened with a solid double layout. She went O.B. on two whips through to double tuck. She ended with a clean double pike. Great routine (14.50).
Biles finished a perfect night with a bars routine that she could not have done better. Of course, she stuck her tucked half-in half-out (15.10).
Hernandez also ended her night with a strong routine on beam to go four-for-four. A bit cautious in places but no major wobbles (15.30).