Simone Biles shone at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Qatar on Saturday, where she recorded the highest scores for three events despite having just been in the hospital with a kidney stone.
The reigning Olympic champion secured the highest individual scores on the beam, vault, and floor, and placed second on the uneven bars just 24 hours after discovering the stone, which she still had not passed.
Her stunning performance all but ensured that the US team will qualify for the team final with an impressive 12-point lead ahead of the second-place competitor, Japan.
Biles’ vault routine featured an upgrade of the incredibly challenging combination known as “The Cheng,” named after Cheng Fei of China, who first performed it in 2005 — Biles added an extra half twist to a vault, now known as “The Biles.”
The ambitious move was flawlessly executed by Biles, who scored 15.966 — the highest of the day in any event.
On Friday, the gymnastics champion tweeted that she had visited the emergency room where a CT scan showed a kidney stone.
"We had to go to the ER, because I’ve been having stomach pains on my right side for two days," the 10-time world champion said in a video posted online by USA Gymnastics.
"We started to think it was my appendix, so we wanted to go as a precaution. We got tests done, and they found a kidney stone. I’m in a bit of pain [today], so adrenaline helps.”
"We were pretty good," Biles said. “We tried to stay focused just like in practice, because practices have been going really well. Hopefully we’ll go out there and kill it again [on Sunday]."
Biles' all-around total marked the highest in the world since her gold medal–winning total at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and she looks on course to add an additional four gold medals to her current world championship medals total.
The kidney stone, which she has nicknamed “the Doha pearl,” is very much still in play. Biles informed her followers that she planned to have it removed after the competition.
And of course people are amazed at the strength displayed by Biles.
Biles’ vault routine featured an upgrade of the incredibly challenging combination known as “The Cheng,” named after Cheng Fei of China, who first performed it in 2005. Biles added an extra half twist to create a new vault, now known as “The Biles.” An earlier version of this post misidentified this maneuver.