LOS ANGELES (AFP) ‒ American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles returned to competition with a bang Saturday, completing an historic vault to launch her final run to the Tokyo Olympics.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist, who hadn’t competed since winning five golds, including a fifth all-around title, at the 2019 World Championships, delivered on the vault she’s been preparing ‒ a Yurchenko double pike — at the US Classic in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The vault, featuring a roundoff onto the springboard and back handspring into a piked double backflip, had never before been done in women’s competition.
Biles sailed through it with so much power that she over-rotated slightly and stepped back on the landing.
NBA superstar LeBron James had retweeted a video of Biles landing it.
“It’s nice to see all the support,” Biles said, adding that she was “feeling confident” heading into the US championships June 3-6.
They’ll be followed by the US Olympic Trials June 24-27, where the top two finishers will book Tokyo berths, along with two other gymnasts named by USA Gymnastics selectors.
Gilas 3×3 roster bared
Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa were named to the final roster of Gilas Pilipinas for this week’s FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria.
The four were selected after Gilas 3×3 concluded its second and final training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Santi Santillan and Karl Dehesa, the other members of the pool, will be the alternates in the OQT which starts Wednesday, May 26, in Graz where three Tokyo Olympic slots are at stake.
Gilas 3×3 is scheduled to leave for Austria Sunday, May 23, before opening its campaign three days later with two matches opposite Qatar and world No. 3 Slovenia. (Jonas Terrado)
Dubai training for United City
United City will hold a training camp in Dubai as part of its preparations for the AFC Champions League next month.
The club said the camp is slated to start on May 30 after the COVID-19 situation in the country forced last year’s Philippines Football League champions to set up its Champions League buildup abroad.
“We believe Dubai with its world class training facilities is the ideal location for an optimal preparation for our historic AFC campaign,” said United City CEO Eric Gottschalk.
“We are not able to gather as a team in Manila so we are left with no option other than training elsewhere,” he added.
Uzbekistan will host all matches in Group I where United City was drawn alongside China’s Beijing FC, Japan champion Kawasaki Frontale and the winner of the playoff match between South Korea’s Daegu and Thailand’s Chiangrai United. (Jonas Terrado)
Taylor still unbeaten in 18 fights
LAS VEGAS (AFP) – Scotland’s Josh Taylor used a relentless attack and two knockdowns to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion with a unanimous decision victory over Jose Ramirez on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Both former Olympic boxers came into the fight unbeaten and holding two belts but Taylor made sure he was the one to leave with all four 140-pound straps.
The 30-year old Taylor defended his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titles and captured Ramirez’s World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization belts at the Virgin Hotel.
Taylor won by 114-112 scores on all three judges’ cards to improve to 18-0 with 13 KOs.
Ramirez suffered the first loss of his long career, with the Mexican-American falling to 26-1 with 17 KOs.