Gymnastics body says risk affected Biles dismount grading
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — The International Gymnastics Federation said on Friday that risk played a role in how it graded Simone Biles’ new beam dismount, a decision which has frustrated the U.S. gymnast.
Biles first landed her double-double dismount — two flips and two twists — at the U.S. nationals in August. If she can land it at the world championships, it will bear her name in the sport’s Code of Points.
Biles has expressed frustration that the dismount was given an “H” difficulty value. That’s one value higher than any other women’s beam element in the Code, but some observers argued the extra difficulty was enough to deserve an even higher rating.
Biles described the decision with an expletive on Twitter on Tuesday.
The FIG’s women’s technical committee says its decision took into account an “added risk in landing … including a potential landing on the neck.” The FIG sometimes lowers the value of risky elements to make safer ones more attractive by comparison.
“Reinforcing, there are many examples in the Code where decisions have been made to protect the gymnasts and preserve the direction of the discipline,” the FIG said.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Friday it “respectfully disagrees” with the FIG ruling.
“The safety of athletes is always a top priority for us and the sport in general, however we believe the skill should be given the value that it merits,” it said.
“Simone is an amazing gymnast who continues to develop and challenge the norm with creative and technical ability and skill, and we applaud and support her efforts.”